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.

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98pp

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Synopsis/Details: 

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
list.

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
attack.

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

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This Script Is Loved By

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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

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