The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) has today announced that Ireland’s submission for the Foreign Language category for the 2012 Academy Awards is Juanita Wilson’s As If I Am Not There.
Each year, the American Academy invites countries outside of the US to submit one eligible film to represent that country. Key eligibility is that the film must be made in any language other than English. It is an exciting category that opens up opportunities to showcase some of the world’s finest productions to the US and other markets.
The Irish Film & Television Academy is the official organisation responsible for Ireland’s submission for this category, and this year Ireland will have a very strong submission with the moving and beautiful film As If I Am Not There, the feature debut from Irish writer/director Juanita Wilson. Set in the Balkans, developed and produced by Octagon Films in Bray and shot primarily in the Serbo-Croatian language, the creative control and talent behind the film is Irish (including writer/director Juanita Wilson, producer James Flynn, DP Tim Fleming, editor Nathan Nugent, etc).
Most recently, As If I Am Not There has been included in the Official Selection List for the European Film Awards. The film won three top Awards at the IFTA Ceremony earlier this year – Best Film, Best Director and Best Script, and was nominated in a further five categories. A few days after the IFTAs, it was nominated in the category of ‘The Most Valuable Film of The Year’ at the Cinema For Peace Gala at the 2011 Berlinale. Since then, As If I Am Not There has won awards at a number of high profile festivals throughout the world including prestigious U.S festivals for independent feature films.
Juanita Wilson was previously nominated for an Academy Award in 2010 for her live action short film The Door. In January 2011 at a ceremony at the Palm Springs Film Festival where As If I Am Not There was screened, Wilson was selected amongst Variety’s Top Ten Directors to Watch. This followed the premiere of As If I Am Not There at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010 which garnered a rave review in Variety magazine at the time. Wilson was the only woman on the list of named directors.
Speaking about the Selection, As If I Am Not There writer/director Juanita Wilson said: ‘It’s great to have my work recognised in this way and a tribute to my team.’
The submission of As If I Am Not There was approved by an independent selection committee comprised of Members of the Irish Academy.
The 84th Annual Academy Awards® will be held on 26th February, 2012. Nominations will be announced during the fourth week of January.
Over 60 countries submit to this category every year.