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The Visa

aka

The Albanian Librarian

The Brief:

An earnest paralegal and a displaced tourist 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.

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The Backstory:

In September 1979 Partizan Tirana played Glasgow Celtic in a famous football match.  The match was famous not for the football, but for the Celtic captain's beard!  Facial hair was not allowed in Albania, but for many in the country, Danny McGrain's beard would become a defiant gesture.  Forty five years later, in Glasgow, the events of that night will make for a dramatic turn in the lives of Pavlo Bublik and Ailsa Salcoats. 

The less Brief:

Ailsa is Scottish - she’s a paralegal in her Glasgow law firm’s immigration department.  Pavlo is Albanian - away from his real life back home as a librarian, he presently finds himself as a night-time cleaner in Ailsa's office block.  When their lives collide, an unlikely friendship is forged.  Moved by his predicament as a jeopardy-ridden tourist who cannot return home, Ailsa hatches an ingenious but wrong-side-of-legal plan to help Pavlo get a precious Visa.  Pavlo's role in this quid-pro-quo is simple... he merely has to get Ailsa pregnant!

 

The illicit collaborators become embroiled in the process of artificial conception… Pavlo is stocked up with syringes and sterile cups, while Ailsa is up to her elbows in ovulation and pregnancy testing kits.  Emotions see-saw as Ailsa 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, 2024)

See full Synopsis

The Agitators:

 

Stranded in Glasgow after hearing that he can't return to his native Albania, mild-mannered librarian Pavlo Bublik at least enjoys ‘freedom’; but now, as a displaced tourist, his city of haven is a dubious refuge.  Finding himself as a 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 Ailsa Salcoats has just been transferred to the law firm’s immigration department.  When the disheveled Pavlo appears in her office, he’s not just a client... he’s an unlikely solution.

Ailsa 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:

Attached* as 'Ailsa' - to be announced

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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.  Ailsa & Pavlo come from worlds apart, yet her immigration paralegal and his residency-seeker couldn’t be a more seamless fit.  The undercurrents of shared goals and obstacles are obvious - Ailsa’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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Line Producer:

JAMES RYAN

The Case:

 

◉  Contemporary Theatrical/TV/Streamer Feature

(comedy drama)

◉ April 2024 draft: 90 pgs

◉ Certified British-Qualifying

(eligible for BFI/HMRC cash-rebate)

◉ Available on request:- Script / Synopsis /

Budget / Finance Plan

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