Congratulations to the 2019 first place winner of the NYWIFT Ravenal Feature Film Grant, A Call to Spy, which was awarded the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival!
Lydia Dean Pilcher’s A Call to Spy was produced by SMT Pictures, LLC and written by Sarah Megan Thomas. The film is based on the true story of three civilian women in Winston Churchill’s “secret army” who formed an unlikely sisterhood while entangled in a dangerous mission to stop Hitler.
Pilcher has produced numerous award-winning independent feature films, including eleven movies in a long-standing collaboration with director Mira Nair and other films including The Darjeeling Limited, directed by Wes Anderson, and You Don’t Know Jack, directed by Barry Levinson. She is the founder and president of Cine Mosaic, one of New York’s leading independent production companies.
The Anti-Defamation League on why they unanimously chose this film:
“The courageous heroism of soldiers risking their lives to counter the Nazis is not a new story. It is new, at least for the big screen, that the heroes featured in A Call to Spy are women, and it is certainly worth discussing why it has taken so long for their stories to be celebrated in this way. What made these women truly remarkable… was the strength of their common conviction despite their varied identities.
The lead characters enter frame in A Call to Spy bound by how the world sees them — an American foreign servant with a disability, a Muslim pacifist of Indian heritage, and a Romanian Jew fearing deportation. By the end of the story, their shared commitment to defend the human dignity of others supersedes any limiting labels, and their diversity proves critical to the success of their respective missions. ADL is proud to stand up with these [A Call to Spy] filmmakers in highlighting real life heroism…”
The ADL honor comes on the back of winning the Audience Choice Award in record numbers in Canada, where the film received the first standing ovation in seven years at Whistler Film Festival. 97% voted for A Call to Spy as their favorite film , “the highest numbers since La La Land took home the prize!”
The film also won Best Female Directed Feature from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.