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Juanra Fernández

Filmmaker, comic book author and novelist.

by Sherif Awad

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-Like all children of my generation, we grew up reading comics. The only source of fiction that came to us was books or some few films broadcasted on television. I remember that my father bought me Asterix comic books that I finished reading quickly, so I ran out of my would be favorite reading until the next visit to the bookstore. I guess that’s the way my imagination played an important role in abstracting myself inside these invented worlds and fantastic adventures. Now I keep doing it while it also helps me to earn money.

-I was passionate about epic movies and adventures in other historical times especially westerns. Now I write about Rome and make thriller films, yet my big dream is to invent a great story linked to the American Indians and the cowboys. I already did something in a novel, a Romans trip to America with the title ‘Beyond the Élysée’, but it was not a western.

-I also studied cinema and the fine arts to devote myself to this profession, this is how I started to learn to tell stories and to transfer them to the screen or in books. But my great influence came from my history studies. I specialized in ancient Rome, which is the subject that I wrote about and researched most while mixing real characters with historical names. It worked for me, and so I will continue to do it for both comics or literature. As for cinema, I have to work with smaller budgets and therefore I have to focus my stories on more current subjects, although still invented.

GLORIA VICTIS
CARACALLA

It is satisfying to know that my books are read in six different languages ​​around the world, just as it is comforting to receive an award in New York or India. But when I write, I never think of the repercussions that it can have. You always imagine the reaction of your close friends or your family because it is the direct response that you receive and it is the true reach to celebrity.

-Right now, with the COVID-19 crisis, it’s a completely new and complex situation. Comics have no major problems although in Spain it is not as well-received as in France. On the other side, cinema crosses a desperate situation since we do not know when it will be possible to return to shooting and that I suppose that film productions will be put on hold for while.

-I Always with enthusiasm with each new project as an adventure that begins with the documentation/research process which is for me the most interesting part. Then, I start to build the story as if it were a puzzle by creating its characters because by creating them, you feel like God. You invent them, you give them life and you manage them as you please. And finally, you retrace the whole story, with a beginning and an end that almost do not always correspond to what you had planned. Writing is my passion and the escape from my own life, that’s why I feel lucky because I live a thousand lives in one.

I am currently working on two different stories for new comics, with illustrators Daniel Acuña and Gyula Nemeth. With the first, It is a historical narrative taking place in the Russian campaign of Napoleon during withdrawal of French troops. As with the second, it is yet another historical theme talking in the early Middle Ages of Spain.

For cinema, I’m about to release my third film “Rocambola”, and work on the next one, another thriller that I originally called “The Virtuous”. In addition, my fourth novel, “Caracalla and I”, is about to arrive in bookstores.

-Fortunately, now I have no problem in financing. It’s always hard to start, like in everything. But once you have print or screen work, it is easier to have access to publishers or producers of movies. However, there are always other types of difficulties, no longer economic, but artistic, especially in cinema.

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