Visit Films Takes ‘Long Distance’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Marques-Marcet’s debut paints the rift of Spanish immigration

MADRID – New York-based Visit Films has taken worldwide rights outside Spain to “Long Distance” (aka “10,000 Km”), a romantic drama which is both portrait and product, produced out of Barcelona and L.A., of the diaspora of Spain’s youngest brightest talent abroad.

“Long Distance” will world premiere at next month’s Austin’s SXSW fest playing in narrative competition.

Avalon will release “Long Distance” in Spain this May.

Starring Natalia Tena, who played Nymphadora Tonks in “Harry Potter” and Osha in “Games of Thrones,” and David Verdaguer (“Polonia,” “Cracovia”), “Long Distancia” marks the feature debut of scribe-helmer Carlos Marques-Marcet, a Barcelona-native whose has known the rift of relocation: Moving to L.A. to study at UCLA’s Master of Fine Arts Program, he now forms part of a burgeoning Spanish movie-making hub, located 10,000 Km from Spain.

Co-written by Marques-Marcet and Clara Roquet, “Long Distance” turns on an early-thirties couple, Alexandra and Sergio, which is planning to have a baby in Barcelona.  But their relationship is thrown into turmoil when Alexandra is offered an artistic residency in Los Angeles. With a continent suddenly between them, they must rely on virtual technology to keep their relationship alive. That proves as much of a barrier as a lifeline.

“This is a story of our times. Pieces of life portraying a story that many people of my generation are living, have lived or will live out: the drama of long distance relationships. Fragments of a fragmented love,” said Marques-Marcet.

Per Aida LiPera, Visit Films director of acquisitions who negotiated the deal with the filmmakers, “Long Distance” is “sure to introduce Carlos Marques-Marcet as an emerging voice in Spanish cinema. Updating the classic long distance relationship with new technologies and story-telling methods, he has captured a story that becomes increasingly relevant by the day for audiences.”

Pic’s key talent straddles Spain and L.A. Co-writer Roquet studied in Barcelona and now at Columbia U. Tono Folguera (“Wrinkles”) produces for Barcelona’s Lastor Media, Jana Diaz Juhl for La Panda Productions, an L.A-based production company grouping 11 film-makers from Spain, including Marques-Marcet and “Long Distance” exec producer Pau Brunet.

Marques-Marcet’s debut is one of La Panda’s two first feature films, along with Nacho Vigalondo’s “Open Windows,” co-produced with Apaches Entertainment (“The Impossible”), which also bows at SXSW.

“’Long Distance” “was a daring project: a script with an innovative approach, fresh faces, and made by young talent,” said Folguera.

Shot by an American DP Dagmar Weaver-Madsen, a recipient of the William A. Fraker ASC Heritage Award, “Long Distance” “has an American indie look, fluidly links the relationship and technology in a natural way as in life. It’s a positive take on a couple’s crisis, and redolent with moments reminiscent of relationships,” Brunet said.

Cahiers du Cinema selected Marques-Marcet’s 2008 “Udols” as Best Short Film of 2008.

Visit Films’ recent lineup at the European Film Market included Berlinale competition title “History of Fear,” Culinary Section player “Food Chains,” and Generation feature “52 Tuesdays,” which won the Crystal Bear award.

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