Damien Lewis (filmmaker)

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Damien Lewis
BornMarch 1966 (age 57)
Weymouth, Dorset, England
Occupation(s)Author, filmmaker
Eva Maletnlema
(m. 2004)

Damien Gavin Lewis (born March 1966) is a British author and filmmaker who has spent over twenty years reporting from and writing about conflict zones in many countries.[2] He has produced about twenty films.

He has written more than fifteen books, some of which have been published in over thirty languages. His books have appeared on bestseller lists in many countries. He is a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


Lewis worked as a war correspondent,[3][4] and between 1991 and 2005 he wrote, directed, produced and filmed a number of documentary films for National Geographic, the BBC, Channel 4 and Discovery, amongst others, largely focusing on investigating and exposing environmental and human rights violations in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

In 1991 Lewis's independently-funded documentary film Parks or People?, about conflict between rainforest conservationists and indigenous tribes in the Congo, won the Wildscreen Film Festival Golden Panda Award.

In 1998 he created a documentary film for the BBC, Hidden Cost of Heroin, exposing how heroin is traded for wildlife on the Burmese border. This film won at the BBC One World Awards.

In 2000 Lewis's documentary film Death in the Air, about the use of chemical weapons in the Sudanese civil war, was a finalist in the British Rory Peck Awards, but its accuracy was disputed by the London-based European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council.[5][6]

In 2004 Lewis wrote his first book, Slave, a novel which won the Index on Censorship Book Award at the Index on Censorship Awards.[7] The book was later adapted as a film, I Am Slave, which won the Drama Award at the BBC One World Media Awards in 2011.[8] Slave was also adapted into a stage play: Slave - A Question of Freedom, by Kevin Fegan, produced and directed by Caroline Clegg and Feelgood Theatre Productions. It won Best Stage Production at the inaugural Media Awards 2011 in association with the Human Trafficking Foundation, and Best New Play at the Manchester Evening News Awards.

In 2005 Lewis's documentary War Hospital produced by CTV Television Network and the National Film Board of Canada, about International Committee of the Red Cross doctors working in the world's largest field hospital in Sudan, won the Best of the Festival Award at the Columbus International Film & Video Festival.

Lewis has written other fiction and nonfiction books. In 2006 he was chosen as one of the "Nation's Twenty Favourite Authors" by the UK Government's Quick Reads Initiative in association with World Book Day.[citation needed]

In February 2018 Lewis became a patron for the Scottish charity Bravehound which provides assistance dogs for veterans.[9][10]



  • Operation Certain Death: The Inside Story of the SAS's Greatest Battle (Century, 2004) - The account of Operation Barras, the attempt by the SAS to rescue the British Forces captured by guerrilla militia group the West Side Boys in Sierra Leone.
  • Bloody Heroes: Ultimate Betrayal – Ultimate Firepower - Ultimate Revenge: The True Story of Britain's Secret Warriors in Afghanistan (Century 2006) - The account of British and American special forces unit deployed against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
  • Apache Dawn: Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned (Sphere, 2008) A chronicle of the apache pilots deployed in the Afghanistan war.
  • Fire strike 7/9 (Ebury, 2010) An account of an apache helicopter Fire Support Team's tour of Afghanistan.
  • It's all about Treo: Life and War with the World's Bravest Dog (Quercus Publishing, 2012) - The true story of Treo - the world's most highly decorated living dog – whose job it was to sniff out bombs in Afghanistan.
  • Zero Six Bravo: 60 Special Forces, 100,000 Enemy, The Explosive True Story (Quercus, 2013) - Tells the story of a Special Boat Service unit caught in a ferocious enemy ambush in Iraq, who managed to inflict massive damage on their enemies despite being outnumbered and outgunned.
  • War Dog: The No-man's Land Puppy Who Took to the Skies (Sphere, 2013, ISBN 978-0751552751) - The true story of a German Shepherd puppy Antis, rescued from World War Two no man's land in France by Czech fighter pilot Robert Bozdech, and their lives together.[11]
  • Churchill's Secret Warriors: The Explosive True Story of the Special Forces Desperadoes of WWII (Quercus, 2014) - The story of Winston Churchill's first 'deniable' secret operative force to operate behind enemy lines in World War II.
  • Judy: A Dog in a Million: The Heartwarming Story of WWII's Only Animal Prisoner of War (Quercus, 2014) - An account of the only dog to be declared an official Prisoner of War in Sumatra in World War Two.[12]
  • The Nazi Hunters (Quercus, 2015) ISBN 978-1-7842-9390-1 - About the SAS's secret mission after WWII to hunt the SS commanders responsible for the murder of their comrades.[13]
  • Hunting Hitler's Nukes: The Secret Race to Stop the Nazi Bomb (2016), ISBN 978-1-78648-208-2, details the Norwegian heavy water sabotage by Norwegian & British Commandos of the Vemork Hydroelectric Plant during WW2.
  • SAS Ghost Patrol (Quercus, 2017) ISBN 978-1-7864-8313-3; LRDG/SAS raids on Tobruk and Barce in 1942.

Biographies and memoirs[edit]

  • Slave (PublicAffairs, 2004) The life story of Mende Nazer who was stolen from her village in the Nuba mountains and sold into life as a domestic slave in Khartoum and then London.
  • Tears of the Desert: Surviving The Genocide - One Woman's True Story (Hodder & Stoughton 2008) The biography of Sudanese doctor Halima Bashir who suffered greatly as a result of speaking out about the torture of her people by the Janjaweed Arab militias.[14]
  • Little Daughter: A Memoir of Survival in Burma and the West (Simon & Schuster, 2009) The life story of Zoya Phan, a Karen refugee from war-torn Burma who went on to become the face of Burma's enslaved people.
  • Homeland: An Extraordinary Story of Hope and Survival (Simon & Schuster, 2010) Tells the story of U.S. President Barack Obama's Kenyan half-brother George Obama who gave up a life of crime to help improve the lives of children in the Nairobi slums.
  • Forbidden Lessons in a Kabul Guesthouse: The True Story of One Woman Who Risked Everything to Bring Hope to Afghanistan (Virago, 2011) Is the story of how Suraya Sadeed set up an underground school for girls in Kabul, offering hope and aid to thousands of fellow Afghans.
  • Against a Tide of Evil: How One Man Became the Whistleblower to the First Mass Murder of the Twenty-First Century (Mainstream Publishing 2013) - The story of Mukesh Kapila, the former head of the United Nations in Sudan, who brought about justice for those responsible for the Darfur genocide.
  • Agent Josephine: American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy (PublicAffairs, 2022)


  • Desert Claw (Arrow, 2006) The fictional tale of ex-SAS soldier Mat Kilbride who takes on a black ops deniable mission to forcibly retrieve a priceless Van Gogh painting looted from a palace in post war Iraq.
  • Cobra Gold (Century 2007) The fictional story of SAS veteran Luke Kilbride's search for 50 million dollars worth of gold bullion he and his team stole in a Beirut bank heist twenty years before.


  1. ^ Smith, Andrea (4 July 2010). "At peace with family life". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Truth stranger than fiction for Bear Grylls’ first novel Ghost Flight". June 6, 2015 Claire Bickers, Perth Now
  3. ^ "Gramp Grylls Ghostly Secret". Sunday Herald Sun 7 June 2015
  4. ^ "Bear Grylls: Action man turns best-selling author". Stuff.NZ, Julie Dann, July 12, 2015
  5. ^ "In Praise of Propaganda?: The Rory Peck Awards: 'Death in the Air,' Sudan and Chemical Warfare". The European Sudanese Public Affairs Council, August 2001
  6. ^ "'Death in the Air,' Sudan and Chemical Warfare". The European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council / The Wisdom Fund. August 2, 2001. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  7. ^ "The Index on Censorship Award winners 2004, X Index: The Voice of Free Expression". The Index on Censorship Book Award
  8. ^ "One World Media Awards 2011".
  9. ^ "Antis and Thomas Masters". The Confederation of Service Charities. 22 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Angus Bravehound pup Antis set for movie fame". The Courier. 13 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Book review: War Dog by Damien Lewis". Blackpool Gazette, Pam Norfolk 30 September 2013
  12. ^ "Book Review: Judy, by Damien Lewis". HistoryNet, Staff 2/25/2015
  13. ^ "Book Review: The Nazi Hunters by Damien Lewis". Radio NZ, 7 October 2015 Reviewed by Rae McGregor
  14. ^ "One Woman's True Story of Surviving the Horrors of Darfur". The Scotsman. Review by Lesley McDowell, 9 August 2008

External links[edit]