Drama - Development 2014

An explosive mixture of hell, friendship, survival and farce.

    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 5 - 10 M$
    • Duration
    • 120 mn
    • Writer(s)
    • Frederique FEDER, Hugh MACLEOD
    • Producer(s)
    • Hugh MACLEOD (Morphe Films), Peter GARDE (Zentropa)
    • Synopsis
    • 'The Cloud Garden' is based on a true story and Sunday Times bestseller about two English backpackers who decided to cross the Darien Gap, a dangerous strip of swamp, jungle and forest between the landmasses of North and South America. Kidnapped by terrorists, held hostage at gunpoint, in fear of being beheaded...An explosive mixture of hell, friendship, survival and farce.
      The Darien Gap is a place of legend. It is an impregnable strip of swamp, jungle and forest between the landmasses of North and South America. Stories of kidnap and murder are common in the region. More people have scaled Everest than have crossed The Darien Gap.
      In 2000, Tom Hart Dyke, a young botanist, set off to Central America with one thing on his mind: orchids. Unbeknown to Tom, another young explorer, Paul Winder, was backpacking though the area at the same time. Pure chance brought them together and their fate was sealed. Ignoring repeated warnings about the dangers of trekking across El Darien including the ‘don’t even think about it’ warning from the Lonely Planet Guide, Tom and Paul set off on a journey that would change their lives forever: Tom in search of orchids, Paul in search of adventure.
      For six days they made good progress with their guides until just hours away from the Colombian border, the dream ended and the horror began. Paul and Tom were ambushed by guerrillas and taken hostage. From that day on, their survival was a matter of extraordinary endurance, incredible ingenuity and luck.
      For the next nine months, the guerrillas moved them from camp to camp in the jungle to avoid detection by the locals and other paramilitary groups. As Tom reflected later: “There were low times, high times and terrifying times as well as some fantastic times. It was a huge a roller-coaster of emotions.” It was not long before they realised that the guerrillas planned to ransom them for $3 million dollars.
      From the low points when their captors tried to force Tom to leave Paul in order to collect the ransom, to the high points when they convinced them that Eric Idle’s ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ was the British national anthem, they relied on each other and never lost hope.
      Then one day without warning, the guerrillas released them. Their euphoria was short-lived however, when they realised that they might never get out alive. Hopelessly lost in one of the most dangerous jungles in the world known as Suicide Gulch, they had no choice but to return to their kidnappers and ask for directions.
    • Partners & financing
    • The third draft of THE CLOUD GARDEN is complete and we are in the process of packaging the project in addition to finalising co-production/distribution partners and finance.
    • Production schedule
    • TBC
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Aug 01, 2014
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