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The Missing Highlander

TO BE RELEASED ON JUNE 28, 2022 - This feature documentary was shot in the middle of the covid pandemic, with no budget, and no crew!

76 years after they were written, a collection of letters from the Second World War caught the attention of the 34-year-old historian and French author Clément Horvath: In the summer of 1944, a British soldier mentioned his nephew Joe, posted as missing in action shortly after the D-Day landings... What had happened to him?

The author turned filmmaker embarked on a long investigation full of twists and turns, from the archives to the former battlefields of the little-known and disastrous Operation Epsom. Using rare archive footage, exclusive interviews (veterans, witnesses, experts...) and re-enactment scenes shot where the real action took place, his self-produced documentary ‘‘The Missing Highlander’’ tells the true story of Joe, gives an insight into the research work that led to the discovery of his fate, and pays tribute to the men and women who fell for our freedom.

  • Clément Horvath
  • Clément Horvath
  • Clément Horvath
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    The Missing Highlander
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    War, documentary, WWII, Investigation, History
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 13 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 28, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    France, United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, French
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Bridge of Peace

    Best first film
  • Vesuvius International Film Fest

    Best Documentary
  • Birmingham Film & TV Festival

    United Kingdom
  • Manchester Lift-off Film Festival

    United Kingdom
  • Do it Zero

    United Kingdom
  • CInque Ports International FIlm Festival

    United Kingdom
    Official Selection
  • Mémorial de Caen
    June 5, 2022
    Official Premiere
Director Biography - Clément Horvath

Clément Horvath is a Frenchman with a great interest in the history of the Second World War, specializing in the correspondence of Allied soldiers. It all started at an early age when his father took him to the American cemetery in Colleville... Since then, he dedicates most of his time to the memory of the men and women who sacrificed everything to get rid of nazism and fascism.

More than 15 years of collecting WWII memorabilia led to the publication of his first book Till Victory: The Second World War by those who were there (Pen & Sword Books, 2020), based on its French version, a bestseller awarded in January 2020 with a History Prize in the presence of HRH Caroline of Hanover and First Lady Brigitte Macron. In June 2022, the American version of Till Victory won the Army Historical Foundation's "Distinguished Writing Award" (by the National Museum of the United States Army).

Following the publication of a Tome 2, a series of podcasts (his interviews of British and American veterans) and a few short videos on his Till Victory Youtube channel (such as "Red Beret & Dark Chocolate"), Clément embarked in the fall of 2020 on the production of his first feature-length investigative documentary, The Missing Highlander.

It was a crazy challenge: in the midst of the Covid pandemic, with no budget and no crew, he opted to work on his own from writing to post-production, including camera work, sound recording and even the composition of the soundtrack... Armed with three cameras and three microphones, he travelled around Normandy in search of answers with one ambition: to release his film for the 78th anniversary of Joe’s disappearance, and honor his memory. Even before its premiere at the Caen Memorial on 5 June 2022, the film won the "Best First Film" award at the Bridge of Peace Film Festival, the "Best Documentary" award at the Vesuvius International Film Fest, and was a finalist at the Birmingham Film & Television Festival, the Manchester Film Festival and the Do It Zero Festival.

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Director Statement

Why, as a Frenchman, did I chose to write my documentary in English? Since the film honors the memory of a British soldier, and most of the people interviewed in the film are from Great Britain, English was a natural choice (although I added French subtitles). Moreover, the message of peace delivered by this documentary seems universal to me, and making the effort to make a film that is not in my native language but in an international one is a gesture of openness to the world. It is my way of saying to our liberators from across the Channel ‘‘Thank you, and I have not forgotten you’’, a particularly important message in these times of post-Brexit division... My documentary, focusing on the fate of one human being lost in the chaos of war, is first and foremost a film about Peace and Fraternity.