Juanita Wilson’s ‘As If I Am Not There’ announced as Ireland’s submission for the Foreign Language category for the 2012 Academy Awards®

As If I Am Not THere

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.


Click here for Film Ireland’s interview with Director Juanita Wilson.


Juanita Wilson’s 'As If I Am Not There', Fastnet Film’s Irish/Finnish co-production 'Silent Sonata' and Element Pictures’ co-production 'Essential Killing' selected for European Film Award..


Three Irish co-productions have been selected for this year’s European Film Awards by the European Film Academy.

Juanita Wilson’s As If I Am Not There, Fastnet Film’s Irish/Finnish co-production Silent Sonata and Element Pictures’ co-production Essential Killing have all been selected.

The 24th European Film Awards will take place in Berlin on 3rd December.



DVD: As If I Am Not There


As If I'm Not There


DIR/WRI: Juanita Wilson • PRO: James Flynn, Nathalie Lichtenthaeler, Karen Richards • DOP: Tim Fleming • ED: Nathan Nugent • DES: Bujar Muca • Cast: Natasa Petrovic, Stellan Skarsgård, Miraj Grbic

Based on Croatian Slavenka Drakulic’s novel, Juanita Wilson’s As If I Am Not There is an unforgettable and powerful film shedding light on the atrocities committed in former Yugoslavia. Natasha Petrovic plays Samira, who is teaching in a rural village when a gang of soldiers arrive who shoot all the men, and take the women away to a prison camp. Here the soldiers systematically rape and subject the women to horrific humiliation and torture. Samira adopts her own measures in order to survive.

It is a distinctive debut feature from Wilson, whose skill behind the camera is obvious as the film unfolds. Employing sparse dialogue, Wilson uses the camera patiently in a way that affects a mood of visceral tension riddled with a chronic sense of dread. By focusing on one woman’s story, Wilson’s brave directorial debut presents the depressing reality of war – the pain and suffering it inflicts on innocent people. As If I Am Not There is both a story that needs to be told and a film that needs to be seen.


Steven Galvin


As If I Am Not There is released on DVD on 1st June 2011


  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Element Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 01 June 2011
  • Run Time: 106 minutes



Win a copy of Juanita Wilson’s 'As If I Am Not There'



Film Ireland has 3 DVD copies of Juanita Wilson’s stunning feature debut, As If I Am Not There, to give away.

For a chance to win a copy of the multi-award winning film, please like us on facebook and follow us on twitter (if you don’t already) and answer the following question.

What was the name of Juanita Wilson’s short film that was nominated for an Oscar® in 2010?

Was it:

A) The Window
B) The Door
C) The Mantlepiece

Please email filmireland@gmail before Monday, 4th July for a chance to win a copy of As If I Am Not There.

As If I Am Not There is released on DVD on 1st July.


'As If I Am Not There' screening and director Q&A at The Model, Sligo


IFTA award-winning Director to attend screening & talk of ‘As If I Am Not There’ at The Model

The award-winning movie ‘As If I Am Not There’ will be screened at The Model Cinema from March 30th – April 1st.

This film is a modern war story that explores love, identity and the connections between us and has been described by film critics as ‘astounding’ and ‘extraordinary’. The film tells the story of a young woman from Sarajevo whose life is shattered the day a young soldier walks into her apartment and tells her to pack her things. We witness what follows as the war in former Yugoslavia unfolds around her.

Juanita Wilson, Director of ‘As If I Am Not There’ and winner of the IFTA for Best Director, Best Script and Best Film, will engage in a Q & A with the audience at The Model on Thursday, March 31st at 8pm

As Director Screenings are very popular, early booking and arrival is advised.

For further information or to book seats please log onto www.themodel.ie/film or call (071) 914 1405.