Jasmila Žbanić

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Jasmila Žbanić
Žbanić in 2010
Born (1974-12-19) 19 December 1974 (age 49)
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
Years active1998–present
SpouseDamir Ibrahimović

Jasmila Žbanić (Bosnian pronunciation: [jasmǐla ʒbǎːnitɕ]; born 19 December 1974) is a Bosnian film director, screenwriter and producer. She has received numerous accolades, including nominations for the Academy Award and two BAFTA Awards. Žbanić has also won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and has been nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

She is known for writing and directing the 2020 war drama film Quo Vadis, Aida?, which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language and the BAFTA Award for Best Direction.

Early life[edit]

Žbanić was born in Sarajevo on 19 December 1974 into a Bosniak family. Žbanić went to local schools before attending the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, where she got a degree.[1] 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.[citation needed]


Žbanić at the Sarajevo Film Festival in 2007

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.")[2] Through Deblokada, Žbanić wrote and produced many documentaries, video artworks, and short films.[2] 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.[2] Since then she has made well-received feature films.

Her 2006 feature film Grbavica, won the Golden Bear at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival,[3] 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.[2] Her 2010 film Na putu (On the Path), which explores the relationship of a young couple living in Sarajevo,[4] was screened at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[5]

Žbanić's 2020 war drama film Quo Vadis, Aida? won the Audience Award at the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Best International Film Award at the 2021 Gothenburg Film Festival,[6] entered into the 77th Venice International Film Festival[7] and also won the Best International Film Award at the 36th Independent Spirit Awards.[8] Further more, in March 2021, the film was nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language and Žbanić was nominated for Best Director at the 74th British Academy Film Awards.[9] On 15 March 2021, Žbanić's film was nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.[10] At the 34th European Film Awards held in December 2021, Quo Vadis, Aida? won the Award for Best Film.[11] Also, Žbanić won the Award for Best Director and cast member Jasna Đuričić won the Award for Best Actress at the same awards.[12]

Themes and characters[edit]

Žbanić acknowledges that her films deal chiefly with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She says that she uses film to explore problems and issues relating to her life.[13] Žbanić strives to create characters that are not just "black and white," as real people are not that simple.[13] She does not create characters who are strict saints and heroes, but who might be weak and also brave and tolerant.[13] In 2017, Žbanić signed the Declaration on the Common Language of the Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks and Montenegrins.[14]



Year Film Director Writer Producer Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1995 Autobiografija Yes Yes No
1997 Poslije, poslije Yes Yes No
1998 Noć je, mi svijetlimo Yes Yes Yes
Ljubav je... Yes Yes No
2000 Red Rubber Boots Yes Yes Yes
2003 Sjećaš li se Sarajeva Yes Yes No
Images from the Corner Yes Yes No
2004 Birthday Yes Yes No
2006 Grbavica Yes Yes No 98%[15] 71%[16]
2010 On the Path Yes Yes No
2013 For Those Who Can Tell No Tales Yes Yes Yes
2014 One Day in Sarajevo Yes No Yes
Love Island Yes Yes No
2017 Men Don't Cry No No Yes
2020 Quo Vadis, Aida? Yes Yes Yes 100%[17] 97%[18]


Year Television show Episode/s Director Writer Producer
2023 The Last of Us "Kin" Yes No No
I Know Your Soul 6 episodes Yes Yes Yes


Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
1998 Sarajevo Film Festival Special Prize Noć je, mi svijetlimo Won [19]
2003 ZagrebDox Big Stamp Images from the Corner Won
2006 Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear Grbavica Won
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Won
Peace Film Award Won
Sarajevo Film Festival Ivica Matić Award Won
2010 Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear On the Path Nominated
2020 Venice International Film Festival Golden Lion Quo Vadis, Aida? Nominated
2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam Audience Award Won
Gothenburg Film Festival Best International Film Award Won
Independent Spirit Awards Best International Film Won
British Academy Film Awards Best Director Nominated
Best Film Not in the English Language Nominated
93rd Academy Awards Best International Feature Film Nominated
European Film Awards Best Film Won
Best Director Won
Best Screenwriter Nominated


  1. ^ "Jasmila Zbanic • Director". Cineuropa. 5 December 2006. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "On The Path". The Match Factory. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  3. ^ Holdsworth, Nick (16 February 2010). "Woman on the path to directing". Variety. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  4. ^ "'Na Putu': a sublime film of compassion by Jasmila Zbanic". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Hollywood Reporter: Berlin festival unveils full lineup". hollywoodreporter.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  6. ^ N.V. (7 February 2021). "Film "Quo vadis, Aida" nagrađen na filmskim festivalima u Roterdamu i Goterborgu" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  7. ^ Sharf, Zack (28 July 2020). "Venice Film Festival 2020 Full Lineup: Luca Guadagnino, Chloe Zhao, Gia Coppola, and More". IndieWire. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  8. ^ N.O. (23 April 2021). ""Quo Vadis, Aida?" dobio još jednu nagradu za najbolji strani film" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  9. ^ L.K. (9 March 2021). ""Quo Vadis, Aida?" nominovan za dvije BAFTA nagrade" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  10. ^ L.K. (15 March 2021). "Film Jasmile Žbanić o genocidu u Srebrenici nominovan za Oscara!" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  11. ^ I.B. (11 December 2021). "Film Jasmile Žbanić o genocidu u Srebrenici je najbolji evropski film 2021.!" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  12. ^ "European Film Awards". europeanfilmawards.eu. 11 December 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Derk, Denis (28 March 2017). "Donosi se Deklaracija o zajedničkom jeziku Hrvata, Srba, Bošnjaka i Crnogoraca" [A Declaration on the Common Language of Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks and Montenegrins is About to Appear]. Večernji list (in Serbo-Croatian). Zagreb. pp. 6–7. ISSN 0350-5006. Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Grbavica". rottentomatoes.com. 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Grbavica". metacritic.com. 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  17. ^ "Quo Vadis, Aida?". rottentomatoes.com. 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Quo Vadis, Aida?". metacritic.com. 2021. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Jasmila Žbanić awards". IMDb. Retrieved 10 February 2021.

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