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The Visa

An Improbable Couple... an Intriguing True Story
 

The Brief:

An earnest paralegal and a displaced immigrant team up as an unlikely couple in a daring test of the law that will either transform their lives or get them respectively disbarred and deported.

The less Brief:

Cathy is Scottish, Pavlo is Albanian, but that’s not the only reason they’re worlds apart... she’s a paralegal in her law firm’s immigration department… he’s a night-time cleaner in her office block.  When their lives collide, an unlikely friendship is forged.  Moved by his predicament as a displaced would-be immigrant who cannot return home, Cathy hatches an ingenious but wrong-side-of-legal plan to help Pavlo get his precious Visa.  Pavlo's role in this quid-pro-quo is simple... he merely has to get Cathy pregnant! The illicit collaborators become embroiled in the process of artificial conception… Pavlo is stocked up with syringes and sterile cups, while Cathy is up to her elbows in ovulation and pregnancy testing kits. Through both her job and Pavlo, Cathy becomes immersed in the plight of would-be immigrants and their fight against the asylum system.  Emotions see-saw as Cathy juggles domestic expediency with professional ethics; while Pavlo struggles to evade detection as an illegal worker. Despite the cultural divide, the mismatched pair begin to sense there may be more to their alliance than mere procreation… but their budding romance is just one positive pregnancy test away from being over.

(Copyright © Michael Normand, 2023)

See full Synopsis

The Agitators:

 

Having had to flee from a blood feud in a remote part of his native Albania, mild-mannered librarian Pavlo Bublik at least enjoys ‘freedom’; but as a failed asylum seeker, his city of haven is a dubious refuge.  Finding himself as an enslaved night worker, cleaning office toilets for below minimum wage, he’s now desperate for a visa.

Pavlo Bublik

Downtrodden at work as a paralegal, brooding singleton Cathy Salcoats has just been transferred to the law firm’s immigration department.  When the dishevelled Pavlo appears in her office, he’s not just a client... he’s a solution.

Cathy Salcoats
The Evidence:
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'The Visa is a highly original black comedy with a social conscience and a huge heart' - Industrial Scripts

'The script has truly enthralling character arcs and backstories and would make a fascinating indie drama if given the chance to shine' - The Black List

 

'In terms of originality, the narrative does have some

tonal similarities to films such as “Green Card", but

'The Visa' does its own take' - Slated

'A strong premise & concept for a romantic dramedy -  it fuses lovable odd-couple sensibilities with a commentary

on relevant contemporary themes such as illegal immigration' - Slated

The Visa is positioned to be a hilarious, thoughtful, and heartwarming addition to the romantic comedy and dramedy genres' - Slated

          See full Script Coverage Summary

The Suspects:
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Attached* as 'Cathy' - SHAUNA MACDONALD

The Descent, Filth, Ripper Street, Swung, Moondogs, The Nest, The Cry.

BAFTA Scotland: Winner: Best Actress (2018)

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Attached* as 'Pavlo' - NIK XHELILAJ

‘The Albanian, ‘Seven Lucky Gods’, ‘Direnis Karatay’

 

​PriFest: Winner: Best Actor (2021)

* The cast attachments are confirmed and subject to contract and final availability. 

They are currently non-binding & non-committal all parties.

Opening Arguments:

'The Visa’ is a character-driven story with a hard, realistic edge... it's a darkly comedic drama... with a conscience.

 

In its essence, it’s a story about the lengths two incongruous characters will go to if sufficiently desperate and driven; but there are a number of elements that distinguish this film from the mere will-they-won’t-they.  It’s a film about collisions and contradictions.  Cathy & Pavlo come from worlds apart, yet her immigration paralegal and his asylum-seeker couldn’t be a more seamless fit.  The undercurrent of shared goals and obstacles is obvious -  Cathy’s biological imperative will echo with many women, while Pavlo’s need for safe haven taps into one of the most emotive and controversial societal issues of our day.  This contemporary backdrop provides a canvas against which the consequent high-stakes drama is played out. 

Case Law:

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Defence Team (to date):

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Writer/Director:

MICHAEL NORMAND

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Producer:

JAMES RYAN

The Case:

 

  Highly Contemporary Theatrical Feature

Oct 2023 draft: 90 pgs

City non-specific

Can be set anywhere in the U.K.

Certified British-Qualifying

via BFI Letter of Comfort

Budget: £0.9m

Available on request:- Script / Synopsis / Treatment / Budget / Finance Plan

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