Private Project


All is not as it seems in the 1980s in drug fueled Colombia as love, money, and violence collide.

  • Frederic Donner
    Donner is the writer of the original novella To Die To Sleep Perchance To Dream upon which the film is based. Donner is a retired FBI Special Agent, and the author of four books.
  • Frederic Donner
  • Jeff Stanley
    Stanley is a noted editor, animator, and graphic artist. The owner/ operator of diMO digital in Carefree, Arizona is also a sound editor and a member of Cox Creative Studios.
  • Jason Milner
    Key Cast
    "Jude Simeone"
    Milner is a writer, actor, director, and producer. Most recently, in postproduction is Hungry Dog Blues which he wrote, directed, and played the lead role (2021).
  • Noel Calcaterra
    Key Cast
    "Maria Castano"
    Calcaterra is a singer, actress, and dancer originally from Uruguay. She has numerous theater credits including Chicago, West Side Story, and Alchemy. Recent film credits include three works in post production: The Last Immortal, The War Necklace, and Endless Passion (2021).
  • Ranko Knafel
    Key Cast
    "El Ingenero"
    Knafel is an actor and producer known for Shark Bait (2017) and Sending To The Sea (2019).
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 59 seconds
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Frederic Donner

Frederic Donner is a retired undercover FBI agent who worked narcotics and organized crime cases over his twenty-year career. Based on true events, Donner has written four books, five screenplays and directed two short films based on his books

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Director Statement

Perchance is based on my own life experience working as an Undercover FBI Agent. The film is created as a period piece and is set in 1980s Medellin, Colombia.
Perchance originated from a Novella I wrote in 2013 titled To Die, To Sleep Perchance to Dream (A Tale of Love and Mystery). The title and theme are based on Shakespeare's Hamlet and the most well-known words of Hamlet: "To be, or not to be, that is the question...To die, to sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream...For in that sleep of death what dreams may come." This stark reality of death versus a dream-state is a backdrop of the film.
The use of the vintage footage immediately cements that the story is real. Then it felt essential to craft the story with the visual edge to gritty realism. In the drug transaction itself I asked the actors to draw upon the knowledge that life is precious but precarious at the same exact moment. I tried to draw on the inspiration of Sergio Leone and the dramatic Spaghetti Western feel for the dusty, dangerous, and tense scene. The counterpoint to the danger and violence had to be carefully balanced with the beauty and vocal talent of the female lead who is crosscut into the action as she sings on a nightclub stage. The love and conflict between them are completed with courageous acting but minimal dialogue.
The scene has been set, and the tension has built; the viewer is vested in our Anti-hero. Drawing upon Shakespeare's dual concept of “Dream” the viewer is rudely awakened when, “El Ingenero” with scalpel at the ready will inform the hero that he has been kidnapped and his identity as an FBI Agent is known. Left scarred and identified will he still be loved? The end has them just a finger touch apart, as a cigarette smolders in an ashtray. An apt visual metaphor for a film crafted to be complete in its own standing, but also serve as a prequel. Can they reunite? Can Maria Castano, a Colombian beauty, still love a man who is scarred physically and mentally?
I enjoy making films that show a dark side to the human story, but there is always love. For all stories are at some level, Love Stories.