One Life – European premiere

This evening filmmakers, the family of Sir Nicholas Winton and Kindertransportees were reunited at the BFI London Film Festival American Express Gala screening of James Hawes’ inspiring film ONE LIFE.

At the end of the film, ONE LIFE’S director James Hawes took to the stage and asked for anyone who was alive because of the Prague Kindertransport to stand if they could, creating a moving moment reminiscent of memorable scene from That’s Life when the whole studio audience stood in recognition of owing their lives to Sir Nicholas and his friends. Over 200 stood in the audience tonight.

Held at London’s Royal Festival Hall, attendees from the film included ONE LIFE’s director James Hawes, writers Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake, and producers Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Guy Heeley and Joanna Laurie. Kindertransportees, those who made the journey to the UK from Prague on the eve of World War II, included Renate Collins, Lord Alfred Dubs, Alexandra Greensted, Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, Dr Lisa Midwinter, Lia Lesser, Eva Paddock, Vera Schaufeld and Peter Schiller. Sir Nicholas Winton, Trevor Chadwick and Doreen Warriner, who were all instrumental in organising the Kindertransport, were represented by family members, including Chadwick’s son Charles Chadwick and grandsons; Warriner’s nephew Henry Warriner; and Sir Nicholas’ son Nick Winton, son-in-law and granddaughter, Steve Watson and Holly Watson.

ONE LIFE tells the true story of Sir Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Winton, a young London broker who, in the months leading up to World War II, rescued 669 children from the Nazis. Nicky visited Prague in December 1938 and found families who had fled the rise of the Nazis in Germany and Austria, living in desperate conditions with little or no shelter and food, and under threat of Nazi invasion. He immediately realised it was a race against time. How many children could he and the team rescue before the borders closed?

Fifty years later, it’s 1988 and Nicky lives haunted by the fate of the children he wasn’t able to bring to safety in England; always blaming himself for not doing more. It’s not until a live BBC television show, ‘That’s Life’, surprises him by introducing him to some surviving children – now adults – that he finally begins to come to terms with the guilt and grief he had carried for five decades. 

ONE LIFE releases in UK cinemas on January 1st, 2024