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 41)
Sarajevo, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) Damir Ibrahimović

Jasmila Žbanić[pronunciation?] (born 19 December 1974) is a Bosnian film director and screenwriter. She is noted for the film Grbavica, which won the 2006 Golden Bear at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival. Her 2010 film Na putu was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

Early life[edit]

Žbanić was born in Sarajevo in 1974, to Bosniak parents. Žbanić went to local schools before attending the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, where she got a degree.[2] She worked for a time in the United States as a puppeteer in the Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater and as a clown in a Lee De Long workshop. In 1997, she founded the artist's association "Deblokada" and started making documentaries and short films.


Žbanić went to the United States in order to work as a puppeteer in the Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater. She also learned to act as a clown in a Lee De Long workshop.

After her return to Bosnia and Herzegovina, she founded the artists' association "Deblokada" (meaning "de-blocking.")[3] Through Deblokada, Žbanić wrote and produced many documentaries, video artworks, and short films.[3] Her work has been seen around the globe, 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 Istanbul Biennale in 2003.[3] Since then she has made well-received feature films.

Her 2006 feature film Grbavica won the Golden Bear award at Berlinale 2006, the Grand Jury Prize at 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 (2010, meaning "On the Path,") traces the relationship of a young couple living in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.[4] The woman, Luna, works as a flight attendant and her boyfriend, Amar, works at a ground control center. The couple is in love and lives a life full of romance until Amar develops a drinking problem; he 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 follows the couple as they try to work through their personal 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]

Themes and characters[edit]

Žbanić acknowledges that her films deal chiefly with people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She says that she uses film to explore problems and issues relating to her life. She knows that she is up against high standards of film in competition with the mass of other regional cinematography.[5] Žbanić strives to create characters that are not just "black and white," as real people are not that simple.[5] She does not create characters who are strict saints and heroes, but who might be weak and also 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)
  • One Day in Sarajevo (2014)



  1. ^ "Hollywood Reporter: Berlin festival unveils full lineup". hollywoodreporter.com. Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  2. ^ http://www.cineuropa.org/it.aspx?t=interview&l=en&did=69181
  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]