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Secret City

In 2002, Lee Salter joined Maurice Glassman and William Taylor to challenge the City of London’s Ward Elections Bill in the House of Lords. Salter worked as the legal researcher and after a dogged fight, they took a step toward fundamentally challenging the power of the City.

Suffice to say, the City managed to wrangle its way out.

Nearly ten years later Salter recounted the story to a Londoner on a hungover stumble around the City of London. The Londoner had lived there all his life but knew nothing of this story. “We should make a documentary about this”, said the Londoner, Anthony Killick.

After scrabbling around for a couple of months trying to make a documentary about London with no decent equipment and next to no film making skills, Lee told the story to the film maker Michael Chanan. It took one lunchtime discussion for Michael to come on board.

Over the next year, Salter got in touch with his old contacts and Secret City was born. Selling out across the UK and screening everywhere from Argentina to New Zealand, Secret City made quite an impression, even winning the London Independent Film Award for Best Documentary Feature.

The other achievement was to seemingly turn Salter into a life-long enemy of the City of London, but that’s another story.

By Lee Salter

Dr Lee Salter is a researcher and award-winning film maker. His research focuses on politics, media and communication and activism. He has published more than 15 peer reviewed papers. He has written and directed hour feature documentaries including Secret City, a film about the City of London and the Corporation that runs it, The Fourth Estate, a documentary about the UK media, Money Puzzles, a documentary about the economic crisis, and Injustice, a documentary about prison.

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