Private Project

If Only

If Only is the story of three adult siblings each coming to grips with their mother's imminent death, as they spend their last day together as a family.

Inspired by the writer's own experiences, If Only is an exploration of grief, catharsis, and what could have been.

  • Sarah Wharton
  • Anna Frankl-Duval
  • Anna Frankl-Duval
  • Russell Kohlmann
    Play It Straight, Faustess, Uber Oracle (associate)
  • Sarah Wharton
    Percival's Big Night, That's Not Us, The Ring Thing, Bite Me.
  • Anna Frankl-Duval
    Key Cast
    American Deportation, The Review, A Million Tiny Reminders, The Far Side, Thank You New York.
  • Christine Verleny
    Key Cast
    Panic at the Pole, The Bunk, Something Beautiful, Firedancer, Winged Victory.
  • Shannon Hamm
    Key Cast
    Lost and Found, Refugee, The Last Night, Groupies, Bullsh*t, Lovestruck, East, Early Light, Seeking: Jack Tipper, Spilt Milk.
  • Russell Kohlmann
    Key Cast
    39 and a Half, Faustess, Shakira Walks, The Review, Drumpf, Jellyfish, Surrender.
  • Paul Lewis Anderson
    Director of Photography
    Beulah Land, Tree Hugger, A Beautiful Distraction, Dead Drunk, Great Expectations!, Between Lives, Lullaby, High Regard, Love What You Do, Online U, The Perfect Spot, Lily, Split Decision, Extraction.
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 3 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 21, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    10,273 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Sarah Wharton

Sarah Wharton is an award-winning producer, actor, writer, and now first-time director based in New York City. Her feature film That’s Not Us played at over 35 festivals around the world and was released as a Netflix exclusive through Strand Releasing. She previously collaborated as an actor and producer on Percival’s Big Night and Jane Wants A Boyfriend, currently playing on Showtime. She has produced work in Oslo, London, New Orleans and served as associate producer for the Harare International Festival of The Arts in Zimbabwe. She works in development with The Spangler Group - a film, television, and theater production company currently developing Happy Trails, a Broadway-bound musical written by Academy award-winner Marshall Brickman and composed by Grammy award-winner T Bone Burnett. She most recently wrapped The Ring Thing, a documentary-narrative hybrid feature about same-sex marriage. Next up, she is producing Bite Me with Jack Lechner and Naomi McDougall Jones, a subversive romantic comedy about a real-life vampire and the IRS agent who audits her.

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Director Statement

Being an artist has always felt akin to having superpowers - it is the power to be anyone, immortal, and a chance to relive or change the past, present, and future. In a less shiny version, being an artist has always been my way of processing - of laying out the fragments of my life, examining them, and then sometimes re-arranging them into a more comfortable image.

When I read the script for “If Only”, my first thought was, “This is a wish. I’d like to make it come true.” It is also, however, in many ways, a memory. My mission became to find the meeting place between wish and memory, to walk the line between regret and hope, hurt and healing, grief and grace. My hope is that this film embodies that wavering between what is and what could be.

This film is deeply personal but I believe that is what makes it universal. In writing such a true and heartfelt story, Anna Frankl-Duval has created a beautiful opportunity for catharsis. Her wish is my wish, too - to have more time, to make amends, to watch another sunset on the beach.