26 September 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Juanita Wilson’s Debut Secures Eurimages Support
10 Jun 2009 :
Juanita Wilson
‘As If I’m Not There’, the feature film debut from writer/director Juanita Wilson (The Door) has secured €220,000 funding from the latest Eurimages co-production fund.

‘As If I’m Not There’ tells the story of Samira, a young Bosnian teacher, who is confined in a prison camp during the Balkan conflict of the early 1990’s. Amidst the horror, cruelty and darkness of war, she finds her way to the light and a new reason to hope. Written and to be directed by Wilson, ‘As If I’m Not There’ is based on the acclaimed book by Croatian writer Slavenka Drakulić.

The Irish / Macedonian / Swedish co-production is produced by Irish producers Nathalie Lichtenthaeler (The Front Line) from Wide Eye Films and James Flynn (Ondine) from Octagon Films. Lena Rehnberg (Let the Right One In) of Sweden’s Stella Nova Films and Vladimir Anastasov (The Border Post) of Macedonia’s Sektor Film Dooel are also producing.

Filming is scheduled to begin on location in Macedonia and Sweden in September 2009 with a seven week shoot planned. Irish DOP Tim Fleming (Once, Wide Open Spaces) is lensing. Other key Irish crew are yet to be confirmed but it is thought the behind the camera creative team will be predominantly Irish with a Bosnian / Serbian / Croatian cast.

Juanita Wilson has previously produced the Irish features ‘Inside I’m Dancing’ and ‘H3’. Her debut short, ‘The Door’, won the IFTA for Best Short in 2009 and scooped prizes at festivals in Cork, Bilbao and Foyle. ‘The Door’ is set in the Ukraine with Russian dialogue and English subtitles. ‘As If I’m Not There’ will be filmed in the Bosnian language with English subtitles.

Speaking to IFTN about the project, producer Nathalie Lichtenthaeler said: “The story proves that love is stronger than hate. It’s a deeply affecting journey and in Juanita’s hands it’ll make for a very powerful movie.”

‘As If I’m Not There’ has also received €520,000 production funding from the Irish Film Board and is also supported by the Macedonian Film Fund, the Swedish Film Institute and Film Ivaest.

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