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Sir Ben Kingsley and Josh Hutcherson join Backstabbing For Beginners

Shutter Island

Story by Jack Foley

OSCAR winner Sir Ben Kingsley and Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games franchise) are set to star in the political thriller Backstabbing For Beginners.

Inspired by Michael Soussan’s critically acclaimed memoir, Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy, the film tells the story of Michael (Hutcherson), a young idealist who lands his dream job as a program coordinator for the U.N.’s Oil for Food program.

He is thrown into an already fraught post-war Iraq where government agents and power-hungry countries are circling Iraq’s oil reserves like sharks. He seeks answers from the one person he thinks he can trust, Pasha (Kingsley), his boss, a seasoned diplomat.

The more Michael learns, however, the more he suspects a conspiracy at the highest level. The only way out will be to expose it all – risking his own life, his mentor’s career, and the life of the Kurdish woman he loves.

Co-written by Daniel Pyne (The Manchurian Candidate and The Sum of All Fears) and Per Fly (who also directs), the feature film will begin principal photography in January 2016.

The film is an official Danish – Canadian co-production with support from the Danish Film Institute, DR, the Swedish Film Institute, SVT and Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

Robert Ogden Barnum, of Fortitude, commented: “Michael Soussan’s first-hand account of the dark underbelly of one of the world’s leading humanitarian organizations provides rich source material for Per Fly and Daniel Pyne who superbly capture the sharp and witty tone of the novel in their script.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better cast with The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson, who is a household name world-wide, and Sir Ben Kingsley, one of the best actors of our generation, who is consistently at the top of his game.”

Kingsley and Hutcherson are also serving as executive producers.

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