Redmond filmmaker’s ‘Ride the Sky’ to be featured at Ellensburg Film Festival Oct. 4

Redmond-based Rain City Cinema recently announced that its film, "Ride the Sky," will make its Washington state premiere at the 2014 Ellensburg Film Festival on Oct. 4.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Friday, September 26, 2014 5:39pm
  • Life

Redmond-based Rain City Cinema recently announced that its film, “Ride the Sky,” will make its Washington state premiere at the 2014 Ellensburg Film Festival on Oct. 4.

The film recently screened at Trenton Film Festival and Flathead Lake International Cinemafest and is an official selection in October for the Laughlin Film Festival.

Directed by Paul Gorman, “Ride the Sky” is a documentary that examines the life of skydiver, Joan Carson and her skydiving fatality. The film explores Carson’s adventurous spirit, accomplishments, passion for skydiving and that of her friends during the early years of the Northwest skydiving scene.

“I see the film as being a 70s version of ‘Into the Wild,'” said Gorman.

Gorman, who attended high school in Redmond with Carson, spent time with her in San Francisco during the early 1970s, where she was just entering into the sport. Gorman was intrigued by her risk taking.

“Joan was one of a kind. Back then women didn’t skydive or ride motorcycles, but Joan did both and more. She was fearless,” he said.

Carson had two serious skydiving accidents, but continued to follow her passion.

She died in a skydiving accident in Montana in 1980 at the age of 30.

After her fatality, Gorman wondered why Carson had continued in the sport and questioned the cause of her passing.

He posted a note on a skydiving forum and upon learning of Carson’s accomplishments and wanderings was hooked.

“I knew then that Joan’s story was universal and more than just my own personal interest,” Gorman said.

The film, which is presented in the same order it was shot, retraces Carson’s skydiving footsteps backward from Montana to San Francisco.

“We wanted to keep it in the same order so audiences could experience Joan’s story the way we did,” said Gorman. “She kept a lot of things bottled up and her story unfolded along the way. There are definitely some answers and then some new questions. The cause of her double malfunction remains a mystery.”

He added, “You will have to see ‘Ride the Sky’ to know what may have driven Carson to take up skydiving in the first place and continue on after her injuries.”

“Ride the Sky” features songs from Child, a Seattle rock band from the 1970s.

Gorman has just finished his third feature film, “Roma Vendetta,” and is in the process of submitting it to film festivals. His first feature film, “Broken Frame” was critically acclaimed in the United Kingdom.

“Ride the Sky” is scheduled to screen at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 4.

For more information, visit

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