Directed by: Ella Mische
Entrepreneur: Irena Orlovic
Synopsis: Learning is a lifelong pursuit, often brimming with a wealth of books and experts on every topic imaginable. But when Irena Orlovic went searching for ways to help teach her young daughter with a developmental disability, she discovered only empty bookshelves in her native language. What began as an educational journey of her own, led her to start of Harfa, a publishing house founded with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to help teach an entire country.
As a ﬁlmmaker, being given an opportunity to direct a piece in my home country of Croatia about a successful business woman, with one of the most dedicated and hard-working international crews, makes me grateful and artistically fulﬁlled beyond measure.
“Tell me your story” is how we began. The crew were all strangers to our subject Irena, but her ﬁrst interview became the core of the piece. In a short time we were able to capture the raw moments. From day one, the entire team was enamored by the story of a wonderful family, fragile at ﬁrst glance, yet holding the strength of the world. With Irena and myself there was a sense of immediate understanding and soulful familial feeling, as if we had already known each other. I wanted to create a comfortable and open space for Irena to share with us, as that is where the goodness of story lies.
Those in-between moments moved us all, and made us closer both as a filmmaking team and as new friends, inspiring and enriching each other. We had the perfect team to pull out a great story technically, intellectually, and skillfully to help the story live on. This project, Irena, and her daughter were a gift to me.