Are you going to the Toronto Film Festival this year? Want to make it through customs unmolested on your way home? Maybe you should consider skipping the screening of DOAP – no, it’s not Dugongs on a Plane. It’s Death of a President. And it’s a mockumentary about the assassination of George W Bush.
Now that I have the Secret Service’s attention, here’s the press release:
New York, NY (August 31, 2006) – The Toronto International Film Festival released new details today regarding a film in their line-up. Previously referred to as D.O.A.P., the film’s actual title is DEATH OF A PRESIDENT. This fictional drama, which mixes archival footage with narrative elements, focuses on the assassination of President George W. Bush in the style of a retrospective documentary. DEATH OF A PRESIDENT makes its world premiere in the festival’s Visions section on September 10th at 8:30 p.m. at the Paramount 3 Theatre in Toronto.
"We’re thrilled to be screening the film at Toronto," said writer/director Gabriel Range. “It’s a striking premise which may be seen as highly controversial. But it’s a serious film which I hope will open up the debate on where current US foreign and domestic policies are taking us.”
DEATH OF A PRESIDENT is a thought-provoking critique of the contemporary American political landscape. In the film, President Bush is confronted by a massive anti-war demonstration as he arrives in Chicago to make a speech for business leaders. Unperturbed, Bush goes ahead with the visit but as he leaves the venue, he is gunned down by a sniper. While the nation mourns, the hunt for his killer swings into action and the state apparatus tries to make sense of this horrific attack on the administration. The investigation soon focuses on a Syrian-born suspect.
DEATH OF A PRESIDENT is co-written and directed by Gabriel Range ("The Day Britain Stopped"), and is produced by Borough Films’ Range, Simon Finch and Ed Guiney. The executive producer is Robin Gutch. U.S. rights are represented by William Morris Independent, with distribution already secured in the UK by Film Four/Channel 4.
Range has made a couple of these fake docs – The Day Britain Stopped was about a fictional series of accidents that crippled the British transport system, while The Man Who Broke Britain was about a financial meltdown. The general style is that the docs are from the future, looking back at events we’re just about to experience.
Matt Drudge is already freaked out about DOAP, and that should give the film some notoriety on some level. I haven’t seen Range’s other films, so I can’t tell you what to expect, but I will say that my interest is piqued. And not just because I hate Bush! The basic format sounds interesting, and reminds me of the excellent CSA: Confederate States of America.