Private Project

Flight of the Humming Bird

In 1932, the filmmaker's great-uncle, Cyril Taylor, a commercial pilot who took aerial photographs of Buenos Aires for a living, flew across the Andes mountain range in the smallest ever open cockpit, single-engine plane. His flight was celebrated in the press in both South America and the UK, although it is now largely forgotten. What is the significance of such moments in the intertwined histories of photography and aviation? Taylor’s flight combined a spirit of adventure, an enthusiasm for technological progress, and a hard-nosed capitalist objective. Goycoolea’s film reflects on the interconnection of these qualities as modes of vision that shape both past and present. Flight of the Humming Bird recreates Taylor’s record-breaking journey using 3D animation and aerial drone cinematography of the Andes. Through an evocative first-person voiceover drawn from personal letters and documents in the Taylor family archive, Goycoolea dramatizes his great-uncle’s perspective during his daring flight. Flight of the Humming Bird uses Cyril’s story to reflect on how histories of flight and aerial photography can speak to current debates on drone photography and our inescapable culture of aerial imaging.

  • Adrian Goycoolea
    Uncle Denis?, Viva Chile Mierda
  • Adrian Goycoolea
  • Adrian Goycoolea
  • Jonathan Rigby
    Key Cast
    "Voice of Cyril Taylor"
    Father Brown, Borley Rectory, Tales from the Amicus Crypt, Her Ways to Roam
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Historical Documentary, Essay Film
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Chile, United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Deptford Cinema
    United Kingdom
    June 29, 2020
    Official Program
  • The Continental Film Festival

    September 20, 2020
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Adrian Goycoolea

Adrian Goycoolea was born in Brazil to Chilean and British parents, and has lived in Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, New York City and the Midwest. Perhaps because of this diverse background, his films often address issues of location and identity, exploring the intersections of personal memory with social and political histories.

His work ranges from short, experimental, single channel pieces to multi-channel art installations, as well as short and feature-length documentaries. Adrian has worked as a programmer and publicist at Anthology Film Archives in New York City, and his films and installations have been screened widely.

Over the years, his work has been shown at film festivals such as the Rotterdam International Film Festival, The Moscow International Film Festival, BFI Flare: The London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Frameline: The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Document: International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (Glasgow), FIDOCS: International Documentary Film Festival (Santiago) and at art galleries including The Artists' Space (NYC), Taller Boriqua (NYC), La Panaderia (Mexico City), and in locations as disparate as Anthology Film Archives and MTV.

Goycoolea is Senior Lecturer in Filmmaking at the University of Sussex.

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