An Undocumented Rumor by Philip Sedgwick | Script Revolution

An Undocumented Rumor

A journalist for a TV network heads to Arizona to sleuth out a rumor regarding a terrorist attack. Rumor true, she enlists a team to thwart the attack and the forces behind it.



Page Count: 



Age Rating:


BASIRA NEJEM, a reporter for the Al Shams TV Network (like Al Jazerra), is dispatched to
Arizona to investigate claims that a terrorist plot to invade the U.S. through the Mexican border
is in progress.

Upon arriving in Arizona, she encounters SENATOR SALLY MERCER, a politician fanning the
fear-mongering rumors of the rumored terrorist attack, holding a press conference at the airport.
Immediately, Basira’s questioning draws the ire of the senator and places her on a personal watch

Basira explores the Arizona- Mexico border where an explosive device planted in the road
blows a car tire, rendering her on foot in the desert night. Distant lights beckon her to the
local watering hole where she meets a young bigot, WILLIE SHELTON, already hammered. It
takes Willie no time to get in Basira’s face, accusing her of being a Muslim insurgent, in fact,
one of those rumored to be coming across the border.

Willie’s father, laid-back rancher, TREVOR SHELTON, is called to retrieve his son, and
learning of Basira’s situation, invites her to dinner at their ranch as a peace offering.

The dinner party includes Trevor, Willie and members of local law enforcement who are friends
of the ranch. Views are shared and understanding appears to bring all together. Basira befriends
the affable ranch cook, CARLOTTA, who eavesdrop and learns of Basira’s story assignment.
Carlotta confides that she has a lifelong friend, ESPERANZA, who works for the Department of
Homeland Security. When Basira reports her tense encounter with SENATOR SALLY
MERCER, Carlotta arranges a meeting between Basira and Esperanza.

When Basira and Esperanza meet, she learns something horrifying: there is a terrorist mission
forming with roots in Mexico. The mission is orchestrated by covert U.S. operatives who want a
higher and longer border fence and unlimited funding for the military-industrial complex.
Operatives have removed detainees from Guantanamo Bay and dropped them in the Mexican
desert with the intent to train them to conduct what is supposed to appear as an attack. Then the
potential terrorists will be intercepted by savvy, heroic agents at the border.

At the first opportunity, the detainees take out their trainers in the Mexican desert. Now they
have the plans, paperwork, weapons and money to carry out a terror attack.

Their mission: Blow up a gas supply line between Tucson and Phoenix, and carry out a massive
car bomb attack at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

Fueled by a desire to please her controlling Arabian father and a steady stream of societal
prejudice, Basira determines that she is the one to quell the imminent attacks - no matter what the
outcome. She cannot approach any federal or law enforcement agency. The plan is illegal, barely
believable, and spearheaded by none other than Senator Mercer, who with her strong political
and covert organizational ties, keeps all the devilish details off the radar.

Basira sleuths out where and when the attacks will occur. She convinces her reluctant Arizona
acquaintances to form an unlikely, makeshift militia. She directs Trevor, local law enforcement,
and Willie, to intercept the pipeline attack. She assigns herself the task of thwarting the car bomb

Basira races to intercept the vehicle containing the explosive device on a remote Arizona road.
At the last possible moment, she swerves her rental car into the vehicle’s path. She leaps from
the vehicle, shouts a plea to Allah, and tumbles off the road. A crash and massive explosion.

Bloody and battered, Basira comes to in a ditch. She crawls to the road view the result... burning
vehicles, dead terrorists and a detonated explosive device.

After convalescing at the Shelton ranch, witnessing the arrest of Senator Mercer, Basira returns
to her network to compile the story. On her return flight, a drunk, hostile passenger confronts her
nationality and her intentions on the airplane. As the altercation escalates, the pilot is summoned
to quell the disturbance. The pilot aware of Basira’s heroics from news reports, handcuffs the
passenger and declares Basira a true American hero.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Best Feature Screenplay, San Antonio Film Festival, 2019
Best Original Screenplay, Burbank Film Festival, 2016
Finalist, Official Selection, Beverly Hills Film Festival, 2016
Finalist, Hollywood Screenplay Contest, 2016
Top 100 Hot Screenplays, Capital Fund Screenwriting Competition, 2016
Finalist, Story Pros Awards, 2016
Official Selection, Oaxaca Film Festival, 2016
Finalist, Story Pros International Screenplay Competition, 2015
Finalist, Richmond Film Festival 2017

Submitted: January 23, 2018
Last Updated: September 28, 2020

Want to read this script? You must join the revolution first. Don't worry, it's free, easy, everyone's welcome, and you can start reading right away.

This Script Is Loved By 3 Readers

Jeffery Kaye's picture
Wilmer Villanueva's picture
Lesley Lillywhite's picture
Philip Sedgwick's picture

The Writer: Philip Sedgwick

Philip wrote his first script at the prompting of a writer friend. He entered his second script, Neon Cactus, into the Academy's Nicholl Fellowship, which placed as a Quarter-Finalist in the prestigious competition. Since that time, more than thirty of his screenplays & films have received acclaim from film festivals, fellowships and competitions. Philip served as a juror for the Prescott Film Festival for the past several years, where he also presents screenwriting workshops. His produced short films have screened and won at many film festivals. A handful of feature scripts can be read on ScriptHop (links provided). It is my practice not to post short screenplays online. However, any... Go to bio

More Scripts From Philip

On the Verge
When a talented Indian woman is placed in a mental facility, she pulls out her creativity to inspire other inmates to create a video that goes viral.
Short Drama, Musical For sale 21pp
4 readers love this script
Christmas at Cascabel Gulch
A retired, grieving professor heads west to discover a predicted comet and while stuck in Cascabel Gulch, discovers the Christmas spirit.
Feature Family, Western For sale 101pp
3 readers love this script
The Filmmaking Territory
An actress in Arizona during the silent film heyday, woos investors, competing directors, desperados and one very handsome cowboy as she aspires to stardom.
Feature Adventure, Drama, History, Western For sale 93pp
2 readers love this script
Neon Cactus
A successful businessman uncovers a secret from his wartime past with the aid of a mysterious woman and a cactus in the sweltering Arizona desert.
Feature Action, Drama For sale 98pp
Nicholl Fellowship - Quarter-Finalist
2 readers love this script
Cactus Junction
When an African-American woman arrives in the Arizona west, she enlists the help of a local madam, inept lawmen and a preacher’s wife to take on mining interests to protect the town’s water supply.
Feature Drama, Western For sale 94pp
2 readers love this script
Creep Factor
After a mother rescues a boy from drowning, mysterious forces compel the family to adopt him, without realizing the psychic mayhem he will introduce into their Rockwell-esque New England household.
Feature Drama, Horror For sale 104pp
2 readers love this script
Three Nights Only
A comedienne has a chance encounter with a recently unemployed man rumored to be devoid of a funny bone.
Short Comedy In development 15pp
1 reader loves this script
An Unfinished Agenda
Two journalists, previously separated in a war zone, reunite in the Arizona desert to document vigilante activities and catch up with their incomplete personal agenda.
Short Action, Romance For sale 8pp
1 reader loves this script
The Ghost's Writers' Workshop
The ghost of a screenwriter murdered in a historic Arizona hotel resurrects hope for the afterlife when a group of wannabe screenwriters arrive for a workshop coinciding with Dia de Los Muertos.
Feature Drama, Horror, Romance For sale 99pp
1 reader loves this script
Frost on the Pumpkin
A centuries old ghost, previously exorcised, is resurrected by a gathering of unwitting cheerleaders, and now seeks to fulfill its ancient yearning for revenge, no matter what.
Feature Horror For sale 113pp
1 reader loves this script
Fate Date
When two millennials on a first date receive news of a sibling's accidental death, their relationship requires otherworldly assistance to continue past their grief.
Short Drama, Romance For sale 15pp
1 reader loves this script
When two couples come upon a meteor landing site at the same time, the claim to the celestial object becomes a battle of wits and gender, and a declaration of love.
Short Action, Drama For sale 16pp
1 reader loves this script
An overpopulation activist finds herself seeking legal counsel after her proposal to a school board about free condoms handouts goes awry.
Short Drama For sale 14pp
1 reader loves this script
Belle's Bones
In the 1890's Arizona, a clairvoyant prostitute wrestles with information received from the other side about a murder committed in the brothel where she works.
Short Crime, Romance, Western For sale 12pp
Scarier Times
During the Cuban Missile Crisis two spies, whose personal relationship was found out, confront each other on the motives of their affiliation, and what can be done to cope with the perilous times.
Short Drama For sale 8pp
Superior Conjunction
After a communications blackout caused by a superior conjunction of Earth and Mars, two astronauts realize they are the only humans alive and an abandoned space colony on Mars remains their only hope for life.
Feature Sci-Fi For sale 100pp
A Piece of Heaven
An unemployed funeral planner and a documentary filmmaker are stalked by aliens who stress their newly minted relationship to find if they have the right stuff to deliver the alien’s message to the world.
Feature Comedy For sale 99pp
Cavalier Club
When a gentleman's club owner replaces his dancers with robots, one of the displaced dancers leads a labor rebellion.
Short Drama For sale 16pp
Virtually Christmas
As a young couple celebrates Christmas on Magi Day (Jan 6) they confront the unorthodox timing of the celebration, and more to the point, the why.
Short Drama For sale 13pp
Body of Work
An organ-trafficking coroner and his fiance have a life-changing confrontation on the anniversary of their engagement.
Short Crime, Drama Sold 6pp