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C4 documentary to reveal the shocking truth about Pearl Harbor

Category: News Release

Channel 4’s Specialist Factual has commissioned from Arrow Media and Handel Productions a co-production that will mark the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor: The Truth will reveal the untold story behind the failure to stop the Japanese attack.

Directed by Christopher Spencer (Race for the White House, Son of God), the documentary is a political thriller that reveals new insight into who was actually to blame for Pearl Harbor. In the subsequent public outrage, Admiral Husband Kimmel – Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet – was found guilty of dereliction of duty and his career was destroyed. But was Kimmel to blame?

Working with Pulitzer-nominated authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, the documentary has exclusive access to the story told in their forthcoming book, A Matter of Honor – a journalistic investigation of Pearl Harbour based on startling new evidence from thousands of newly unearthed documents, letters and photos.

Intercut with this, Arrow Media and Handel Productions will give a blow-by-blow account of the unfolding attack, creating an extraordinary sense of immediacy through the combination of rare, gripping archive material of the day and in-the-moment dramatic reconstruction. Set against the heart-racing countdown to 07:48 am on December 7th, 1941, viewers will be immersed in this cinematic thriller.

Ashley Potterton, Executive Producer, Arrow Media, says: “This is such a fascinating project to work on and is by far the most authoritative account of Pearl Harbour ever to be made. Our heritage is in telling stories, which will appeal to audiences all over the world. With the unprecedented access we have gained and techniques used we have pushed the boundaries of storytelling to shine an entirely new light on the events of December 7th, 1941. It has been great to build on our relationship with Alan Handel and work with the talented Chris Spencer. We hope to captivate viewers by exposing the truth behind the historic event and by re-creating the tension, fear and anger felt during the tragedy.”

Alan Handel, Executive Producer, Handel Productions, says: “When I learned about the book, its authors, and their approach, I knew that this should be a television special tied to the 75th anniversary of the attack. The full story of Admiral Kimmel opens a new window on what really happened and our treatment of the material plays out like a historical thriller. With Chris Spencer as our Director and Arrow Media as our co-producer, we have a dream team in place to make a great film for this historic anniversary.”


About Arrow Media

Arrow Media is one of the UK’s most ambitious creative forces. A fast-growing independent production company, Arrow Media specialises in creating high quality and innovative content across TV, film and digital media; from long-running series to big ambitious projects such as new theatrical documentary Sherpa, RTS winning Live from Space, Investigation Discovery hit TV series See No Evil and NGCI juggernaut Ultimate Airport Dubai.

Founded in 2011 by Tom Brisley, John Smithson, and Iain Pelling, Arrow Media has created and produced hundreds of hours of adventure, science and technology, nature and history programming for the UK, US and International markets. Arrow’s clients include Channel 4, BBC, Sky, Investigation Discovery, Smithsonian Network, Discovery, Animal Planet, TLC and National Geographic Channel.

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About Handel Productions

Handel Productions is one of Canada’s leading and award-winning producers of factual television, drama-documentaries, and animated CGI specials. Our reputation is built on our long history of great storytelling, and creating innovative and entertaining factual television. We are very active in international co-production and work with some of the best companies from the UK and broadcasters around the world.


For further information:

Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual : Rob Coldstream

Production company: Arrow Media and Handel Productions

Executive Producers: Ashley Potterton (Arrow Media), Alan Handel (Handel Productions)