Passport, please

Patricia Pepper

Book Cover

GENRE

BIOGRAPHICAL ROMANCE ADVENTURE ACTION YOUNG ADULT

    Core Theme

    IMMIGRATION, INTERNAL JOURNEY, LOVE

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    EMILY IN PARIS, TED LASSO, BORDER SECURITY, BORDER CONTROL:EUROPE

    CHARACTER LIST

    THEMIS: 35. A YOUNG BRAZILIAN IMMIGRANT FROM RIO DE JANEIRO TO THE UK. ADORABLE, INTELLIGENT, AND FUNNY.

    BALDER. 38. THEMI'S SUPERVISOR AND MENTOR, AN OFFICER AT THE LONDON AIRPORT. GRUMPY BUT ALSO KIND.

    MICHAEL. THEMIS' FIRST MENTOR IN THE BRITISH CIVIL SERVICE. HE HAD A CRUSH ON HER AND HELPED HER TO GET A JOB AS AN IMMIGRATION OFFICER.

    MATT. A POLICE OFFICER WHO BECOMES THEMIS’S HUSBAND.

    ISIS. 18. A PASSENGER FROM BRAZIL PURSUING HAVING AN ABORTION IN THE UK.

    Logline

    It is a book of stories that recounts the adventures of Themis, a Brazilian beach lover turned United Kingdom immigration officer, who draws back the curtain on the British immigration service to present her unique view on its inner workings and behind-the-scenes activity at border control.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    London, UK.

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Visto a Vista Ltd

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    The main character, Themis, arrives in the UK and gets stopped by airport security who inspect her luggage. This happened soon after September 11th and changes her life completely. She goes on to build her life in the UK, from working for McDonald's until she gets a position at the airport.

    Ending Description

    Themis became a very successful border control officer and meets a police officer who helps her rebuild her life.

    Group Specific

    immigrants/immigration

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1-8380161-7-3

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Themis

    Age: 35

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Romantic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Balder

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Aggressive,Confident,Engaging,Educated,Leader,Patriotic,Skillful,Sarcastic,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Various passengers

    Age: multiple

    Gender: Other

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Criminal

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    The book could be adapted both as a film (a trilogy) or as a tv series. It talks about the challenges faced by immigrants when trying to start a new life in a foreign country. These start at airport arrivals. The interesting aspect of the text is that the story is narrated by an immigrant herself who, having left her country of origin, Brazil, had to rebuild her life in a foreign land. She faces many challenges but perseveres and reaches the position she desires in the British civil service, working as an immigration officer policing immigrants like herself. She tells us her story through her own eyes and her real-life experience takes us behind the screens that separate us from the inner workings of the airport giving us a glimpse into areas that are inaccessible to the general public. It also explores the main character's personal conflicts and ethical dilemmas she encounters while executing her job. Immigration is a hot topic and many people would sympathise with the main character and see many of her experiences and challenges in their own lives. The main message is it is possible to make dreams come true regardless of a person's background, gender or nationality.

    Genre

    ROMANCE, DRAMA

    Brief

    Themis is leaving behind her life in Brazil to start a new chapter in the UK after facing harsh experiences (her best friend died in a car accident, and her husband cheated on her, as we later find out). When she arrives at the London airport, she gets stopped by security who inspects her luggage -- that moment changes her life. As she adjusts to the new culture, she finds a job as a supermarket checkout operator to a British civil servant. Mistreated and prejudiced, she quits and starts working as an assistant in the Tax Administration Department. A few years later, she gets a job as an immigration officer, working for Immigration and Border Control at the airport. Themis becomes a very successful border control officer, encountering many people with unique motivations and dealing with ethical dilemmas along the way. She also meets a police officer who helps her rebuild her life.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, it is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The narrative combines exciting storylines based on the author's real-life experiences and challenges as an immigrant. Through Themis, the audience gets to see behind the screens that separate passengers from an airport's inner workings. The general public gets a peek into areas usually out of reach, such as the watch house, the "pan,” and the holding room. It is interesting to learn about the procedures adopted to refuse entry to those who do not meet the strict criteria for admission in a country and common tricks used to try to fool an immigration officer.

    Possible Drawbacks

    As fascinating as they are, some flashbacks cut into the flow of the story, such as when she recalls her grand-grandparents immigrating from Italy to Brazil or when she remembers her previous job taking customer calls. These stories are overly detailed, and some are irrelevant for developing the narrative. In addition, Themis' judgment of Isis, a young Brazilian seeking an abortion in the UK, is unnecessary. Before she even meets the girl, Themis states she will refuse her entrance without explaining why.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    Topics such as immigration are in the spotlight. There’s a potential to make people sympathize with the diversity of characters and their motivations, experiences, and challenges of leaving a life behind to survive in a new country. Themis takes the audience behind the scenes of the British immigration system, which is rarely seen in movies or TV shows.

    Fanbase Potential

    This is not a story for fanbases. However, Themis is a charismatic character, and she has an exciting life as an immigrant. This hot topic can make people sympathize with the diversity of characters and their motivations, experiences, and challenges. It's also a story about belief, desire, and the ability to make their dreams come true, which allow the audience to cheer for them.

    Awards Potential

    The immigration issue is constantly in the headlines, and the Awards have been giving more attention to diversity over the years. Although this story is not about refugee crisis, there is the opportunity to explore some accounts as a drama or comedy that could attract Awards attention.

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    EMILY IN PARIS, TED LASSO, BORDER SECURITY, BORDER CONTROL:EUROPE

    What’s New About the Story

    Themis takes audiences behind the scenes of the airport's inner workings, and the public gets a glimpse into areas that are usually off-limits. Her job involves a strict training procedure and naturally requires her to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the British immigration regulations and balance empathy since she is also an immigrant. The contradictions in her new life stand out to her: an immigrant policing immigrants. Comedy, drama, and romance all have their place in this story.

    Lead Characters

    Themis is charismatic, and her life as an immigrant is fascinating. While she understands that her job is to enforce the law, she cannot help but feel compassion for her fellow immigrants. As she watches dreams of a brighter future shattered and feels sad about it, she is equally disappointed by how people are willing to lie and deceive. Balder is also an interesting character, grumpy while being adorable at the same time. He provides excellent comedy relief in this story.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Although there are some reality shows and documentaries about border control at airports, the inner workings of immigration are rarely explored in movies or TV shows, especially considering the human aspect. This story gives room for fictional interpretations of current circumstances, exploring diversity and reaching different audiences.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    It's unique and exciting to learn more about what goes on behind an immigration system. Bringing together Themis experiences and passenger stories can make for a great combination. Creating fictional interpretations of real-world situations offers an opportunity to examine diversity and reach all kinds of audiences. Some flashbacks, though, as fascinating as they are, cut into the flow of the story, so it would need an improvement on how to approach it.

    Brief

    Themis is leaving behind her life in Brazil to start a new chapter in the UK after facing harsh experiences (her best friend died in a car accident, and her husband cheated on her, as we later find out). When she arrives at the London airport, she gets stopped by security who inspects her luggage -- that moment changes her life. As she adjusts to the new culture, she finds a job as a supermarket checkout operator to a British civil servant. Mistreated and prejudiced, she quits and starts working as an assistant in the Tax Administration Department. A few years later, she gets a job as an immigration officer, working for Immigration and Border Control at the airport. Themis becomes a very successful border control officer, encountering many people with unique motivations and dealing with ethical dilemmas along the way. She also meets a police officer who helps her rebuild her life.

    What We Liked

    Immigration is a hot topic. People would easily sympathize with the diversity of characters and their motivations, experiences, and challenges. The main character, Themis, is also an immigrant starting a new life in a new country. Ironically, her task is to decide whether immigrants should be allowed entry into the UK to begin a new life. She has quickly acquired a reputation for turning people away. She takes the audience behind the scenes of the British immigration system, which is rarely seen in movies or TV shows.

    Film: As a movie, Passport Please would be better served by focusing more on Themis’s story, rather than passengers, since there would not be enough time to develop it fully. A flashback to her life (before getting to the UK) could be triggered by two or three passengers and their motivations. Although there are some reality shows and documentaries about border control at airports, the inner workings of immigration are rarely explored in movies or TV shows, especially considering the human aspect.

    TV: As a series, Passport Please has many characters and great stories to be explored. There could be an episode for each passenger and their reason for visiting the UK, highlighting diversity and reaching different audiences. Through flashbacks, it is possible to explore insight into the characters’ motivations and Themis's reasons to decide their fate. Comedy, drama, and romance all have their place in this story.

    Key points:
    1. Immigration
    2. Dreams come true
    3. Happy ending
    4. Meaningful message
    5. Low budget

    Synopsis

    It was a September morning in 2001 when Themis decided to change her life. She left behind her life in Brazil to start a new chapter in the UK after facing harsh experiences (her best friend died in a car accident, and her husband cheated on her, as we later find out).

    When she arrives at the London airport, several armed police officers in the airport make the place look like a battlefield. The world was shaken to the core by the attacks on the World Trade Center in the United States. While the customs officer proceeded with his inspection of her belongings, she observed how the airport workers went about their tasks. Something about this environment fascinated her.

    It has been years since that moment in the airport changed her life. Now, after six long weeks of a training course, she has secured her position as an immigration officer, working for Immigration and Border Control at the airport. Balder is her supervisor and mentor for the first few weeks and shows her how to recognize liars trying to get into the country illegally. On her first day working at the airport, she had to deal with a Brazilian guy lying about his purposes. In her first case, she refused his entrance.

    The passenger's stories remind her of the time she first moved to the UK. She had to adjust to the new culture and face prejudice from her former bosses while serving at a fast-food restaurant in a shopping center and as a supermarket checkout operator to a British civil servant. Humiliated, worthless, not able to defend herself from injustices due to the language barrier. Three years later, though, she successfully joined the civil service and worked in the government department as an assistant in the Tax Administration Department. She jumped straight into her dream job as an immigration officer.

    To get to the airport, she had to learn how to drive. At one point, she ran out of gas in the middle of the road. Cops stopped to check her out, and one of them was a handsome police officer; he gave her his number in case she needed anything. Days later, the police officer shows up as a trainee volunteer at immigration control in the airport. His name was Matt, and he wanted to see Themis again. Once they got along, they started dating.

    At this point, Themis was already a highly successful border control officer, encountering many people with unique motivations and dealing with ethical dilemmas along the way. One of the passengers, Isis, was a young Brazilian girl seeking a legal abortion procedure in the UK. Themis suspects that something isn't right and finds out that the girl's fiance forced her to have an abortion against her will. She prevented Isis from entering the country and managed to send her home safely. Isis expressed gratitude to Themis for saving her child. A few years later, Themis got married to Matt, and they now have a son.

    About The Author

    Patricia Pepper was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and she holds a Masters’ Degree in Bilingual Translation from the University of Westminster in the UK. She spent more than ten years working for the British Civil Service, first as an HMRC official and then an immigration officer. In 2016, she established her own company as an immigration advisor and had published articles on the subject.