Secretive government agencies, classified information, international hideouts and charges of espionage -- these are the makings of a Hollywood spy thriller. What began as an anonymous National Security Agency leak has turned into a media frenzy following Edward Snowden, the informant who revealed a secretive government-sanctioned data-mining project to the American public, and the world.
Now, a group of amateur filmmakers, based in the city where Snowden initially fled, Hong Kong, have taken a stab at the global drama that continues to unfold.
“While nearly every media outlet wanted to get their hands on him, we decided to produce a short fiction video to depict his experience in HK, and how it would have affected certain parties,” the group J.Shot Videos wrote on its YouTube page. “Namely, the CIA contingent based in HK who would be tasked to find Snowden. The Hong Kong police who would be stuck in between the U.S. and China, and the journalists who want to get the scoop.”
Though filmmakers cast a uncanny doppelganger for Snowden, they said they knew too little about the character for him to be a prominent feature in the five-minute flick. “We really knew little about him,” they said. “Although he is a central character, he is not the most prominent. It is more about the maelstrom of events surrounding him.”
The short is titled "Verax" after the alias (Latin for "truthful") that Snowden used when speaking to journalists on encrypted chat services. It was made in five days.
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