Colombian production outfit Tucan Productions is developing a feature inspired by the case of UK broadcaster Carlton Television's fake 1996 documentary The Connection, which claimed to have uncovered a new heroin route from Colombia to British school playgrounds.

The Deal (El Trato) is to be directed by Colombian filmmaker Francisco Norden, who had his first feature A Man Of Principle (Condores No Entierran Todos Los Dias) in Cannes' Un Certain Regard in 1984. The project, pitched at Rotterdam's Cinemart co-production gathering this week, has received $830,000 in development support from the Hubert Bals Fund. Spain's Igeldo Communications is expected to co-produce.

"One of the film's aims is to point out, in a light and irreverent tone, the often false morality of many people in Colombia's upper and middle classes as well as certain practices carried out by international media journalists who are bent on giving a false image of Colombia and are not above using fraudulent means to do so," Norden explained.

Principal photography is set for 2002 mostly in and around Bogota. Tucan's Federico Duran Amorocho was also pitching Jaime Osorio's Sin Amparo at the Cinemart. The low-budget drama, about an encounter between a widower and his dead wife's lover, is being co-produced by Venezuela's TyM Films. Tucan is now looking for a Spanish partner to board the project.