a Film by BEN Kopke and CADdie Hastings
written bY TRIp HosmeR

In a climate-devastated near future, a man travels in search of escape to a small surf town.

II.a. Synopsis

In a future devastated by worldwide climate change, a man travels off the grid to an isolated South American surf town. While there, he meets and falls in love with another traveler. Together they slip into a new life in this oasis, but it's not long before their pasts conspire to destroy this new future.

II.b. Long Synopsis

In the late 21st Century the world looked to geoengineering to combat climate change. Early successes had disastrous side-effects. In the wake of failure, the United States retreated behind its borders as the world fractured apart into instability and chaos. Young Americans coming of age during this time leave their country of birth to seek a more truthful relationship with the planet. Effectively renouncing their allegiance they take a one way ticket out. They go "on the carry," circulating the globe with only what they can fit in a bag.

Against this backdrop, three friends (Scott, Ben and Sara) travel on the carry to a coastal town somewhere in Latin America. Scott and Sara share a past that both prefer to leave behind, and refer to cryptically. Their destination is a paradise of sun and surf, off the circuit. Upon arriving they meet MONICA, a European scientist studying turtle migration with an older scientist (ROLAND). While they settle, large-scale disaster strikes the US near Scott's home. While details are sketchy, many believe it to be a terrorist attack launched by a group called All Eyes who target those responsible for climate disasters.

Scott and Monica move in together. Monica’s work with Roland may not be entirely what it seems. A period of surf and bliss follows, punctured occasionally by the worsening news trickling in from the outside world. Ben and Sara travel on, chasing their plan to settle near Sara's family. Following a phone call, we learn that Scott and Sara are former members of All Eyes. Scott receives an encrypted message from Sara. Their old associates are onto Roland and his work and agents have been dispatched to find Roland. In order to save Monica, Scott must sacrifice everything and return to All Eyes' grip.

II.c. Backstory & The World

In the latter half of the 21st century, global warming accelerated beyond all prediction models. Funded by corporations, climatologists and geoengineers focused their efforts on management of the change rather than reversal. Climate engines were developed and rollout was enforced militarily by the United States and its allies. The solution quickly devolved into a nightmare. Storms become more frequent. Seasons deteriorated and grew erratic. Polar ice entered rapid periods of melt, remaking coastlines and devastating cities. The climate engines were belatedly taken offline. Nations crumbled under the pressure of worsening climate disasters, scarce resource and war. The United States and its citizens are vilified. Ecoterrorists lash out at the U.S. and its allies. Politicians, corporate executives, and the scientists they supported are singled out as targets.

Many Americans who came of age during the climate wars are ashamed of their country and its actions. Some take what is effectively a one way ticket out, circulating around the globe "on the carry" with only what fits in a backpack.

The world is unstable. Rumors of clandestine military activity are rife. Whispers of continued tinkering with the climate's atmosphere abound.

Directors' Statement

DISTANCE began with a break-up, a trip to Ecuador, and an act of terrorism. It began as a story of escape and a longing to return to the safety and comfort of the familiar when the world around us was broken beyond repair.

As the story of DISTANCE has evolved, first in Ben’s telling and later in Trip’s screenplay, it’s taken on a heightened significance. Global environmental disaster looms large. Humanity has largely turned away and thrown its collective hands up at the threat. DISTANCE flashes forward to a not unrealistic future. A future where science, politics and terrorism are failing. The only success is collapse.

Why do we feel we have to tell the story of DISTANCE? Simply put, the time is right. We’ve been using our visual storytelling gifts in support of other people’s dreams long enough. We surf. We’re political and environmental activists. We’re storytellers. DISTANCE is the next step in our evolution.

DISTANCE is a science fiction thriller, a story of escape, love and sacrifice. It’s exciting, relevant and intelligent. And we’re ready to tell this story.

"In the distance we see an enormous structure, over a mile in length and height, like a half submerged wagon wheel, lit up but silent. He stares at it for a while, finally closing his eyes."

Team

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Screenwriter

Trip Hosmer

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Producers

AgX

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Casting Director

Stephanie Holbrook

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Surf Consultant

Kassia Meador

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Surf Talent

Leah Dawson

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Surf Talent

Eden Saul

"The break near Frank's, that's called Houses. Obviously because of what's under you."
"He hikes down a steep trail and walks through knee deep water around the rocks. The beach opens up again and he sees it - a wrecked plane in the sand."

Aesthetics

The directors maintain a Tumblr site and Spotify playlist for DISTANCE.

In style and aesthetics, the directors draw inspiration from films such as Fernando Meirelles' THE CONSTANT GARDENER, Alfonso Cuarón's CHILDREN OF MEN and Gareth Edwards' MONSTERS. Their surf aesthetic can be seen in the cinematography of Morgan Maassen and photography of Woody Gooch and Ed Fladung.