This month sees the TV release of a brand-new hot air ballooning film called “Balloon Man”, which tells the tale of former NFL player Bill Costen’s journey to become the world’s first African American hot air balloon Master Pilot.
The documentary film was released to critical acclaim in a number of film festivals last year, and is now set to take the video-on-demand world by storm with its wider release this month.
The film – written and directed by Costen’s own daughter, Chantal Potter – tells of her pioneering father’s journey to the top of the world of hot air ballooning from the 1970s through to 2016, when he was recognised as Master Pilot. The world of hot air ballooning at first seemed off-limits to the former football star, but the film outlines how he made a place for himself at the very top, becoming a firm member of the ballooning community and undertaking daring ballooning feats of his own.
Potter explained in a statement how hot air balloons come to symbolise hope and aspiration. In creating the film, she hoped to inspire other people to follow their dreams and achieve their fullest potential. Such optimism is fully epitomised by the sight of balloon soaring over the horizon.
It is this spirit of hope and possibility that inspires many people to embark on their own hot air ballooning adventures, which can be undertaken in parts of the south west of England, including Bath, Bristol and Gloucester.