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“Sully” Film Features Red Cross Volunteers

The American Red Cross is proud to be featured in SULLY, the newly released film featuring the “Miracle on the Hudson” and the aftermath experienced by hero pilot Captain Chelsley “Sully” Sullenberger.

Included in the movie are nearly a dozen Red Cross volunteers and employees who serve as extras after serving a real-life role in the Red Cross response effort more than six and half years ago.

Among those who helped reenact the response was Chris Mercado, a volunteer who helped hand out blankets to survivors. Watch Mercado’s interview.

“I think that was one of the most important aspects of our relief efforts,” said Mercado. “It shows how quickly the Red Cross responded, how involved we were and how the shoot stayed true to the services we rendered that day.”

Volunteer, Sally Phipps, joined the Red Cross after seeing the organization’s response to the Flight 800 crash in 1996. Since volunteering, she had responded to two previous plane crashes both with tragic loss of life.

“I went into this response thinking the results were going to be the same as the other two plane crashes,” said Phipps. “To go and see passengers get off the ferry safely was amazing!”

Phipps oversaw the passenger area for the Red Cross at the Piers and shared how a man called more than a week after the response to express his gratitude to Phipps for lending his wife her personal cell phone to let him know she was safe. Watch Phipps’ interview.

“It was an extraordinary testament to what the Red Cross does for people during some of their hardest times,” said Phipps.

Red Cross volunteer Dottie Brier recalls responding to a hotel in Queens where passengers and crew members were being taken. There her role was providing disaster mental health care to help people cope with their reactions to the devastating situation. She says working on the film brought mixed emotions.

“It was unbelievable that everyone had survived,” said Brier. “I remember being shocked.”

Brier says reenacting the day brought mixed emotions but was still an exciting experience working alongside Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood.

“We spent the whole day there in the pouring rain re-doing the scenes over and over again. We’d take Red Cross blankets, run up to the people coming off the rescue boats, walk them through the pier and then fold the blankets to start again,” says Brier. “It was interesting to see how much goes into filming a movie. It was hard work!”

Watch: SULLY & American Red Cross Featurette – True Story


From Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood (“American Sniper,” “Million Dollar Baby”) comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ drama “Sully,” starring Oscar winner Tom Hanks (“Bridge of Spies,” “Forrest Gump”) as Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.

SULLY also stars Aaron Eckhart (“Olympus Has Fallen,” “The Dark Knight”) as Sully’s co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, and Oscar nominee Laura Linney (“The Savages,” “Kinsey,” Showtime’s “The Big C”) as Sully’s wife, Lorrie Sullenberger. Eastwood directed the film from a screenplay by Todd Komarnicki, based on the book Highest Duty by Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow. The project is produced by Eastwood, Frank Marshall, Allyn Stewart and Tim Moore, with Kipp Nelson and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Flashlight Films production, a Kennedy/Marshall Company production, a Malpaso production, “Sully.” The film, which opens on September 9, 2016, will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. This film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some peril and brief strong language.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.