In her vital role at the secretive Bletchley Park, a young intelligence analyst feels the weight of the world on her shoulders as she's forced to confront the cost of war and the barriers set before her. Based on a true story.
Atlas is a nine-minute short film that explores themes of gender and service during an incredibly formative moment in our history – the Second World War. It is based on the powerful true story of Caroline Chojecki MBE, a naval intelligence analyst based at Bletchley Park during the War.
Atlas tells the story of C, a twenty-four year old U-Boat specialist who has proved her worth in the complicated web of Naval Intelligence but still faces antagonism from her male colleagues. From Bletchley Park to Churchill’s War Rooms and Whitehall, the characters we will meet and the journey we will take are full of intrigue and depth. Atlas is truly like no war story told before, while C represents a new kind of war hero: an incredibly capable yet unappreciated woman determined to serve her country.
Atlas is written and directed by Freddie Green (Caroline Chojecki's grandson) and produced by Sophie Charrington.
As a young and predominantly female creative team with relatives who served in the war, we see ourselves as a new generation of filmmakers approaching the subject through an updated lens. We see the lack of female-led war stories onscreen as peculiar, yet an intriguing opportunity.
Our story speaks directly to our current moment in its themes and approach. It celebrates heroism but sharply defines the cost of war rather than glorifying it. It illustrates a desire to afford ‘ordinary’ people the same reverence as figures such as James Bond or Wonder Woman while exploring the brutality of war, burden of service, and the era's treatment of women.
Our story has the propensity to reach great heights. We intend for Atlas to not only serve as a exciting film in its own right, but to provide an intriguing taster for an even more ambitious project.
With Atlas, I want to celebrate my grandmother Caroline Chojecki’s amazing contribution to allied intelligence during the Second World War. After nearly four years of development, it’s time to put what’s in my head into the frame, stimulate engagement about the film's themes, and provide a taster for an exciting future project.
I hope to use the project to establish the many fantastic collaborators passionately onboard. We are a predominantly female creative team and many of our cast and crew have faced challenges on entering the industry.
Many of our team, including myself, graduated from the prestigious Drama Centre London in 2020, where the damaging effect of COVID and the closure of the school greatly impacted our emergence into the professional industry, meaning we missed out on many opportunities to display our talent to agents and producers, doubtless diminishing our career prospects. This project is a chance to uplift those who I know are capable of great work – something my grandmother would be proud of.
Caroline Chojecki (née Rowett) MBE, was recruited from Cambridge at age 22 into the Naval Section of the Government Code & Cypher School at Bletchley Park, focusing on the analysis of German U-Boats. At Bletchley, she created a card-indexing system invaluable as a comprehensive and usable database in the decryption of German signals. She developed similar systems for the Admiralty in London and, in the postwar, US Intelligence. Chojecki later became a key member of the Soviet Studies Research Centre until her retirement in 1992 at the age of 72. She passed away in 2017 at the age of 97. You can read more about Chojecki in the obituaries published by the The Telegraph and The Times as well as view her record on the Bletchley Park website.
Our characters are not the flawless heroes of similar films, but exist heavily affected by the spectre of war. Liberated from feminine clichés (romance, motherhood, helplessness etc.) C demonstrates resilience, intelligence and skill. Her journey highlights the tightrope many women walked during this time and can be relatable to even a modern audience.
We hope the designed ambiguity of many moments and characters will cue conversation – not only mirroring Bletchley Park's code-breaking history but imitating the female experience of indirect sexism.
Freddie began in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before moving to South Africa in 2016 to join Theatre for Africa. After training at the University of Cape Town, he gained a first-class honours degree in Directing from Drama Centre London, Central Saint Martins. He joined DugOut Theatre in 2019 as an Associate Artist. His work traverses joyful comedy and engaging drama across stage and screen.
Sophie has spent the last 3 years working as a freelance lead producer on a variety of media; ranging from live streams, music videos and documentaries, to corporate and social media advertisements, to immersive virtual and augmented reality media. Her latest client was Amazon Prime for their livestream launch of Season 3 of their hit tv show ‘The Boys’. She is also currently lead producing a documentary on female athletes.
Laura began in Paris, studying and creating short fashion films for a fashion magazine. She moved to London five years ago to become a focus puller and worked her way up to high-end TV for Sony, Netflix, ITV and Channel 4, while shooting music videos and short films. After becoming a full-time Director of Photography, she shot ‘Aniccam’ in Cambodia for Nowness Asia. She has worked for Universal, Channel 4 and shot her first feature early this year starring Eric Roberts and George St Pierre with producer Steve Lee Jones. She’s an ASC mentee and ACO associate member.
Isabel trained in Theatrical Costume at RADA and in production arts at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. A Queen Elizabeth Scholar, she was awarded Excellence in British Craftsmanship for Historic Dress. Isabel has ten years of professional experience in Set & Costume design, Costume Supervision, Costume Making, Props & Puppetry Making, Scenic Art and Carpentry. She is currently a resident Props Maker at the Royal Opera House.
Following her graduation from Drama Centre London in 2020, Katie has worked on a variety of pieces with a particular interest in work championing the female voice. She is thrilled to be a part of “Atlas” as it provides an opportunity to explore an untold female perspective on working at the male-dominated Bletchley Park. Credits include: Not Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Happy Idiot), Charley’s Aunt (Proud Haddock), Pride and Prejudice, The Importance of Being Earnest, Bard on Board (Queen Mary 2, RADA Cunard).
While the actual scale of our film is smaller than most shorts, the period setting and level of quality we believe the subject matter deserves have lead us to identify this level of budget.
If you are interested in this project and would like to see it come to fruition we would be eternally grateful for any help you can give us. We welcome any amount, however small.
This is such an exciting time for British film and we see ourselves as a new generation regarding the subject matter of this so formative chapter in our history and culture.