Pioneers and Aviators is a landmark documentary which tells the epic story of the remarkable, pioneering individuals whose vision, passion, successes and failures helped forge Ireland’s unique aviation landscape. This is a dynamic and visceral tale of daring and derring-do, of highs and lows, a powerful international story that also reflects the Irish Republic’s evolving relationship with the wider world.
The documentary traces this story from its humble pioneering beginnings when Alcock and Brown made the first transatlantic flight, landing in a field in the West of Ireland, through the evolution of Aer Lingus and the development of airports at Foynes, Shannon and Dublin, the pivotal emergence of Tony Ryan, the meteoric rise and fall of GPA, and the enduring dominance of Ryanair, culminating in a focus on the contemporary story of Ireland’s leading role in aviation in the present.
The documentary Writer and Director Alan Gilsenan is an award-winning film-maker, writer and theatre director. His film work has appeared on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, RTÉ, PBS, SBS Australia, the History Channel and CNBC amongst others. Previous credits include Eliza Lynch: Queen of Paraguay, a drama-documentary on the iconic Irish woman who found fame and infamy in Latin America. Other major documentaries include The Yellow Bittern: The Life & Times of Liam Clancy and The Ghost of Roger Casement as well as the documentary series The Irish Mind, God Bless America and The Asylum.
The score for the film has been written by renowned Irish composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin working with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
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