A unique video game experience was released in August 2013 titled Papers, Please: A Dystopian Document Thriller. The indie game developed by Lucas Pope had players play as an immigration officer at the border crossing of the fictional country of Arstotzka. Artotzka was an Eastern Bloc country with hostile neighbors and many people hoping to gain entry whether they qualify and have the proper paperwork or not. A short film is in the works based on Papers, Please as was announced in August of this year. The final trailer for the film has now been released and features Russian actor Igor Savochkin as the immigration officer in charge of the border crossing.
The short film Papers, Please was written by Lilya and Nikita Ordynskiy and produced by Lilya Tkach. According to the trailer, it will be released in 2017 although a specific date has not been mentioned. Some of the buzz about the film has to be related to the critical and commercial praise for Pope’s 2013 game. The title was awarded the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Excellence in Narrative and Excellent in Design at the 2014 Independent Games Festival Awards. At the Game Developers Choice Awards Papers, Please was given the Innovation Award and Best Downloadable Game accolade. According to Lucas Pope, three years after its initial release the indie title had sold 1.8 million copies.
As seen in the trailer the short film adaption appears to stay true to the original source material. The border crossing will continue to take place for the fictional country of Arstotzka. As well, the border officer appears to be introduced to multiple moral dilemmas revolving around those that he has to question regarding their appropriateness for entry to the country. Does he go with his heart or with the rules that he is expected to follow as an agent of the state? These same themes were primary to the success of the original game.