Official Secrets

Official Secrets

Made with investment from Screen Yorkshire

The dramatic and gripping true life story stars two-time Oscar®-nominated actress Keira Knightley as courageous journalist Katharine Gun, who leaked a top-secret National Security Agency memo, putting her life and career on the line and changing the course of modern history. Adapted by Academy Award® winning filmmaker Gavin Hood, the feature film is produced by Raindog Films with support and investment from Screen Yorkshire through its Yorkshire Content Fund.

Raindog Films took over the production after a previous version of the film with a different script, director and cast had fallen apart during pre-production. They inherited lots of sunk costs, which left them with budgetary challenges and meant they couldn’t afford to film in the original locations of Cheltenham and London.

A producer friend of Ged’s who had previously worked with Screen Yorkshire, suggested they might be able to help. Screen Yorkshire acted very quickly to do so. They introduced the producers to the local area and provided a clear indication of what could and couldn’t be done. After a couple of days, it became clear that the locations in Yorkshire meant the crew could duplicate the visuals of Cheltenham and London, but at a fraction of the cost.

'Official Secrets' is in cinemas from 18 October 2019

Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund also proved invaluable. Raindog Films had already secured funding from a Chinese investor, which Screen Yorkshire then matched. This meant that when Raindog Films approached studio Entertainment One about the movie, having the finances in place meant that the decision to take on the project was a no-brainer.

During filming, Screen Yorkshire continued to actively support the production team. They were constantly sensitive to the needs of the film, even if that meant that at times the crew had to film outside the region.  This attitude was particularly appreciated by the crew, who felt that Screen Yorkshire were part of the production team and shared their ambition for the film to be both a commercial and creative success.

What’s more, Screen Yorkshire’s support continued, even when the cameras stopped rolling, providing insightful creative notes on the films cut, which Raindog films saw as an unexpected – but additional – bonus.

Screen Yorkshire shared our ambition for this film to be both a commercial and creative success. They were very supportive and film-maker friendly

Ged Doherty, Producer, Official Secrets