Docs

C4 challenges Windfall to “Escape from Colditz”

Windfall Films has been commissioned to make Escape from Colditz (pictured), a 90-minute doc about the escape plan of two British prisoners-of-war via homemade glider, which will air on Channel 4 in the UK in the summer.
February 9, 2012

Windfall Films has been commissioned to make Escape from Colditz (working title), a 90-minute doc on the escape plan of two British prisoners-of-war via homemade glider, which will air on Channel 4 in the UK in the summer.

The film will see engineer Dr. Hugh Hunt and his team attempting to rebuild the glider in the same loft in Colditz Castle (pictured above) where the POWs worked away during the Second World War in 1945, using similar materials and homemade tools.

Although the two real-life POWs never saw their glider, known as the “Colditz Cock,” fly because the war ended before they could test it, the modern day engineers will follow the original plans to see whether the glider would launch safely from the roof. The team will have to construct a runway 20 metres above ground on the apex of a roof, and create a launching mechanism.

Besides the glider recreation, Escape from Colditz also features Hunt learning about his uncle, who spent time at the infamous castle from 1941-45, and challenges the doctor to recreate some of his uncle’s wartime inventions.

Channel 4 specialist factual commissioning editor Julia Harrington said: “I love ideas that put visual spectacle and real engineering challenge center stage – and that’s certainly what Windfall and Hugh are doing here.”

Executive producer Ian Duncan added: “I’m already practicing the German for ‘I’m sorry our glider hit your house.’ Hopefully it won’t come to that, but that’s why this is exciting – no one knows whether this is actually going to work.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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