By Ludovic BERNARD


True Story - Development 2019

Based on the true story of a mother's plight to save her son who was wrongly incarcerated in a French Military prison. A race against time, she needs to save him before he is killed by the other jail mates or sent to war in Beirut.

& Awards

Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival 2017
Screenplay won 2nd place
Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival (TINFF) * 2017
Screenplay in Official Selection
Season 10 INFLUX Magazine Film Awards * 2017
Script is a finalist at Season 10 INFLUX Magazine Film Awards
    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • True Story, Drama, Thriller
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 10 - 25 M$
    • Duration
    • 108 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Ludovic BERNARD
    • Writer(s)
    • Slavica BOGDANOV
    • Synopsis
    • First Part: 1978: A mother and her two children leaves France for Canada, the promised land of business opportunities.
      Three years later, they are happy successful citizens, owning a pastry shop in a very well located part of time. Their main clients are CIA (RCMP) officers coming for lunch and pastries.

      Her son, Filip, longs for the country he grew up and saves his money for a touristic trip down memory lane. He visits the French Consulate to make sure his papers are in order and he gathers the travel documents he would need to not be bothered at the border.

      May 22nd 1984, Filip (22) arrives at the Charles De Gaule airport, happily awaiting a vacation he has been looking for for the last 5 years. His intention is to enjoy his two weeks and plan his future honeymoon with the woman he just proposed to.

      As he steps at the border control, two military officers grab him and place him under arrest for 48 hours without food or water. In the meantime, his cousin impatiently waits at the gate.

      The military police takes Filip to a prison military camp 140 kilometers away where he is finally authorized to make his first phone call and reach out to his mother for desperate help.

      Second Part: As soon as she hears the news, even if devastated, she decides to do everything in her power to get her son out. She calls every level of government and even reaches out to the First Lady, a close acquaintance of the family. Yet, no one seems to be able to help.

      Meanwhile, Filip is treated as a deserter. Being a foreigner he receives severe punishment and harsh treatment from officers and guards.
      He also goes through the process of being experimented on by the medical staff.
      His new found friends warn him about two of the most vicious criminals in the prison : a serial rapist and a killer who both plan to rape and subdue Filip.
      His girlfriend, hearing he might spend one year in jail, leaves him for someone else.

      Filip is beaten repeatedly, and feels the threat of rape and murder closing up on him. His suicide attempt fails. He falls into despair and apathy.

      Third Part: After over a month of trying all she can, her mother tries a last resort and calls a very notorious radio show. The next day, the show airs.
      The show makes a big wave and his mother is overwhelmed with the response. Hundreds upon hundreds of letters arrive daily sharing similar stories.
      More newspapers cover the story of the "Kidnapped Canadian".

      Due to the scandal the media created, the french army is forced to let Filip go after 50 days in jail. But a general warns his mother that someone might kill Filip before he steps out of the country in an act of retaliation.

      His cousin comes to the prison to urgently drive Filip to the airport. They rush through traffic on the highway and on Paris streets, chased by two suspicious looking Range Rover SUVs.

      Last scene: Filip celebrating with his family while his friends are being killed in Beirut.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Nov 25, 2019
    • End of shooting
    • Jan 21, 2020