An Honest Politician: School for Future World Leaders
Since I was a child, I imagined it would be amazing if the world had a huge "world leader" school that the brightest and kindest young minds around the world - regardless of socio-economic status - could aspire to. Full-ride scholarships for incredible candidates who have high emotional intelligence, plus drive, and intellectual prowess. If such a school also had the best teachers in the world, surely it would be the perfect place to raise future political candidates for every nation, and that in turn would help turn the planet into something more peaceful and fair.
In 2022, when the war in Ukraine began, I felt compelled to write a movie script about this incredible school that has been in my head since childhood. I have almost zero ties to the film industry, but it felt wrong to do nothing so I wrote a 100-page script for a film that might actually make a difference in the world.
"An Honest Politician: School for Future World Leaders" is a movie that could help inspire a generation of the youngest and brightest minds to get politically involved and make a difference.
How to Help
Ordering and adding a review on Amazon for my screenplay is a little helpful, but the real impact, and my “unreasonable request” is that if you have any ties to movie makers, please let me know () so that maybe I can one day put this on the desk of someone "in the business" and get feedback. With a little tweaking maybe it would be the first example of a "movie with a purpose" in a long time. Lots of movies inspire kids to be "good kids", but not many movies have ever inspired children to get into politics. This represents an idea that I hope goes beyond inspiring children.... the concept for such a school could revolutionize and improve the quality of future political world leaders. What do I know about building a school? Oh absolutely nothing... but I do believe that if this movie got made, it might inspire adults to build such a school, and the rest would be history.
I hope you decide to help me!
The invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 affected me in unexpected ways. As I watched on the news I wished that the United States and other countries would more actively help a country in need against a tyrannical dictator. For the US to help another country without any motive of revenge or resource gain. To do the right thing. I donated some money, as did others, but I started to think deeply about what it would take to have a world where every country had a benevolent leader. Someone with integrity and kindness. Controversy over the relationship between a former president and Putin himself and even possible election fraud makes me frustrated, but perhaps what's most frustrating is that it feels almost normalized now. Even in the most developed nation we expect politicians to be corrupt. What would it be like to have incorruptible politicians? Honest politicians. I started writing a screenplay about such a school, and published it to Amazon in August. I've never written a screenplay before, so it could probably be greatly improved, but the idea, I believe, is solid.
NOTE: I will have to read the script again, but I'm pretty sure my script passes the Bechdel test (two named female characters discuss something that isn't about a man). It definitely features Consent to Kiss.
NOTE: This plot is a massive spoiler for anyone who wants to read the actual script, but helps give an overview of the storyline in the fairly-dry style of "Plot" used in Wikipedia pages about movies.
An opening montage shows John Miller growing up. His dad teaches him to swim as a child in a pristine lake, he does well at swim-meets and at eighteen he wins gold for freestyle for the US at the Olympic games. During training he falls in love with a blonde pole vaulter, Gemma. John takes a family ski trip with his mother, father and Gemma, they watch the 2000 election, but on the drive back get hit by a speeding truck and John’s girlfriend and father die in front of him and his mother. John goes into a depression and gets into bar fights. John’s black friend Hakeem Trey, saves him from a fight and takes him to the gym to turn his life around. John becomes a charming and muscular movie star, featured on a talk show as “world's hottest actor”, but he still struggles to sleep alone at night, and breaks his hand punching his bathroom mirror.
It is now 2026 and Leo Sharpova, the Russian president, visits a secret facility which manufactures small explosive black drones. President Sharpova watches a drone demonstration then mercilessly kills five men with his handgun and drones, for suspected embezzlement. Sharpova puts the nervous Russian scientist Yuri in charge to replace one of the men he killed.
Ethan Miles, a political science graduate, presents a proposal for a "School for World Leaders" to a university panel but is shut down. At home, Ethan gets a promising email from the office of Zeke Farris, an billionaire tech CEO. Ethan's fiance, Jessica, suggests that Ethan takes his attractive and brilliant colleague Zoe to meet Zeke in New York. The charming Zoe and Ethan pitch to Zeke and he agrees to fund a large sum of money, so long as the school is called "The Zeke Farris School for Future World Leaders" and has a reality TV component plus televises the worldwide search for scholarships recipients based on academic achievements, empath and morale fiber. After a home celebration, Ethan and Zoe have a montage of recruiting world-class teachers and setting up the school in a quiet neighborhood in Washington DC.
Given talk of new unrest in Russia, Hakeem is concerned that his son, Lance, wants to enlist as a marine and his son’s girlfriend, Rebecca, wants to visit Russia for an internship as a reporter. As John and Hakeem are hanging out at a gym, John gets a call from his assistant that Zeke and Ethan want John to be part of the new school. John agrees to visit Zeke's lavish mansion to meet Zeke and Ethan with Hakeem along with the ride. Ethan has a heart-to-heart discussion with John about their vision for him to run for president to improve the state of the country. John eventually agrees and the two quickly become close friends.
Tens of thousands of children around the world compete in a worldwide competition of intelligence and emotional intelligence, and finalists are flown to LA to answer questions in front of a panel and television crew. The winners are awarded full-ride scholarships to the school. One of the winners is Vijay Pattni, a shy but incredibly intelligent young boy from Pakistan.
The school opens with camera crews and speeches are given by Ethan, as school principal, and Zeo, as one of the teachers. John is also revealed as the movie star who wants to attend the same classes to better his knowledge of politics. There are several montage scenes showing students learning about ethics, climate change and other school subjects tailored to a future in politics. Former presidents and other celebrity guests visit to speak. A red light in Zoe’s classroom signals that cameras are recording for the reality TV show. John struggles at first with the homework workload, but some of the young students help him, and he builds a special friendship connection with Vijay and a strong romantic connection with Zoe. Jessica and Ethan get married, with Zoe and John part of the bridal party.
John announces he will run for US president against current president Scott Morris, who is alleged to have ties with Russia. As the political race reaches its peak, Vijay’s grandmother falls ill so Vijay returns to Pakistan, but is murdered outside the hospital because of his friendship with an Indian girl, Ashnoor, featured in Zeke’s reality TV show. The school grieves, and is criticized by the media for featuring children's personal lives. Zeke pulls his funding from the school and the school prepares for the grim reality of closing.
John goes into a presidential debate against Scott as the underdog. Scott drops a savage comment about a ski trip before the debate, and John almost throws a punch but is saved once more by Hakeem. After a shaky start, John dominates the debate and goes on to win the presidency. John gives a brilliant acceptance speech, and while still on stage he tells Ethan that he has found donors to secure funding for the school to continue.
Rebecca gets a tip from an old Russian woman about a factory for war drones in Moscow where she believes her husband was killed. Rebecca trespasses into the now abandoned factory, and is almost killed by Russian soldiers but is saved by Yuri who hands her a drone. John, now the president, receives the drone and recruits drone experts to build a counter-drone and hatches a plan with the Australian prime minister to do war games in Ukraine, to help deter an invasion. Less than a few months into John's term, Sharpova launches a huge aerial invasion, but is fended off by US, Australian and Ukraine airplanes, many of them unmanned, in a large aerial battle with minimal allied casualties. Spirits in the war room are high. John publicly urges Sharpova and Russia to stand down.
John decides to send US troops to help Ukraine’s borders. Lance is one of them. Russia invades by land with tanks, troops and masses of black explosive drones. Despite the white US counter drones, several drones get through, blowing up Lance’s comrades and Lance gets shot in the chest. Ethan receives a phone call, and in his rush to drive to the airport to support John, he runs a red light and dies immediately in a head on collision.
Shaken by news of his best friend's passing, John gives an emotional public address about the ground assault and large casualty on both sides. John draws strength from his tears and doubles down on his decision to protect the people of Ukraine. Lance is seen recovering in hospital with his father by his side. Sharpova gives an aggressive public address in a courtyard in Moscow, but Yuri arrives in a van with a dozen explosive drones over the courtyard walls that kill the president and effectively ends the war.
There is a somber memorial service at the school for Ethan. John gives a moving speech and one of the students, Jan, suggests an annual celebration at the school for fallen comrades. The mood is uplifting.
Twenty years later, we see “Ethan Miles Celebration Hall”. Jan is now the school principal, and gives an upbeat televised speech about the success of the school. Several of the original teachers and students are in the audience, including Ashnoor, who is now the prime-minister of India. They do a count down to the red recording light switching off, for the music to start and people to celebrate and mingle as equals.