Stephen Walker (filmmaker)

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Stephen Walker
OccupationAuthor and Filmmaker
Known forShockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima

Stephen Walker is a British author[1] and filmmaker. He was educated at Oxford and Harvard universities.[2] He has directed or produced around 30 films,[3] and was twice voted in the top 10 directors in the UK in Broadcast Magazine.[4] His production company is Walker George Films.


His first book, King of Cannes: Madness, Mayhem and the Movies (1999) was published by Bloomsbury and Penguin USA in 2000.[5] Based on his acclaimed BBC documentary and film festival favourite Waiting for Harvey, it was described by the Guardian as “entertaining and hilarious.”

Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima (2005) his second book, tells the gripping story of the final three months before the dropping of the atomic bomb in August 1945. It was published by HarperCollins and in a number of foreign languages (including in Japan) to considerable critical acclaim, winning favourable comparisons to John Hersey's classic postwar account Hiroshima. It received starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews and was described as “electrifying” (Chicago Tribune), "a page-turner" (Entertainment Weekly), and "stunning…among the most immediate and thrilling works of history I have ever read." (Irish Times)[6]

Shockwave is presently in development as a feature film with Working Title Films and Universal. The screenplay is by Hossein Amini and the director will be Cary Fukunaga, who directed the new James Bond movie No Time to Die.[7] Shockwave was republished in a new edition in the United Kingdom by HarperCollins on 23 July 2020 - the 75th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb.[8]

Stephen Walker's next non-fiction book, with the working title Beyond is a tense narrative set at the heart of the Cold War in the spring of 1961 when the US and the USSR raced to put the first human into space. The book will be published on 15 April 2021 by HarperCollins in the US and UK, sixty years after the Russian Yuri Gagarin successfully orbited the Earth.[9] In late September 2019, as part of his ongoing research, Stephen travelled to the Baikonur cosmodrome in the Kazakhstan desert to witness the launch of the latest Soyuz manned mission to the International Space Station.[10] The rocket blasted off from the same pad as Gagarin in April 1961.

Film and Television[edit]

Stephen Walker has won a BAFTA, and was nominated for three further BAFTAs (including Best Documentary and Best Director) for his Channel 4 documentary, A Boy Called Alex, a film described by The Guardian as "glorious." He has also won an Emmy and two Rose d'Ors, Europe's most prestigious television prize. His film Young@Heart, the tale of a chorus of American seniors who sing rock music, won the Los Angeles Audience Award in 2007 and went on to win a further 23 film festival audience awards worldwide including Paris, Sydney, Warsaw, Nashville and Atlanta. Young@Heart was released in 250 theatres by Fox Searchlight in the US in 2008. A key scene from the movie where the late octogenarian Fred Knittle sings Coldplay's Fix You has had 2.5m hits on YouTube.[11]

He is currently developing A Boy Called Alex as a dramatised feature film for DNA Films and Film 4. The story is about a brilliant teenage musical prodigy at Eton College who suffers from the disease cystic fibrosis. The screenwriter is Tom Edge who wrote for Netflix's hit series The Crown, and Judy, the 2019 biopic of singer Judy Garland.

Education and Personal Life[edit]

Stephen Walker was educated at St Paul's School, London and Worcester College, Oxford University, where he gained a BA in Modern History. He subsequently won a John Lounsbery Fellowship to study as a postgraduate at Harvard University, receiving a master's degree in Philosophy and History of Science, before joining the BBC.

His former partner is the television producer and director Sally George. They continue to run their company Walker George Films together.[12] In his spare time he flies a tiny plane for recreation. He lives in London and has one daughter.



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  4. ^ "Hot 100: Directors | News | Broadcast". 18 December 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
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  7. ^ Cary Fukunaga to direct Stephen Walker's Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima for the big screen
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  13. ^ Faking It: Punk Rocker to Orchestra Conductor (2002) at Channel Four

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