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Guadalajara: Trump Inspires Political Thriller ‘The False Prophet’

Variety logo Variety 3/12/2017 Anna Marie de la Fuente
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Taking a page from the current populist climate roiling the U.S., France and other parts of the world, political thriller “The False Prophet” explores the confluence of media and politics in crumbling democracies.

“The False Prophet” turns on a Latino journo of Palestinian descent who develops a Messiah complex after he uses his hefty influence in the media to convince people that the government needs to be overthrown. “I was inspired to write this story after witnessing the rise of Trump and the advent of populism and nationalism in many countries, including in Latin America,” said its Colombian helmer-scribe David Herrera.

One of the buzzed-up titles at Guadalajara’s 13th Co-production Meeting “The False Prophet” marks the feature debut of Herrera who plans to shoot in Spanish with some Arabic. The dystopian thriller set in in the year 2022 was one of three winning projects selected out of 12 entries at the recent International Producers Meeting in Colombia’s Cartagena Int’l Film Festival, which wrapped March 6.

Aiming for a $1.4 million budget, Herrera’s plan is to shoot on location mainly in Colombia and partly in Nazareth or Ramallah by January next year. Israeli producer Tony Copti of Fresco Films, who produced the 2010 Foreign Language Oscar nominated Israeli drama “Ajami,” has boarded the project while co-production talks are still underway with Mexican producer Andrea Toca of Delba Prods. “I’m hoping to get a European co-producer on board,” said Herrera.

In terms of crew, Herrera has snagged Colombian DP Mauricio Vidal whose credits include Sundance Audience Award winner “Undertow” and “The Vanished Elephant,” both by Peru’s Javier Fuentes-Leon. Argentine composer Federico Jusid, whose works take in 2010 Foreign Language Oscar winner “The Secret in their Eyes,” Pablo Larrain’s “Neruda” and Andi Baiz’s “The Hidden Face,” is also attached to the project.

“The False Prophet” has participated in a series of labs since 2015, including those in Rotterdam, Reykjavik, Panama, Recife (Brazil) and Bolivia last year. Herrera is currently in production on historical docu “A Story That Never Ends.”

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