Irish Film & TV Academy Picks Juanita Wilson’s 'As If I Am Not There' For Oscar Race

7:32 AM PST 09/21/2011 by Stuart Kemp

The movie is set in the Balkans and shot largely in Serbo-Croat.

LONDON –  Juanita Wilson’s As If I Am Not There is the Irish Film & Television Academy’s pick for Ireland’s entry in the foreign language Oscar race.

The picture is set in the Balkans and shot primarily in the Serbo-Croatian language.

But it was developed and produced by Ireland’s Octagon Films with creative control and behind camera talent coming from the Emerald Isle.

The Irish Academy is hoping to grab a nomination slot on the back of qualifying as a film made in any language other than English and following a tour of selected festivals in the U.S.

The film has unspooled at several festivals including shindigs in Phoenix, Long Island and Rhode Island where it won best feature plaudits at each.

It also scooped a trio of nods at the IFTA ceremony earlier this year walking away with best film, best director and best script.

Wilson was previously nominated for an Academy Award in 2010 for her live action short film The Door.

Wilson’s film stars Natasa Petrovic and Miraj Grbic, and is billed as a hard hitting true story from  the Balkan War of the 1990’s, based on Croatian journalist Slavenka Drakulic’s book of the same name.

The story follows a young woman from Sarajevo whose life is  shattered after being rounded up with the other women from the village and imprisoned in a warehouse in a remote region of Bosnia. The day she is picked out to ‘entertain’ the soldiers, the real nightmare begins.

The pick reps Ireland’s second stab at trying to garner a foreign language Oscar nomination slot after Tom Collins’ Irish-language drama Kings was chosen for consideration in 2009.  

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