Based on the unsettlingly true legal landmark story...
... a dark comedy with a social conscience.
An earnest paralegal and a desperate asylum seeker 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 & Pavlo are worlds apart... their milieus couldn’t be more different - but when their lives collide, an unlikely friendship is forged. Moved by his predicament as an undocumented immigrant-cum- asylum-seeker, Cathy hatches an ingenious but wrong-side-of-legal plan to help Pavlo get his precious Visa. His role in this quid-pro-quo is to get her pregnant! The illicit collaborators become consumed with 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. Emotions see-saw as Cathy juggles domestic expediency with professional ethics, while Pavlo struggles to survive 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 as irony would have it, their budding romance is just one positive pregnancy test away from being over.
Having had to flee his native Albania, mild-mannered librarian Pavlo Bublik at least enjoys ‘freedom’; but as an illegal immigrant-cum-undocumented 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.
Door-mat in love life and downtrodden at work, paralegal 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.
'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
See full SCRIPT COVERAGE
Attached* as 'Pavlo' - CHRIS RYMAN
London Fields, The Secret Agent, 'Bulent' in Count Arthur Strong, 'Malchus' in Killing Jesus, 'Leo' in Home.
Attached* as 'Cathy' - SHAUNA MACDONALD
The Descent, Filth, Ripper Street, Swung, Moondogs, The Nest, The Cry.
BAFTA Scotland: Winner: Best Actress (2018)
* The cast attachments are confirmed and subject to contract and final availability.
They are currently non-binding & non-committal all parties.
The Visa’ is a character-driven story with a hard, realistic edge.
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.
* Prospective Theatrical or TV feature
* Writer: Michael Normand
* July 2021 draft: 103 pgs
* City non-specific
* Can be set anywhere in the U.K.
* Certified British-Qualifying
via BFI LOC
* Budget: £0.5m or upwards
* Script / 4-pg Outline / Preliminary Budget / Finance Plan available on request