Award-winning Short Documentary: Writing the peace (2016)

The words that changed the course of the 20th Century

John Counsell in his army uniform

The Trailer

Premiered in the UK on 25 February and won the Documentary category.

“Writing the peace”


On 8 May 1945, a document was signed that ended World War 2 in Europe. But who wrote the words that changed the course of 20th Century history? It was an actor turned soldier called John Counsell. This is the story of an unlikely hero who happened to be in the right place at the right time.


Length: 10.37m

The poster designed by John Mundy

A facsimile of the actual document.

The German high command arrive to sign the document of military surrender including the cadaverous-looking Admiral Von Friedeberg (far right)

Writer, presenter and associate producer Jenny Short, one of John Counsell’s twin daughters

Russian General Sukov congratulates American General Spatz on 8 May 1945

Associate Producer Steve Croson re-enacts part of the story with cinematographer Derk Russell behind the camera

John Counsell as actor manager at the Theatre Royal in Windsor post war

The cast and some of the crew on location at the Theatre Royal in Windsor, England.

Writer: Jenny Short Presenter: Jenny Short & Elizabeth Counsell Producer & Director: A D Cooper Editor & Producer: Gary Tobyn CInematographer: Derk Russell Sound Recordist: Mark Andrews Voices: Rupert Baker Associate Producer: Jenny Short, Elizabeth Counsell, Steve Croson ADR & Sound MIx; Alex Mayland Composer: Nina Humphreys

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