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Dallas In Wonderland - JFK Conspiracy Flick

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JFKCountercoup2: Dallas In Wonderland - JFK Conspiracy Flick

Ryan Page to write and direct Kennedy conspiracy pic 'Dallas in Wonderland'

13th Sign Pictures will fund and produce thriller co-written by Adam Parfrey

By JEFF SNEIDER Posted: Wed., Jan. 16, 2013, 1:56pm PT


As the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination approaches, the mystery surrounding the murder has inspired another indie movie, as Tommy Alastra and Joe Mundo of 13th Sign Pictures have signed on to finance and produce "Dallas in Wonderland," a conspiracy thriller that will be directed by Ryan Page ("Queens of Country").

Written by Page and Adam Parfrey, contemporary story follows a documentary filmmaker and his female producer who are hired by a major TV network to do a puff piece for their planned motorcade reenactment that will take place during a televised memorial ceremony. Finding themselves wrapped up in the network's plot to prove that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, the duo close in on the central narrative surrounding one of history's greatest murder mysteries, triggering the climax of JFK's assassination to play out in front of a worldwide TV audience.

"Adam Parfrey and I [have] crafted what feels to us like an altogether new kind of thriller, featuring the very latest research done in the JFK assassination case," said Page, who will produce with Alastra and Mundo. "This story has not fully been told. It continues to evolve and is rife with the most interesting storylines and fascinating real-life personalities I worked with Joe and Tommy on previous films and when it came time to select our production partner for 'Dallas in Wonderland,' there was never even a debate."

The JFK assassination serves as the basis for writer-director Peter Landesman's Playtone-produced indie "Parkland," which will star Paul Giamatti as Abraham Zapruder, while director Jonathan Demme spent some time developing an adaptation of Stephen King's novel "11/22/63," though he let the project go when his option expired.

13th Sign Pictures, which is focused on telling original stories and will serve as a collaborative home for filmmakers, most recently produced the documentary "Sunset Strip," which debuted at SXSW and will air on Showtime this spring.

Parfrey owns and operates Feral House, which has been publishing innovative and celebrated non-fiction books since 1989. He also co-founded the new imprint Process Media.

Page, who directed the Lizzy Caplan-Ron Livingston pic "Queens of Country," is repped by WME and Untitled.

Contact Jeff Sneider at jeff.sneider@variety.com

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It seems to me that there are several true stories that involve aspects of the Kennedy period or the assassination that are waiting to be told, all of them involving historical characters, some based on well-known books.

I'll tip to my own wish that I had a good reason (i.e., "it could be sold") to write a script on the Bayo-Pawley raid. I'm sure other people have their own love-to-see-it-done projects.

Perhaps it's an easier sell to recreate the assassination as a fantasy that becomes real and repeats itself on live TV. That keeps a distance between reality and the dramatic material.

Edited by David Andrews
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Here we see two conflicting interests: the film makers who want to make an interesting and commercially successful film - Versus the public interest/research community who want to advance the case and the cause.

If we learnt anything from Oliver Stone's movie it is that the adage "there's no such thing as bad publicity" isn't true when it comes to the JFK case. If anything, Stone's movie took us three steps forwards and one step backwards.

Yes, it raised awareness in a new generation, and yes, it lead to the creation of the AARB.

However the MSM will jump all over any factual inaccuracies in the film and use them to prove the Warren Commission was "right all along" as they did with JFK. They will use this to portray the film makers as cashing in or paranoid or both, as they did with Stone.

And if the film maker tried to defend their film with "well, it's not supposed to be a factual documentary" then the MSM can say that the film isn't even intending to be truthful in order to discredit any good factual information contained within.

Personally, I'd love to see a film along the lines of Executive Action made where there are no Stone-like departures from facts. (I gather that Mark Lane left the Executive Action project over such departures from the record)

The challenge, of course, is making that an interesting and commercially successful film.

Edited by Martin White
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