Turing Film Project

February 12, 2011

Back in September 2009, I posted a note here about UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s official apology to Alan Turing, the English mathematician and pioneer computer scientist.  Turing was a central figure in the successful British effort, at Bletchley Park, to break coded messages produced by the Germans’ Enigma cipher machine; some historians say that the efforts of Turing and his colleagues shortened WW II in Europe by two years.   He also was a pioneer in the fields of computer science and artificial intelligence.   Sadly, because Turing was gay, he was convicted of “gross indecency” in the early 1950s, and ultimately took his own life.

I’ve just recently received a note from the producer of a new film project (film trailer there), which aims to produce a documentary about Turing’s life and work. The production team aims to release the film in 2012, one hundred years after Turing’s birth.

Alan Turing is one of the most important scientists who ever lived. He set in motion the digital revolution and his World War II code breaking helped save two million lives. Yet few people alive today have ever heard his name or know his story. A documentary film is being developed to change this. 100 years after his birth, an international production team is set to take viewers on a journey to rediscover the man and the mystery.

Among those on the project team is Dr Andrew Hodges, author of the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma.

It’s truly a shame that Turing’s work, and its importance, are known to so few non-specialists.  I’m glad that this project will try to remedy that, and I wish them all the best.

%d bloggers like this: