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VIRGIN AIRLINES SHOOT SHORT FILM AT 35,000 FEET

San Francisco, London and Sydney – May 9, 2012 – Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Australia, today announced that all three award-winning airlines have joined forces to produce the first ever short narrative film shot at 35,000 feet across all three airline's Los Angeles International Airport routes. The three Virgin aircraft cabins served as the backdrop to director and writer, Kat Coiro's film Departure Date.

In conjunction with San Francisco-based agency Eleven, Virgin Produced (the entertainment arm of the Virgin Group) and director Kat Coiro (L!fe Happens, While We Were Here and A Case of You), the film was shot and edited in nine days on three commercial flights while at 35,000 feet, spanning across 28,000 miles and three continents – a first for a short film. Departure Date stars Mad Men's Ben Feldman as "Jake," who experiences love at first sight onboard a Virgin flight when he meets a stranger, "Violet," played by Australian actress Nicky Whelan. Their chance at love continues to unfold across all three airlines, with starring appearances from Philip Baker Hall, Luis Guzmán, Janeane Garofalo and Max Brown. The scenes were shot in Virgin America's First Class and Main Cabin, Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Cabin and Onboard Bar and Virgin Australia's International Business Class cabin which featured the sit-down bar, Ladies-Only bathroom and exclusive Row 5.

"The film is about thinking differently, following your instincts and going for what you want, which fits in very well with Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson's overall way of thinking," said Coiro. "I set out to write something beautiful that would convey that feeling, and the need to challenge norms and reinvent the old way of doing things."

An exclusive screening of the film will take place at Regal Cinemas at L.A. LIVE in June as part of the official kick-off for Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival – hosted by the three Virgin airlines, Virgin Produced, the LA Film Fest, and AEG.

With regular passengers onboard each flight, Virgin Produced worked within the strict confines of in-flight filming at 35,000 feet by utilizing the sought-after new Canon C300 cameras, as well as creating customized modulations of all traditional film equipment. The onboard filming complied with all in-flight regulatory policies and procedures.

In addition to the short film, the Virgin-branded Airlines also jointly launched today a digital and out-of-home advertising campaign to convey the unique Virgin in-flight experience. The campaign creative was developed by San Francisco agency Eleven and is focused on the Los Angeles market. The joint campaign is on the heels of the three airlines synching their global frequent flyer programs, allowing their most traveled customers to earn and spend their miles and points between Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.