Bradley Manning Had Secrets

Bradley Manning Had Secrets 6min, 2011
The story of Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley), not as a Wikileaks ‘hacktivist’, but as a young American soldier simultaneously going through a crisis-of-conscience and a crisis-of-identity.

Animated in a rotoscoped pixel-art style and using dialogue from Manning’s online conversations, the film explores issues of personal and political secrets, digital identity and alienation.


Written and Directed by Adam Butcher

Voice Actors
Danny Mahoney
Angus Dunican

Film Crew
Alisdair Cairns
Alec Milne

Ben Claxton
Adam Butcher

Original Soundtrack
Blair Mowat

A Digitalis Commission for Animate Projects.

Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England
and by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.


Best Short Film at Mix Copenhagen 2012


The film premièred at the BFI Southbank for their Digitalis Event. It has currently been accepted at:

International Rotterdam Film Festival
CFC Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival
Holland Animation Film Festival
BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Athens Animation Festival (New York)
Soho Rushes Short Film Festival
East End Film Festival
IndieLisboa Lisbon Film Festival
Saguenay International Short Film Festival
New Horizons International Film Festival
Animasivo Festival – Mexico City
MIX Copenhagen
Sequence Short Film Festival
Sarajevo Film Festival
London International Animation Festival
MIX Copenhagen
Int. Short Film Festival Leuven
St. Louis International Film Festival
AFI FEST Los Angeles
International Short Film Festival Winterthur


– The animation was created by rotoscoping live action footage at a very low resolution. To get an idea of the process, there are making-of videos here and here.

– All dialogue was taken from the real online conversations that Manning had with Adrian Lamo. My source was