Long Distance Runners

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Characteres & Director's Statement

CHARACTERS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AHMED ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ahmed will be 18 in a few months. He is from Oulad Mrah, a small mountain village in the heart of Morocco. He is the youngest of four siblings, three boys and a girl. Ahmed is in love with his people, in love with the forests and the trees that are all around. He says he had everything during his childhood, but in 2003, when he was nine years old, his father died in a motorcycle accident and the life of his family changed. Since then, his mother works in different houses to take care of them. Ahmed wants to change this situation. His dream was to become a policeman in Morocco, but he soon realizes that this would be impossible, because in his country everything is based on contacts, and he does not know anyone. So, when he was 16, and without saying anything to his mother, he decided to leave. On a visit to Tangier with some friends, he hooked himself under a trailer which was in a ferry ready to enter Spain. A few months ago he took a course in soldering, but he did not find a job. Now he is doing a course on maintenance, and he is convinced that he will find a job that permits him to fix his legal situation. Then he could send some money to his mother. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- LUKMAN -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lukman just turned 18 this month. He arrived two years ago from a small village in Pakistan. The marathon to get here lasted two and a half months. He went by land from Pakistan to Iran, from Iran to Turkey and thence to Greece. From Greece to Spain he made the journey in two boats, changing from one boat to another in open sea. With only 100 Euros in his pocket, and a little backpack that he lost on the road… On foot, by car, crossing rivers, swimming... an extreme triathlon. Lukman started the race spurred by his mother, who gave him Money. In Turkey, and suffering for his own life he decided to come back home, but his mother pressured him not to do it. Lukman is a good boy, who comes from a village where life was easy and carefree, now he is living a spectacular clash with urban impersonalized and competitive life of Barcelona. He misses the walks in the mountains and the animals from his home. He does not have much initiative, nor clear aims, and it seems that his adventure is more directed by the desire of his mother than by himself. Now he is doing a course as waiter assistant, but the teachers are not sure if he will get a job. So when this course finishes they will have to find another one, and then possibly another one. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MAMADOU ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mamadou is 18 years old. He was born in Guinea Conakry, but lived all his childhood in Ziguinchor, Senegal. He wanted to emigrate to Barcelona since he was 14. When he was 16, he finally got his father’s permission. He traveled illegally hidden in a merchant ship. Mamadou has a big dream: he wants to work for Google Company, even though he doesn’t know where it is. His plan was to arrive to Barcelona to work, and make money enough to pay his computer studies. But he quickly realized that things in Europe weren’t that easy… But Mamadou is a positive thinker, and has a strong will to overcome obstacles. He spends most of the time alone, studying in his room, day and night. Despite his comprehensions difficulties because of the language, he wants to be part of the very first ones in his class.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Children under the age of 18, travelling without their parents or an adult guardian, have always been a part of global migration flows, and within the past decade, their numbers have grown. They are more vulnerable than adult migrants, and are less likely to be seen as potentially productive members of society by host countries. This is a community almost invisible for the rest of society. Specially in these times, in Europe, where many of countries are struggling with high unemployment and lethargic economies, and anti-immigrant sentiment grows day by day. In Catalonia during 2011, 250 foreigner teenagers without family entered the Support Program of Youth under the protection of the Catalan Government. Most of them arrived attracted by the popularity of the city of Barcelona. Each one is a story of struggle and resistance. When they are 18, they leave the minor protection system, with a residence permit, but without a work permit. Then, they start a race against time to resolve their situation, because if not, they will have to go back home empty handed. This film is an emotional approach to the situation of these adolescents, their loneliness and their personal struggles. Teenagers living the distress of being 18, needing to find a way out to the legal labyrinth in which they are trapped, as soon as possible. Kids that have to think as if they were adults, yet not knowing exactly how. Will they complete the course and find a place for themselves in our society? Filming these boys has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. They are little locked boxes. They trust almost no one, they hide their emotions, and they don’t want to be seen as losers... They are kids forced to act as independent adults. Being present in their day to day lives, and baring witness to the conflicts they experienced, enabled us to build a sincere relationship with all of them. This was an unexpected bonus to emerge from our work.
  • Crew

    • DirectorIsabel Fernández
    • PhotographyHernán Pérez
    •  Carles Mestres
    •  Bru Toneu
    •  Horaci García
    •  David Arasa
    •  Juan Pablo Chapela
    • Sound designMarc Soldevila
    •  Albert Royo
    • Script assistantEnric Àlvarez
    • ResearchAna Guitart
    • EditorVeronica Rossi
    • Editor assistantJordi Perramón
    • GraphicsGerard Morrón
    • Music composersTrébol Rojo
    •  Mc Double-S
    • Audio Post ProductionBSO
    • ProducerMarta Ruiz
    • Production assistantXavi González
    • SecretaryImma Esteban
    • Delegate Producer at TV3Ruth Llòria
    • Executive Producer at TV3Jordi Ambròs
    • Executive ProducerCristina Gironès

    Special thanks to

    • Ahmed Khallaouf
    • Lukman Khalid
    • Mamadou Korka
    • Ama Ramansani
    • Yasine Zahou
    • Lamin Jabbi
    • Sergi Gabernet
    • Dolors Etxeberria
    • Manel Varquer
    • Pepa Arqué
    • Jordi Bach

    Thanks

    • MERCÈ FONTANILLES FUNDATION
    • ÀREA DE SUPORT ALS JOVES TUTELATS I EX-TUTELATS (DGAIA)
    • CASAL DEL RAVAL
    • FUNDACIÓ ÈXIT
    • PUNT DE REFERÈNCIA
    • FUNDACIÓ SERVEI SOLIDARI
    • TRANSPORTS METROPOLITANS DE BARCELONA
    • TUGSAL
    • INSTITUT D’EDUCACIÓ SECUNDÀRIA POBLE NOU
    • ESCOLA D'HOTELERIA I TURISME DE BARCELONA
    • ESCOLA INDUSTRIAL
    • ESADE
    • HOTEL ARTS
    • PIZZERIA IL PASSATORE
    • CAFÉ REUNIÓN
    • CONSORCI EL FAR
    • BARSCHOOL BARCELONA
    • JORGANITZACIÓ CURSA SANT ANTONI - Adolf
    • CENTRE ESPORTIU MUNICIPAL CAN RICART
    • CENTRE ESPORTIU MUNICIPAL COLON
    • CENTRE ESPORTIU MUNICIPAL CIUTADELLA
    • BAR COLÓN
    • BARCELONAPLATO
    • CARME MONTSERRAT
    • LOLA APARICIO
    • SERGI ALAMILLO

    A Frame Zero production

    in co-production with TELEVISIÓ DE CATALUNYA

    • Copyright - 2013