The Suitcase
Mojean Aria as Joe Franek in THE SUITCASE. Photo credit: Jon Keng.

The Suitcase directed by Abi Damaris Corbin is a short film inspired by the FBI investigation of one of the 9/11 hijackers and ringleader Muhammed Atta’s suitcases  left at Logan International Airport. The film will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, April 22nd.

Stuck in the minutia of life Joe Franek, a Boston-bred baggage handler, fears he’ll never amount to anything. Being a pilot is his goal, but the dream seems far off as financial pressures mount.

When tasked with transferring an incoming bag, Franek cracks and steals from the case owned by Mohammad Atta and destined for American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11th, 2001. The suitcase misses Flight 11, forcing Franek to re-tag it for later departure.

Franek’s world is turned upside down when Flight 11 crashes into the World Trade Center. All air traffic is grounded, and the chaotic airport is locked down. Tortured by his careless actions, Franek becomes obsessed with tracking down the bag he delayed. Risking his job and sacrificing his security, Franek becomes a suspect, but his act of courage turns him into an unlikely hero and gives him the legacy for which he longed.

Some facts about the film

1. The Suitcase is based on a declassified Review of Investigation Conducted by the FBI of [Mohammed] A2a’s Suitcases at Boston, MA.

2. There are numerous conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/II hijackers’ suitcases that did board the connecting flight from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).

3. The original letter discovered in Muhammed A]a’s suitcase is displayed at the 9/II Memorial & Museum in NYC. The props team created an exact hand-written replica for the film.

4. The prop master spent nearly two months searching the suitcase for the starring role.

5. Airport scenes were shot at San Bernardino International Airport, which is the only airport in Southern California where film crews can access an operational baggage handling system.

6. The Suitcase is a graduate thesis film sponsored by the prestigious Studio Innovation Grant out of George Lucas’ Entertainment Technology Center at USC.

7. The Studio Innovation Grant was created for Abi Damaris Corbin and is the only project out of USC to be sponsored by major studios: Disney, Universal Pictures, Amazon, and technology partners like Equinix, Wipro, and Google.

8. 17 of the top Hollywood film and tech companies collaborated to make this film.

9. This is the first USC film captured and finished in HDR.

10. Abi Damaris Corbin attended college at the age of 14.

11. The crew members for the film represent 10 different countries.

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