On behalf of SMT Pictures we are delighted to announce that WWII espionage drama LIBERTÉ: A CALL TO SPY will have its World Premiere at the 73rd Edinburgh International Film Festival on 21st June, in the same month that celebrates the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. The film has also been nominated for ‘Best International Feature Film’ at the festival.
Inspired by true stories, the film tells the largely unknown story of a group of diverse and inspiring women who were recruited by the new spy organisation “SOE” to be part of Churchill’s Secret Army. The film has been written and produced by Sarah Megan Thomas (Equity) who also portrays Virginia Hall, a young American woman who despite having a prosthetic leg became known as one of the Allies’ most dangerous spies. She stars alongside Stana Katic (Castle, Absentia) as Vera Atkins, a hugely influential figure within the SOE who became known as the ‘Spymistress’, and Radhika Apte (Andhadhun, Sacred Games) as Britain’s first Muslim war heroine Noor Inayat Khan. Linus Roache (Homeland, Summer of Rockets) stars as Colonel Maurice Buckmaster, Rossif Sutherland (Reign) as Doctor Chevain and Marc Rissmann (Game of Thrones) as Klaus Barbie. LIBERTÉ: A CALL TO SPY is the solo-directing debut of Lydia Dean Pilcher and has been edited by BAFTA-nominated Paul Tothill (Atonement).
In 1940, Churchill hastily creates SOE, a spy organisation to disrupt the Nazi war machine. Its mission in France: place spies everywhere to conduct sabotage and subversion. But the British don’t have experienced spies for this new type of warfare, and SOE must resort to recruiting women. The “spymistress” for SOE, Vera Atkins, recruits two unusual candidates to train in Scotland: Virginia Hall, an ambitious American with a wooden leg, and Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim pacifist who must embrace an intelligence operation involving violence. Together, these women form a sisterhood while entangled in dangerous missions to build a new spy network and stop Hitler.
LIBERTÉ: A CALL TO SPY is the first feature film to be made about these historical heroes. Some of the many instrumental sources of information for the script include: SOE’s historical records as well as those of the “OSS” (precursor to the CIA), individuals within the SOE and OSS communities, former CIA personnel, and Virginia Hall’s living relatives. The continuing importance of the film’s historical characters is underscored by the additional recognition recently given to them. For example, Virginia Hall is the subject of three 2019 biographies, and in 2018, Noor Inayat Khan was commemorated with Britain’s prestigious Blue Plaque.
The EIFF World Premiere will be attended by Sarah Megan Thomas, Radhika Apte, Rossif Sutherland, Linus Roche, Marc Rissmann and Lydia Dean Pilcher.