Indiana Daily Student

Film featuring late IU alumna Georgina Joshi to release next week

<p>Georgina Joshi, a student at the Jacobs School of Music, was killed April 20, 2006, in a plane crash that also took the lives of four other Jacobs students. “Invisible Sky,&quot; a documentary about the crash, will premiere Dec. 8.</p>

Georgina Joshi, a student at the Jacobs School of Music, was killed April 20, 2006, in a plane crash that also took the lives of four other Jacobs students. “Invisible Sky," a documentary about the crash, will premiere Dec. 8.

Georgina Joshi was a student at the Jacobs School of Music, aspiring opera singer and licensed pilot in 2006. After a community choir rehearsal on April 20 that year, Joshi, 24, flew herself and four of her fellow Jacobs students back to Bloomington from West Lafayette, but they never made it home.

Joshi’s plane came down near the Monroe County Airport just as she was preparing for her landing. Joshi and everyone aboard the six-seat aircraft — Chris Carducci, Garth Eppley, Zachary Novak and Robert Samels — died as a result of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the accident was due to pilot error. Joshi’s parents then hired investigators to further look into the details of the accident. 

“Invisible Sky” is a documentary unpacking some of the details of the plane’s accident that many family members believe the NTSB missed in their investigation. It is produced by Georgina’s father Yatish and Joan Joshi and directed by Todd Boruff. A trailer for the upcoming film can be found here before its release Dec. 8.

Boruff said the film began as a compilation of interviews with aviation professionals for a public awareness campaign and slowly became a full-length investigative documentary.

“The film was sort of a balancing act between the informational and emotional aspects to make something that would be compelling to viewers,” Boruff said. 

Boruff said he came to the project as an outsider to the general aviation community, which he said helped him convey some of the complex information unfamiliar to most viewers.

Boruff said much of the team behind the film is based in Indiana, including himself. The team traveled to several locations across the state to gather the interviews and footage. One of these locations was the original crash site where the impression from the plane can still be seen over a decade later.

While most of the film had already been completed by the end of 2019, its film festival debut has been altered by the coronavirus pandemic. In March, when restrictions began taking place, the film’s team had to move to more Facebook Live events and streams to create momentum around “Invisible Sky.”

“It was kind of a pivot that started around the beginning of the pandemic,” the film’s impact producer Gerry Maravilla said. “It was tough to try to figure things out. We continued to do outreach and try to play things by ear.”

Of the film festivals that nominated “Invisible Sky” for awards, most were entirely virtual.

“Even though we lost out on that in-person aspect and getting to talk to people about it, it also shifted the way screenings happened so that more people, I think, had the opportunity to see it,” Boruff said.

The film was featured in several festivals across the country and selected as the Best Documentary Short at the 2020 River Bend Film Festival. Boruff said he is excited to see how the general public responds once the film is released. In addition, he hopes more engagement with Georgina’s story can lead to action at the NTSB, which has not yet responded to the documentary and its claims.

“If it can save someone’s life, or prevent a family from having to go through what Georgina’s family did, then it will have been worth it,” Boruff said. “I’m not sure how that will happen yet, but we’re trying to get this in front of as many people as possible.”

The film will be available to rent or purchase starting Dec. 8 on Apple TV, Amazon and InDemand cable providers. 

Correction: This story has been updated to correctly identify Georgina's mother. The IDS regrets this error.

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