Jasmila Žbanić

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Jasmila Žbanić
Jasmila Zbanic KVIFF.jpg
Jasmila Žbanić at 2010 KVIFF
Born (1974-12-19) 19 December 1974 (age 39)
Sarajevo, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1998–present
Awards ZagrebDox Big Stamp
2005 Images from the Corner
Berlinale Golden Bear for Best Film
2006 Grbavica

Jasmila Žbanić (born 19 December 1974) is a Bosnian film director and a graduate of the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo's Department for Theater and Film Directing. She also worked as a puppeteer in the Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater and as a clown in a Lee De Long workshop. She is noted for the 2006 Golden Bear winning film Grbavica. In 1997, she founded the artist's association "DEBLOKADA". Žbanić has a young daughter named Zoe. Her 2010 film Na putu was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[1] According to Žbanić, her first name is a deliberate corruption of the name Jasmina.

Life and career[edit]

Žbanić was born in Sarajevo to a Muslim Bosniak family but declares herself an atheist.[2] Žbanić began making films in 1997 once she founded the artist's association "Deblokada" which translates to "de-blocking."[3] Through Deblokada, Žbanić wrote and produced many documentaries, video artworks and short films.[3] Her work has made its way around the globe through being screened in film festivals and shown at exhibitions such as the Manifesta 3 in Slovenia in 2000, The Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel in 2004, and the Istanbull Bienale in 2003.[3] Her 2006 film "Grbavica", won the Golden Bear award at Berlinale 2006, the Grand Jury Prize, the International Feature Competition Festival in 2006 and was awarded the Best European Film and best European actress award in 2006.[3]

Žbanić's movie "Na Putu," or in translation: "On the Path," traces the relationship of a young couple living in Sarajevo, Bosnia.[4] The woman, Luna, works as a flight attendant and her boyfriend, Amar, works at a ground control center. The couple is madly in love and lives a life full of romance until Amar is overtaken by a drinking problem and has to move. Over time, Amar becomes increasingly involved with a Muslim community. Their relationship seems to fall apart and as Amar becomes more involved with Islam, he pressures Luna to follow in his footsteps. The movie unfolds as the couple attempts to work through their troubles in a society that is still "deeply tormented by the aftermath of the war."[4] This film is appreciated for its portrayal of life in Bosnia but also for its sensitivity toward its characters.[4] It's a film that does not judge but rather portrays the many ways that people have learned to live their lives following the war.[4] "On the Path" is the story of Luna and her struggle to "accept the past and not be trapped by it." [4]

Žbanić acknowledges the fact that her films are known for being targeted towards the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina but explains that she has always used film to understand the problems relating her life specifically. She lives in Bosnia and therefore depicts the things that surround her. She believes that her Bosnian audience is intelligent and well-meaning, but knows that she is up against high standards of film in competition with the mass of other Yugoslav cinematography.[5] In regard to the characters within her films, Žbanić strives to create characters that are not just "black and white" just as real people in real life are not that simple.[5] She doesn't believe in the creation of characters that are strict saints and heroes but rather creates characters that might be weak, but are unbelievably brave and tolerant.[5]


Jasmila Žbanić at 2007 Sarajevo Film Festival
  • Autobiografija (1995)
  • Poslije, poslije (1997)
  • Noć je, mi svijetlimo (1998)
  • Ljubav je... (1998)
  • Red Rubber Boots (2000)
  • Sjećaš li se Sarajeva (2003)
  • Images from the Corner (2003)
  • Birthday (2004)
  • Grbavica (2006)
  • Na putu (2010)
  • For Those Who Can Tell No Tales (2013)
  • Otok ljubavi (2013)


  • Golden Bear - Best Film - Berlin Film Festival 2006, for Grbavica
  • Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Berlin Film Festival 2006, for Grbavica
  • Peace Film Award - Berlin Film Festival 2006, for Grbavica
  • Big Stamp - ZagrebDox, for Images from the Corner
  • Award of the Soros Center for Contemporary Art, for Autobiografija
  • Award of the Soros Center for Contemporary Art, for Poslije, poslije
  • Special prize at Sarajevo Film Festival, for Noć je, mi svijetlimo
  • Jury award at New York Expo Film Festival, for Noć je, mi svijetlimo
  • Special mention at Alpe Adria Film Festival, for Red Rubber Boots
  • Plaque of Sarajevo Canton, and Key of Sarajevo


  1. ^ "Hollywood Reporter: Berlin festival unveils full lineup". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2010-02-07. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Jasmila Zbanic • Director". 
  3. ^ a b c d "On The Path". The Match Factory. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "'Na Putu': a sublime film of compassion by Jasmila Zbanic". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Žbanić, Jasmila. "Jasmila Žbanić: Nikoga ne zanima to što Bosna nema kameru ili što je tu bio rat". Oslobodenje. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 

External links[edit]