Three highly acclaimed directors join together to direct three interwoven stories that take place during a journey from Central Europe to Rome. The characters connect through casual encounters and set forth a story of love, chance and sacrifice.
One older businessman finds solace and a new insight into life when he is forced to wait at the train station due to bad weather. A young man is reminded of life’s obligations but is also introduced to love. And three Scottish youths on their way to the football match of their dreams are forced to open their eyes and see the bigger picture.
One single train journey sparks many changes for many people. This is a film about privilege and exclusion, and the reality of the value of just one ticket.
The making of Tickets started with a conversation between director Abbas Kiarostami and producers Carlo Cresto-Dina and Babak Karimi. Kiarostami suggested the idea of a trilogy of feature-length documentaries to be directed by three different directors. When asked to name the directors he would have liked to have on board, he immediately mentioned Ermanno Olmi and Ken Loach. A fax was sent to the two masters who both immediately replied with an almost identical phone call: 'I am in! The three of us can make tremendous work together’.
The story was conceived in sequence by Ermanno Olmi (who first came up with a story of an old scientist on a train), Abbas Kiarostami (who picked up some of Olmi’s characters and continued the plot) and finally Ken Loach (who, with writer Paul Laverty, introduced new characters and stories but at the same time concluded Olmi’s initial plot). The film is all set on a train, travelling from central Europe to Rome. Stories and characters will interweave like casual encounters on a second class intercity train. Some of the sequences were jointly directed by the three together.
The editing then gelled together the stories in a single storyline.