Jasmin Dizdar

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Jasmin Dizdar (born 8 June 1961 in Zenica) is a Bosnian-British screenwriter, film director and author on cinema. He is known for his film Beautiful People which won an award for the best film in Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival. Jasmin Dizdar's film Beautiful People is number 71 in The New York Times Guide to The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made.[1]


As a child Jasmin Dizdar was an award-winning short story writer. As an adolescent Jasmin Dizdar joined a local film club where he wrote, edited and directed numerous short documentary, drama and experimental films and began to take interest in film theory, particularly Russian structuralist film theory. His last Bosnian film Butterfly Dance (featuring an ensemble cast from Zenica's National Theatre) got him into the prestigious film academy FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic.

Jasmin Dizdar studied film directing at the Prague film school FAMU.[2] There he became known for his daring satirical humour often casting ordinary people, Czech actors and filmmakers who were not favoured with the communist regime. Legendary Czech film director Elmar Klos (Academy Award winner for the film The Shop on Main Street) gave Grand Jury prize to Mr. Dizdar's graduation film After Silence. This student film is preserved as a national treasure in the Czech national film archive.

His friendship with internationally acclaimed Czech cinematographer Miroslav Ondricek and Czech film critic Eva Zaoralova led to the publishing of Dizdar’s book about film director Miloš Forman, Audition for a Director.[3] This book is remembered as a unique in-depth analysis of a legendary filmmaker seen from a point of view of a film student. The book was published in a record number of fifty thousand copies.[4]

After graduating from university with a Red Diploma (i.e. highest honours) Mr. Dizdar lived briefly in France before settling in United Kingdom where he wrote number of screenplays for BBC Television and a radio play for BBC Radio 4.

Beautiful People is award winning and critically acclaimed feature film written and directed by Jasmin Dizdar. The film won an award for the best film in Un Certain Regard category at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival,[5] a "Gold Gryphon" at Saint-Petersburg International Festival of Festivals, and many other awards around the world.

Beautiful People, like Jasmin Dizdar's other films, is a satire. Jasmin Dizdar's satire could be described as a seraphic-smile sardonicism which combines everyday and imaginative realism with a musical and playful irony.

Beautiful People is set in London during October 1993 and it follows smitten Britons and Bosnians facing the same dilemma, unable to live in their own country or away from it. The lives of four English families are affected by an encounter with war refugees from the ex-Yugoslavia. As Britons and Bosnians try to come to terms with the fast changing world of the nineties, they gradually realize they share similar life crises and dreams.

Jasmin Dizdar also wrote and directed a film segment for the French and Italian feature film Les Europeens. A sophisticated Italian tour-guide lady and a primitive Maasai warrior meet by accident at Rome's car-park. As she desperately tries to get rid of him, she falls in love with him and their inability to understand each other helps them achieve perfect harmony.

Selected filmography[edit]

  • Butterfly Dance (1984)
  • Mr Slave (1985)
  • Crucifixion (1986)
  • Heroes Will Be Heroes (1987)
  • After Silence (1988)
  • Our Sweet Homeland (1989)
  • Beautiful People (1999)
  • Les Europeens (2006)

Television drama[edit]

  • Horseman (BBC, 1992)

Radio drama[edit]

  • Intimate Tragedy (BBC, 1994)

Jasmin Dizdar's bibliography[edit]

  • Miloš Forman Audition for a Director[3]


  • Yosefa Loshitzky: Screening Strangers[6]
  • Roger Ebert: The Ultimute Guide to the Best 1000 Modern Movies[7]
  • Andrew Horton: Screenwriting for a Global Market[8]


External links[edit]