The Coronado Island Film Festival, along with the Coronado Historical Association, will host a special screening event on Tuesday, March 8, of the dramatic feature film, “Bridge of Spies” (DreamWorks Pictures, 2015). The event will feature an intimate conversation with Francis Gary Powers, Jr., son of U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers whose capture after the Soviet Union shot down his U-2 spy plane during the Cold War set in motion the events of the film.

One of the most talked-about events of the Cold War was the downing of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960. Powers was captured by the KGB, subjected to a televised show trial, and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Powers’ only hope was New York lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), recruited by a CIA operative to negotiate his release. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film received six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, and won Best Supporting Actor for Mark Rylance.

Powers’ son, Francis Gary Powers Jr., was an expert consultant on the film. During the presentation, Powers will identify facts from “Hollywood” fiction, discuss working on the film set with the cast and crew, and offer a behind-the-scenes look into what motivated Spielberg to make this movie. Powers’ book, “Spy Pilot: Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident, and a Controversial Cold War Legacy” is the definitive account of his father’s life based on personal files that have never been previously available, including the transcript of his father’s debriefing by the CIA, other recently declassified documents about the U-2 program, and interviews with his contemporaries.

Francis Gary Powers Jr. is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cold War Museum, a 501(c) (3) charity in Vint Hill, Virginia, near Washington, DC. As Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study, he works with the National Park Service and leading Cold War experts to identify historic Cold War sites for commemorating, interpreting, and preservation. He served as a consultant to Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller, Bridge of Spies. He lectures internationally and appears regularly on the History, Discovery, and A&E Channels.

A limited number of VIP tickets will include a pre-screening reception with Gary Powers. VIP tickets cost $35 for Coronado Island Film Festival and Coronado Historical Association members, veterans, and military and $40 for non-members. General admission tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased on the Coronado Film Festival’s website www.coronadofilmfest.com.

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