Nearing midnight on April 20, 2006, five Jacobs School of Music students: Georgina Joshi, Chris Carducci, Garth Eppley, Zachary Novak and Robert Samels died in a plane crash while traveling to the Monroe County Airport. Georgina’s father Yatish Joshi and his wife Joan Joshi are now the executive producers of a film revolving around their daughter’s death.
“Invisible Sky” is set to release next year and is produced by Tall Short Films and directed by Todd Boruff, an Indiana-based producer. The Joshis live in South Bend, Indiana, which is where Georgina grew up. The music student was a professional singer at the Jacobs School of Music and performed with the IU Ballet and Opera theater as Clorinda in "La Cenerentola."
Much of the purpose of the film is to honor Georgina’s life. The film’s trailer was released Oct. 21, the opera singer’s would-be 38th birthday. Her father spoke of her at length when asked.
“Georgina was a very unique person in terms of the quality of life she lived and the quality of life she created for other people,” he said. “What she did was specifically for other people.”
The film delves into discrepancies in the investigation of the accident, which is what led to the legal battle between the Joshis and the National Transportation Safety Board. The case, while making it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, did not rule in favor of the Joshis. Private plane accidents are often attributed to the error of the pilot, but in this instance, Yatish Joshi disagrees.
“Her ability to fly a plane was far superior than people realize just by looking at her experience,” Yatish Joshi said.
According to the NTSB, there were 1,267 general aviation accidents in 2016, which is the most recent data they have publicly available. Out of the 1,267 accidents, 213 were fatal. Meanwhile, none of the large, commercial plane crashes from the same year were fatal according to their data. Private planes, helicopters and smaller jets are often identified within the general aviation category.
“After the courts failed the family in getting the word out about what happened, they didn’t feel like justice was being served,” the film’s impact producer Gerry Maravilla said. “That’s kind of what generated the film. What else can we do as citizens to put power back in our hands and fight what we see as an injustice?”
The film’s team and the Joshis hope to visit Bloomington to screen the film and raise awareness about the case. In addition to the film, Georgina’s mother, Louise Addicott-Joshi, created The Georgina Joshi Foundation in honor of her daughter. The foundation works to provide fellowships and scholarships to young musicians. Less than a year after Georgina’s death, Addicott-Joshi also died in an accident involving a private plane.
“Hopefully things change,” Yatish Joshi said. “If this can prevent one accident, then it will all be worth it.”
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