Docs

Channel 4 commissions Cold War espionage doc from Firecrest, Typer

Channel 4 has commissioned a documentary covering the life and alleged espionage career of former Labour government minister John Stonehouse for its ‘Secret History’ strand, the broadcaster announced on Wednesday ...
April 27, 2022

Channel 4 has commissioned a documentary covering the life and alleged espionage career of former Labour government minister John Stonehouse for its ‘Secret History’ strand, the broadcaster announced on Wednesday (April 27).

Coproduced by Firecrest Films and Typer Productions, the documentary recounts how claims emerged that Stonehouse (pictured) colluded with the Czech security service at the height of the Cold War, how successive prime ministers chose to publicly deny the allegations that he was a spy, and how it was decided to “let the matter lie” when these charges were confirmed by a Czech defector.

The film will feature previously unheard testimony from people close to the story, along with archival material, motion graphics, and actors voicing written testimony from the Czech security service’s files on Stonehouse and from British government records in the National Archives.

Shaminder Nahal, Channel 4′s head of specialist factual and commissioning editor, says the documentary reveals new evidence pertaining to the spy allegations, and calls the film a mix of politics, celebrity, mystery and media frenzy.

Keely Winstone serves as director and producer on the film, with Iain Scollay and Matt Paice executive producing.

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.

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