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“If only it hadn’t been raining...

” Pressbook

THE LAST PASSAGE
A Film Directed by Iurre Telleria & Enara Goikoetxea

www.thelastpassage.net

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SHORT SYNOPSIS LONG SYNOPSIS ORIGIN OF THE PROJECT A WORD FROM THE DIRECTORS BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COMET LINE BIO/FILMOGRAFY OF THE DIRECTORS TECHNICAL-CREATIVE TEAM INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTORS

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SHORT SYNOPSIS
It was a time when life was like a suspense novel and you never knew how it would end. But life is stranger than fiction and now, more than sixty years later, The Last Passage returns to the scene of one fateful night in a farmhouse in the Pyrenees when six strangers from five different countries were arrested. The strands of each person’s story unravel to tell the larger story of the hundreds of ordinary people who formed a vast escape network during WWII, the Comet Line.

LONG SYNOPSIS
The Last Passage is the story of one fateful night more than sixty years ago when six people were arrested in a farmhouse near the Pyrenees. The story of each person tells the larger story of the hundreds of ordinary people who were the World War II escape line known as Comète...a force of human courage in a climate of fear that ran through Belgium, France and Spain. It was a wet winter’s night in 1943 when a young widow opened the door of her farmhouse in the French Basque country. Standing outside was a young Belgian woman and three strange men. The group stood wet and exhausted after having travelled more than a thousand kilometres from Brussels. It was Dédée de Jongh’s thirty-sixth trip but for her travelling companions, it was their first. One of them was British aviator, Stanley Hope who will always remember that night. It had been a journey involving cunning and planning, false identities and

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financing by the British Intelligence Service, MI9. It was all organised by strangers such as Dédée so that Allied aviators could escape capture by the Germans. Many other aviators had been saved before him and now it was Stanley’s turn…he was on the last part of the passage. The only thing standing between him and the British who were waiting on the Spanish side to bring him down to Gibraltar were the Pyrenees. Yet, he would never see those mountains for many years. That night, seven people sat around a fire - the young farmwoman with three children, an exile from the Spanish Civil War who worked as a farmhand, a Basque smuggler as well as Dédée, Stanley and the other two British aviators. All of them were waiting for it to stop raining when there was a knock on the door. The knock on the door would change all of their lives. One would escape, four would survive and two would never see freedom again. If only it hadn’t been raining… More than sixty years later, the repercussions of that night still linger. A woman who never knew her mother. A sister who never saw her brother return to his homeland. An aviator who betrayed the names of an entire family under interrogation, knowing he was sealing their fate. But out of tragedy and betrayal came hope. There were the French Basque neighbours who offered their own home for escaping strangers out of simple kindness. The Spanish Basque exiles who used their connections in a smuggling network in the mountains to help. The Belgian father who refused to save himself but instead, carried on his daughter’s work. When the father was arrested, another young Belgian man replaced him…until he too was arrested. After the events of that night in 1943, the line kept going with the work of new helpers and hundreds more aviators were to make the last passage. For them, the legacy of a stranger’s kindness would remain forever.

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ORIGIN OF THE PROJECT
It all started when one of the directors of the documentary, Iurre Telleria, heard about a smuggler from Hernani, the hometown of both directors. It was said that this farmer had been to England after World War II – to Buckingham Palace no less – where he had been decorated by the King of England! Afterwards, we discovered that Florentino Goikoetxea had worked for the Resistance during World War II, and that his work was later given recognition in the form of various medals and diplomas presented by the United States, Great Britain, Belgium and France. So that was how our research began. At the very beginning, we had the good fortune to find a book about the story of Florentino and many others like him: “Basques in the Second World War: the Comet Line in the Basque Country (1941-1944)”. The author of the book and subsequent companion on this journey, Juan Carlos Jiménez de Aberasturi, enabled us to get in touch with a dozen people directly or indirectly linked to the Comet Line. We also discovered that there was an organisation that worked on both sides of the FrenchSpanish border, “Friends of the Comet Network”, whose aim was and still is to commemorate and keep alive the history of the Comet Line. In 2006 we took part for the first time in the “walk of freedom”, a trek that is organised every year from Ciboure to Errenteria, along the route used by the “mugalariak” of the Comet Line. During the three-day journey through the villages, remote farms and mountains that lie near the border, we were lucky enough to hear the airmen’s stories first hand. These war veterans return every year to show their appreciation to those who, almost 70 years ago, helped them cross the border from France to Spain. We also met former members of Comet who, during the war, accompanied airmen from Brussels to the south of France. Through them, we met many more who were scattered throughout England, France, Belgium and Spain, and they helped us to piece together this complex story, linking groups as diverse as the British Intelligence Services and Basque smugglers. It has been an arduous and difficult task, but we had invaluable help from a number of associations responsible for keeping alive the history of the Comet Line: the WW2 Escape Lines Memorial Society in Britain; “Comète Kinship” in Belgium; “los Amigos de la Red Comète/les Amis du Réseau Comète” in France and Spain; historians and Second World War enthusiasts who guided us while we searched through a sea of files and documents on the escape lines; friends and family members of the Comet Line; all those who were in some way involved in the Comet Line; and, of course, the main protagonists who patiently endured our constant presence at various events and commemorations.

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A WORD FROM THE DIRECTORS
It was love at first sight: the story of the Comet Line captivated us because of the mystery surrounding it. Despite our geographical proximity to the facts, we barely knew anything about the clandestine activities along the French-Spanish border during the Second World War. We realized that behind it all lay incredible stories of seemingly ordinary people involved in the fight against Nazi Germany. As we progressed in our research, some parts of the story became clearer, while others became increasingly tangled, which, for us, was just another reason to continue with the project. Soon, we found all the different elements we needed to create a historical documentary filled with adventure, suspense and drama, right from the everyday details to the most extraordinary events. There was no time to lose, because there was very much a “last chance” dimension to the project. 2011 marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of the Comet Line, and it is increasingly difficult to find people who can give a first-hand account of their experience there. The founders of the line have died, although we were able to recover their testimonies in the form of audiovisual archives and official documents. Even so, the fact that we did not have the “big names” of the Comet Line helped us in the sense that we have managed to find eyewitness accounts not previously published, and these have given the official account a fresh perspective. The key to this great adventure inside the Resistance was collaboration with others: any step along the way required the help of a great many people, some more involved than others, and it is clear that without their collective efforts, it would not have worked. This project has reminded us that small actions on an individual level can collectively contribute to great causes. Paradoxically, this documentary has proceeded in such a way; we have worked with many people who helped us on a personal level, offering information, support, accommodation, and so on. For almost six years, the characters featured in the documentary, and many others whom we have had to leave out, shared their stories with us. During all that time, our technical team underwent many changes, and on each occasion new professionals helped us move onto the next phase of the project. Therefore, The Last Passage is, above all, a collective project. It is a shared undertaking in terms of its writing, direction, editing, research and funding. It is shared, because a project of this size and duration would not have been possible without this spirit of collaboration, and therefore would not be the film that we now share with you all.

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COMET LINE
(By Juan Carlos Jiménez de Aberasturi – Historian and author of the book “Basques in the Second World War: the Comet Line in the Basque Country 1941-1944”)

During the Second World War, anti-Nazi organisations chose the Basque border – supported by the services of the allied embassies in Madrid – as an escape route for resistance groups and those who were fleeing Nazi persecution and heading to Allied territory, via Gibraltar. The Comet Line, founded in 1941 by a small group of young Belgians, which included Arnold Deppé and Dédée De Jongh, was one of the organisations specialised in rescuing the Allied airmen who continuously bombed strategic targets in Germany and occupied Europe, since many aircraft were shot down over Holland, Belgium and France during their raids. Those who managed to escape were faced with the risk of falling into German hands, the consequences of which were easy to imagine: summary executions, torture or, at best, a concentration camp. Over a four-year period, the Comet Line devoted itself to rescuing around 700 fugitives, mostly airmen, leading them to Franco’s Spain, an officially ‘neutral’ country, and then evacuating them back to their starting point: Great Britain. The border crossing, which took them across the Bidasoa river in the area around Irún, or the mountains of Navarre, was the final stage of a long and dangerous journey that began in Brussels. After a stop in Paris, it later regrouped fugitives in Anglet and Ciboure before making the crossing. On this final leg, Basque guides and helpers – mostly exiled in the Spanish Civil War – played a key role.

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BIO/FILMOGRAPHY OF THE DIRECTORS
Iurre Telleria & Enara Goikoetxea Iurre Telleria has a degree in “Fine Arts” from the University of the Basque Country. She studied at Sheffield Hallam University with an Erasmus grant. Afterwards she studied Theory and Practice of Cinematographic Montage at the acclaimed International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV) in Cuba. Enara Goikoetxea studied “Computer Science” at the University of the Basque Country. She then went to the UK and studied film at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design University College and graduated with a “Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video”. Enara and Iurre met each other in the UK when Enara was finishing her film studies and Iurre was working as editor and assistant editor for channels such as BBC Entertainment, BBC Choice, Carlton CITV, MTV, etc. From then on, their careers followed similar paths and in 2002 they created their own production company, moztu filmak. Both directors have extensive experience in editing and directing documentary series for Basque TV, EiTB (“Europa euskaraz”, “Begia gose” “Beste Gu” and “Atzerritar euskaldunak”) and many TV spots and music videos. In 2004 they co-directed their first documentary, “The Pamps” sold to Discovery Channel. Enara Goikoetxea has worked as an editor on many feature films such as “Savage Grace”, “Eutsi” or “Kutxidazu bidea, Isabel”; also documentaries such as “Pedra, Peixe, Rio: Itamatatiua” (winner at the 33º Festival Guarnicê in Brazil), “To Remember is Forbidden” (winner at Nantes Festival) or “Amaren ideia” (awarded at the Morelia International Film Festival 2010.) She has directed the short film “The Cup of Life” (awarded at many Spanish film festivals) and is directing her personal documentary “Counting Time, the Walls of Muttogorri”. At the moment she is also co-directing the documentary “The Colour of Dreams: Zumeta”. Iurre Telleria has worked as producer and executive producer on international coproductions such as “Txalaparta: the Echo of a People”, a Spanish-French production; “Des Saumons et des Hommes” a Spanish-French production; “Amaren ideia” (Awarded "Best work in the Michoacan section" at the Morelia International Film Festival 2010) Spanish-Mexican production. She also produced the documentary “Carers” (winner at SEMINCI, the Valladolid International Film Festival and MON.DOC festival in Valencia).

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TECHNICAL-CREATIVE TEAM Featuring in this documentary:
Stanley Hope Bob Frost Gordon Mellor George Duffee Andrée De Jongh “Dédée” (interviewed in the documentary Petit Cyclone 1992) Jean François Nothomb “Franco” (interviewed in the documentary Petit Cyclone 1992) Henriette "Monique" Hanotte ép. Thomé Micheline "Michou" Dumon ép. Ugeux Andrée "Nadine" Dumon ép. Antoine Amanda "Diane" Stassart ép. Désir Lucienne “Lulu” Dassié ép. Saboulard Janine De Greef Elsie Maréchal Martine Le Grelle ép. Holvoet Colette Nothomb ép. Terlinden Marie Usandizaga ép. Goya Mayalen Larretche ép. Sorhouet Jean-Baptiste Larretche Roddy Langley Andrés Aracama Mari Carmen Elizalde Maria Luisa Garayar Antonio Goikoetxea Paco Iriarte A film directed by Iurre Telleria Enara Goikoetxea Screenplay Thecla Geesing Executive producers Iurre Telleria Frederik Nicolai Eric Goossens Agnès Jammal Director of photography Juantxo Sardón Editing Enara Goikoetxea Maialen Sarasua

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Post-production Asier Pujol Alatzne Portu Maialen Sarasua Animations art director Freek Quartier Sound design Mikel Castells Original music Joxan Goikoetxea Spain, Belgium, France—2011—Colour—HD—Aspect Ratio 1:66—5.1—84’

Contact: Moztu filmak sl T +34 943 22 48 68 F +34 943 01 36 85 www.moztu.net info@moztu.net

Press Contact: Laura Olaizola – OLAIZOLA COMUNICA T 651 84 75 07 – 607 97 63 54 laura@olaizola.info

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INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTORS
IURRE TELLERIA & ENARA GOIKOETXEA

You’re working on a project about the Second World War. What is it exactly?

IU. It’s a documentary about the Comet Line. And what is the Comet Line? It was an escape line that existed during the Second World War, and it was set up to recover Allied airmen who had fallen into enemy territory, mostly in Belgium and northern France, to take them to Gibraltar via France and Spain. EN. I would add that, in the end, even though the story takes place during the Second World War and is about the Comet Line in particular, we’re actually telling a story of collaboration: collaboration between people of very different nationalities and backgrounds, and of varying age and social status, some of whom were closely involved in the war, others less so, but they all decided to help certain people to escape from occupied Europe; in this case those people were airmen. It was a collaboration of citizens, as we might say today. That’s the story we wanted to tell, within that historical context.

How long have you been working on this project? And what has the process been like?

IU. Since 2005. The process has been a long and complex one, with a lot of interruptions. It has been very complicated, both to find a narrative structure that would recount what we wanted in a clear way, and to raise the funds we needed to be able to carry out the project. EN. I think that on paper it wasn’t an easy project to sell, because after all it was yet another documentary about the Second World War and maybe people in the documentary world today are interested in other things. As far as the editing process was concerned, one of the most difficult things was finding a balance between historical accuracy and new elements we brought in; also between being sufficiently complex while maintaining a narrative that was clear enough to carry the story forward. We couldn’t do everything. It was very difficult to strike a balance, and we had to find a way out of our own contradictions so as to avoid simplifying the story too much and be able to relate all the necessary historical aspects.
Why did you choose this subject in particular?

IU. We got involved in this story because we’re both from Hernani, a town near San Sebastian, and we heard about someone from the town who had been very important to the Comet Line. We didn’t know who it was or what he’d done. It was something close to us that we knew nothing about, yet it also led us to something far away and opened our eyes to the world.

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EN. It was like a small window for us. Perhaps the area we’re from has been the darkest, in the sense that the story has never come to light, or nobody has ever looked into the whole story. These days a lot of things have been lost, but when we opened that window, all of a sudden, Wow! We realised how much more existed. In fact, the whole process was a bit like that – we thought we were going to be telling a local story, and we ended up working on an international co-production, recording abroad and so on.
You’ve been working with a foreign screenwriter – why did you make that choice? EN. That was very important. We were fortunate in that the screenwriter was living here and has been a friend of ours for several years. She had enough experience to be able to put that complex story into context, and she helped us – and always has done – to gain a wider perspective; in other words, if we were going to sell the project abroad it had to be understood by different cultures and societies, by people with varying knowledge of the Second World War. And that was a very complex issue that required a lot of work on the screenplay; in fact, it needed it right up to the end. Does the film focus on one specific aspect of the history of the Comet Line, or did you deal with it more generally?

IU. A mix of the two, but in the end we did focus on one part of the story in order to tell it all. We couldn’t tell the entire story because it would have made a series with about 20 episodes! We centred on a specific event so as to be able to tell the general history of the Comet Line. The unusual thing about that event was that at one point, on a farm in the French part of the Basque Country, three airmen, a Comet guide who was also one of the founders of the line, and local helpers were all thrown together. So we found a situation in which something very dramatic took place and which gave us the chance to tell almost the whole Comet Line story through each of those characters. EN. I think if we’d started to tell the general history of the Comet Line, we’d really have got into a very heavy historical documentary. And that’s precisely what we didn’t want, so we played with a fictional element. We could easily go backwards and forwards in time, to what happened before and after; we could recount a situation that was truly dramatic and mysterious. We present it almost like a thriller, which is actually what we wanted right from the start – to break the structure that people expect from a historical documentary and offer other elements, which, by that point, were almost entirely fictional. In the end it was very difficult to reach that point, but it worked very well.
Did anything influence you when creating that structure? Were you inspired by any work in particular?

EN. The screenplay had already been written three years before. It was very well written, but for the documentary it might have been better if it had been a little looser. We can say that now, because we learned a lot along the way; the screenplay restricted us quite a lot during the editing stage. But, at the same time, when it came to introducing people to a story like this, we needed to present a very solid structure. And I think that, when she was working on the screenplay, the screenwriter looked at

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fictional elements and directors of fiction; also at certain films that play a little with the idea of recounting an event from several viewpoints. Dramatic reconstruction is a fairly common technique in documentary filmmaking but, as you’ve mentioned, it makes the process much more costly. In this case, what was your reason for choosing that style of storytelling?

EN. We felt we wanted to bring fictional elements into the documentary; we didn’t want it to be merely informative; we wanted the audience to be able to connect with the characters, to understand them, to see how they reacted and to understand the situation they were in. We had witness accounts and, sometimes, you have to help the audience, to remind them that those characters were very young at the time; we were dealing with women who were 20, 17, some as young as 15, and people forget that. We just see them as elderly women and we forget that for most of us today they’d just be little kids! It’s the same with the pilots; we have films as references, but they were actually just young men of 18. The other reason is what I mentioned earlier: we wanted to be able to get inside the drama and see that things weren’t easy. Sometimes, what you can tell through a vivid fictional story in a short period of time is much more evocative than when someone tells you the story themselves, because it depends on how they tell it, whether or not they can keep up a good pace, whether they’re a good storyteller, and many other factors. Another thing was that we wanted to work with a lot of different material, so that the story could continue to move forwards at the pace we were looking for.
How did you work on the film? Did you divide up the tasks?

IU. Basically, I developed the story and did a large part of the research. Then, with another colleague we did the initial interviews. With all that material, we brought in the screenwriter and her assistant. Enara also came in at that stage. As for the final filming, I did almost all of the interviews with the help of a Belgian researcher who helped us with the French language issue in Belgium. Then the project came to a halt for a while, until we got the funding we needed to carry on, especially because we needed to make some historical reconstructions, which were very costly. That’s when Enara came back into it, and took over the project. EN. I had a two-year-old daughter at that point, and then Iurre also became pregnant. When we had enough money we got started on all the reconstructions, and then we went straight onto editing, which was a long and complex process, taking almost 8 months.
Did you meet a lot of people who were interested in the history of the Comet Line?

IU. Yes. Some were Second World War enthusiasts, others were drawn to the story of one of the characters in particular. For example, someone who knows an airman and spends years researching the history of that airman within the Comet Line; or people who have a family member – an aunt, a father or mother – who belonged to the Comet Line. I think that, in the end, it’s individuals who attract people to the history of the Comet Line.

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EN. Once again, I think it’s true to say that this wasn’t the case in our area. When we started talking about Florentino Goikoetxea, I remember that my father talked about him, but of course he’s already 65 years old. Anyone younger doesn’t know a thing about it, unless they’re a historian or somehow connected with the subject. You might have heard about it, and know that there were smugglers, but that’s all. The fact is that in France, Belgium and Britain the Second World War was important, whereas it didn’t affect us as much. What I mean is, if someone mentions World War II airmen, we think about airmen from films! We don’t have any emotional attachment to them. I understand why they do in other countries. Our history is that of the poor people living on the border, trapped between two wars. That’s the situation we were most drawn to, how people who’ve just come out of one war can get involved in another. Everyone has their own affinities depending on where they come from and the personal relationships they have.
Now the documentary is finished, what do you think motivated people to get involved in the Second World War so soon after the end of the Spanish Civil War?

EN. For me, there were two reasons: if people started working against the Germans, it’s most likely because they were nationalists and Hitler had just bombed Guernica. That’s probably the reason. As for the others, I think they weren’t really political activists as such, but were just focusing on survival. They’d just come out of a war, out of poverty and hunger; they worked in the smuggling trade, which first dealt in material goods and then people. It’s true that people-smuggling was much more risky, because if they got caught they paid a very high price. For me, there’s a big difference: here the people involved were over the age of 30 or 40, and they’d been badly affected by their defeat in the Spanish Civil War and had nowhere to go back to, so they needed to adjust to things. It’s more a survival story, while the other part of the story, which took place in Europe, was more about politics and political activity, which is very different.
Were the people you contacted willing to talk about their experiences? Were some more so than others?

IU. Of the people we found, those who had been connected with smuggling were less willing to talk. But there were also people who, for personal reasons, did not feel like probing and going back over their past. Of course, 70 years had gone by, and they had to remember things that happened 70 years ago! That’s an achievement in itself. EN. I’d add that during all the years spent working, going forwards and backwards, in the end you do manage – in this case, you managed it, Iurre – to have a much more personal relationship with the characters, and to go beyond the official version, in other words, beyond what’s always been told. One of the things we wanted to achieve in this documentary was to take the story further. There’s a kind of version that’s always been told; but of course, when you want to tell a more complex story, and you start to see all the bits that have been left out, well things don’t always match up and you want to ask questions about this or about that… Of course, people won’t answer if they don’t have a personal relationship with you, and so you have to gain their trust. That doesn’t happen overnight.

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Did you have access to documents? How did you carry out that part of the job?

IU. Yes, in fact a huge number of documents. At the beginning, we looked at archives, or researchers gave us copies of documents that might be of interest. But, really, we had an amazing amount of help from researchers and historians, or just enthusiasts, who’d already carried out the process of documenting events for themselves or for other reasons, and they gave us so much material. We had access to archives in Britain, Belgium and the United States, not including our characters’ own private archives. EN. It was madness! I think we were tempted to try to include a lot of things we found in the archives. But in the end we realised that doing so just complicated the story. So we had a change of heart about it. We accepted that there were many things that historians would have to clarify before anyone could retell the story. That was a lesson we learned. For example, when we were editing, there was a point when we just lost it, after all the research work we’d done, and it was very hard to go back and simplify the story, and accept that our research still wasn’t thorough enough. No doubt it will be a long time before someone does so exhaustively, so that there can be a second or third chapter of the Comet story.
When you were telling the Comet story, did you have to debunk any myths?

EN. For me it was really important to create the feeling that, while there are some characters who are remembered for being special, in fact they wouldn’t have been able to do anything without the help of lots of other people. There were a lot of people who did things that may seem very minor and insignificant now, but without them it wouldn’t have worked. Often we forget that, if the story is very big, it means that there were a lot of people working in the background to make everything happen. They had to be flexible and adaptable, as was necessary at the time. With all the arrests that were taking place, someone would have to step in and take over from someone else, with no warning. I really wanted to get that idea across. Of course, anyone who starts reading about the Comet Line will be drawn to the main characters most of all, those that are mentioned more, but if you look into it more closely, you find that there’s a lot more to it than that. We shouldn’t forget that 70 years have gone by and that soon a lot of classified material will be released, and that’s when more things will come to light. IU. Also, when it comes to reaching all those other people, there are a lot more tools now than there were when we started researching. For example, the “Comète Kinship” website now has a vast amount of information. We’re also working on a parallel project to make all our research, or at least most of it, and all the related material that we’ve put together available to anyone who wants to continue researching. We’re working on a website to make all of that possible.
As I understand, this is your debut as directors of a feature-length documentary for cinema. Why did you choose this subject for your debut?

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IU. In fact, this subject was initially planned for a TV documentary, which then became a full-length film for cinema. So it’s not that we chose the subject, but rather the subject chose us!
When did it become a feature-length documentary?

EN. It was at a film market, when a Belgian director and producer got really excited about what we’d shown and started saying, “Make it feature-length! Make it featurelength!” We definitely wanted to but we were a bit unsure. In the end we found the courage, almost without realising.
Is this your first international co-production?

IU. No, it’s our third. But it’s the first time we’ve been the main producers.
What was the experience like?

IU. Complicated. For us, understanding each other was complicated enough, so you can imagine how much more complex things got with a Belgian producer and a French producer as well. Each of us expected something different, and it was hard work bringing all of that together.
Would you repeat the experience?

EN. After everything we’ve learned, I’d say yes, we would. This experience has been like a masterclass. In fact, I think that’s been the case with all the projects we’ve done with Moztu Filmak, and there’ve been a few. It’s interesting because we’ve learned so much from this project and others that we made later on actually ended up coming out first. It’s easier to apply everything we learned from this project to other projects, rather than to the original one.
And how are you planning to get the film out there?

IU. The plan is first to show it to everyone who appears in the documentary, to make sure that they like it. We’re looking for a distributor for international release, and we’re also thinking about how to promote the film. Our plan is to release the cinema version of the documentary in Belgium, France, Britain and Spain. We have a few ideas for dates, because this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Comet Line, and we think it’s a good time to release the film. We’re working on that at the moment, trying to see what our options are.
You made two versions of the film. Why was that?

IU. There’s a TV version, because television channels don’t usually have time to show documentaries that last more than an hour, and so we made a 53-minute version, which is easier for TV channels to broadcast.
How does one find funding for a feature-length documentary these days?

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IU. For us it was a case of finding small amounts here and there, asking around a lot, and it was very difficult. I think we started to make our initial requests for funding in 2006, and we haven’t finished funding it yet.
Is it feasible to make feature-length documentaries in Spain?

IU. We’ll know when it’s released and we see how much it takes at the box office. EN. This was a very expensive documentary. It’s been very costly compared with other full-length documentaries we’ve produced. It all depends on your approach, on the time you put in, on the work that has to be done, and on many other things. We have our own way of doing things and of working, and that too means that projects become more expensive over time. This has been an unusual project, in terms of the time it has taken and the fact that we let the project expand, and in terms of the time we then needed to simplify the bigger project we’d created. We realise that we can’t do that again on future projects.
How do you expect the audience to respond to the film?

EN. We’re going to try to use the documentary to celebrate the Comet Line’s 70th anniversary, and I think that will make a nice publicity campaign. It’s the anniversary of something that a lot of people actually know nothing about. I think our film is a valuable tool to help people learn something about this great story from the Second World War. Recently a historical documentary came out at the cinema, and I think it was quite well received, although we can’t compare that with the public that will go to see a fiction film.

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