Emotional Hometown Premiere
Screening I Am Alive: Surviving the Andes Plane Crash in Uruguay was a rewarding and emotional finale to our production. Almost all of the 650 seats were filled in the Montevideo Movie Center, the largest theater in the city.
Nando Parrado, the focus of the film, and I started the screening with an introduction. Many of the people in the audience knew the story well because they lived it. There were several survivors as well as the families and friends of boys who died. I wanted them to know that our production team was intent on getting the facts right because we wanted to honor the men and women who died on that mountain. This was their story preserved for generations to come.
I Am Alive looked great on the big screen. The image quality was fantastic and the sound track was perfect. Brad Osborne, our editor/director, created a special version along with Spanish subtitles, just for this audience.
As soon as the credits started to roll, many people came up to me and Nando with tears in their eyes. Several people told me their brothers had died in the crash, and they felt we told the true story. One man told me that he waited 20 years for someone to get the story right. Carlitos, Eduardo, and Gustavo, all survivors who appeared in the film, were very happy with it. In fact, Carlitos called Nando twice on our way home from the theater with messages full of love and admiration. I was particularly moved by the reaction of Graciela Parrado, Nando’s sister. She came to me with tears in her eyes and said she was very pleased with our telling of the story.
Afterwards, in the town square in Carrasco, people continued to talk to me and Nando, expressing their appreciation of the film and admiration for the survivors.
I wish my entire crew could have been there to see the results of their work. I was so very proud and happy that there I was – in a movie theater in South America – watching a program that we created together. I want to thank Charles Nordlander and the History Channel for allowing us to screen the program.
The proceeds of the screening benefitted Peti Mutio, a member of the original rugby team who recently suffered a heart attack and accrued medical expenses for the hospitalization.