A feature film adaptation of the best-selling novel by Michela Wrong.
PROJECT TITLE: Borderlines
FORMAT: Theatrical Feature
LOGLINE: Hotshot lawyer Paula Shackleton, mourning her lost love, travels to a fledgling African state to help settle a border dispute. But as the despotic regime clamps down, she retaliates, crossing professional bounds – jeopardising herself and her mission.
TAGLINE: Who can map the human heart?
GENRE: Legal Thriller / Suspense Drama
BUDGET: USD $2 million / R27 million (estimated)
SHOOT DATE: 2018
AUTHOR: Michela Wrong
WRITER / DIRECTOR: Meg Rickards
DOP: Bert Haitsma
PRODUCERS: Paul Egan & Kim Williams
PRINCIPAL CAST: TBC
STRUCTURE: South African production / Treaty co-production
STATUS: Script Development
British lawyer Paula Shackleton is grieving the loss of her great love when the charismatic Winston Peabody accosts her in a Boston hotel. Peabody represents the small African country of North Darrar, embroiled in a border arbitration case with its giant neighbour. He convinces her that by becoming his assistant she’ll be doing a great service to humanity.
Determined to lose herself in her new work, Paula flies to North Darrar’s capital. Taking testimony in remote refugee camps, delving into North Darrar’s colonial past, and fending off approaches from the CIA man in town — she becomes increasingly uneasy about her role as attack dog for a deeply oppressive regime.
Meanwhile, the arbitration case in the Hague escalates – with unpredictable witnesses and game-changing cross examinations – into a deadly warring between two sides. And there are secrets beyond the courtroom too, in covert meetings involving representatives of western governments.
Paula’s burgeoning friendships with Dawit, a scarred former guerrilla, and with George, an idealistic young doctor, erode her show of cynical indifference until she finds herself taking a step no decent lawyer should contemplate, and in deeper trouble than she could have imagined.
Praise for the Book
Beautifully judged and elegantly written … Wrong knows her subjects – Africa and women – extremely well.
… a first-class legal thriller, written with narrative verve and a reporter’s eye for detail.
With the pleasure of a good, old-fashioned legal thriller, Wrong illustrates how something as abstract as lines drawn on a map can have human consequences, grand as the horrors of war and oppression, familiar as a broken heart.