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Review: Titanic drama 'Unsinkable' a triumph for Pittsburgh's film community

“Unsinkable” is docking in two Western Pennsylvania theaters starting this week


It’s hard to view “Unsinkable: Titanic Untold” as just a movie when its mere existence represents so much more.


Director Cody Hartman’s Western Pennsylvania-shot adaptation of Beaver County writer Eileen Enwright Hodgetts’ play “Titanic to All Ships” took seven years and more than 2,400 (mostly local) crew members and performers to complete. This dramatization of the U.S. Senate inquiries into the 1912 Titanic disaster finally began screening publicly earlier this year following its world premiere at the 2023 Three Rivers Film Festival.


Pittsburgh production company PMI Films and lead producer Brian Hartman (Cody’s father) worked diligently to book an expansive “Unsinkable” theatrical run that’s docking at Sewickley’s Lindsay Theater and Cultural Center for a week starting Thursday and at Lincoln-Lemington’s MovieScoop Wateworks Luxury Cinemas from Friday-April 17. What Lindsay and Waterworks patrons have in store for them is a well-crafted but somewhat plodding film that combines elements of courtroom dramas, journalism movies and survival epics.


Keep in mind, though, where this totally independent film was made and all the obstacles — including almost two years of pandemic-induced shooting delays — it conquered to reach moviegoers worldwide. The scale, emotional heft, and sheer amount of local talent on both sides of the camera in this relatively humble endeavor serve as a testament to what the Pittsburgh film community can accomplish without Hollywood’s help


 

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