Laura Ferrés’ “The Permanent Picture” has been acquired by Be For Films. The deal is announced a fortnight before the film screens at Malaga WIP where it ranks as the most buzzed of the section’s titles.
The debut follows Ferrés success with short “The Disinherited,” which won the 2017 Cannes Critics’ Week Leica Cine Discovery Prize, in addition to grabbing Goya and Gaudi gongs. It depicts the director’s own father reluctantly facing the end of the family business.
“The Permanent Picture” is produced by Spain’s Fasten Films, in co-production with Le Bureau (France), and Volta Production (Spain).
Selected by Variety as a Spanish talent to track, Ferrés studied at Barcelona’s prestigious Escac film school. Part of the inspiration for this film, though it’s not autobiographical, stems from the director’s years working as a casting director in the advertising sector.
Ferrés wrote the film in collaboration with celebrated Spanish author Carlos Vermut, whose “Magical Girl” won a 2014 San Sebastian Golden Shell, and Ulises Porra, winner of San Sebastian’s prestigious New Directors Award in 2021 with “Carajita.”
“The Permanent Picture” sets the scene in rural Southern Spain, where Antonia, a teenage mother, disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her baby behind. Fifty years later and much farther North, Carmen, an introverted casting director, seeks people to share their experiences when arriving in a new city. It’s through this search that Carmen meets Antonia, whose impulsiveness will intrude into her loneliness. The Catalan filmmaker describes the film as a “depressing comedy,”.
Her debut has benefited from development at the Next Step Program, a workshop created by Cannes’ Critics’ Week, the TorinoFilmLab and the Moulin d’Ande screenwriting support program.
Pamela Leu of the Brussels-based Be For Films said of the acquisition: “We are very proud to welcome a first time director from Spain under our umbrella. We have found a promising, ambitious script with a particular tone and sense of humor we fell in love with. We’re eager to bring it along with the producers to festivals in the coming months.”