Spain’s Les Films de la Résistance Expands Non-Fiction Distribution

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In a bid to bypass traditional distribution channels and open up new ones, Madrid-based 59 En Conserva has launched a newly expanded Les Films de la Résistance, its international sales agency for non-fiction and hybrid Spanish films. 

Among the first titles in its roster is the critically acclaimed feature debut of 59 En Conserva co-founder Irene M. Borrego, “The Visit and a Secret Garden” (“La visita y un jardín secreto”).  

Aiming to fill a vital gap in the distribution of non-fiction titles, Les Films de la Résistance aims to “operate more like art gallery owners, discovering, promoting, and selling the works of its talented creators,” the company said. 

Produced by 59 En Conserva (“This Film is About Me,” “El mar nos mira de lejos”) and Lisbon’s Cedro Plátano, “The Visit and a Secret Garden,” snagged the 2022 Malaga Festival’s Silver Biznaga for best direction and Audience Award in its documentary section. It also took home the HBO Max Award for best Portuguese competition film at his year’s DocLisboa.

It next competes at the biennale Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. “We are keen to try new, fresh ideas regarding the distribution of this kind of cinema. Nowadays we feel it’s not only an aesthetical choice or business decision, but it also feels like an artistic and political act. Our approach is prioritizing quality over quantity, so we can work closely on every film and help them find their audience,” declared the team behind Les Films de la Résistance: Cecilia Sánchez Benz, Borrego, Rita Rodríguez and Mariangela Mondolo-Burghard. 

According to Borrego, they have closed deals with unconventional screening venues in various countries, extending beyond the usual festival circuit. “We initially tested our ideas in our own field before deciding to launch them commercially. We’ve also begun acquiring projects from third parties, including a recent agreement with the producers of ‘Los restos del pasar,” with more projects in the pipeline,” said Borrego.

Directed by Luis (Soto) Muñoz & Alfredo Picazo, “Los restos del pasar” (“The Trail Left by Time,” currently in post, is produced by Daniel Peña and Alejandro González from Mubox Studio and J. Alberto Andrés Lacasta from Du Cardelin Studio, and was first pitched at Cannes Docs. 

“We’re currently shaping the distribution strategy for this incredible film and looking for its international premiere. This film is not only a beautiful piece of art, but it also offers the opportunity to discover a couple of extremely promising and talented directors… and so young!,” said the team, who added that Les Films de la Résistance will also distribute “Los restos del pasar” in Spain.

Les Films de la Résistance has been recognized as one of the top ten most innovative emerging companies in the arts and culture sector within the Madrid region. The startup has been selected to participate in an acceleration program funded by the regional government with support from E.U. grants. Furthermore, it is beginning to attract interest from potential investors.

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