Danis Tanović

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Danis Tanović
Danis Tanović.jpg
Danis Tanović

(1969-02-20) 20 February 1969 (age 49)
Zenica, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia

(now in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Residence Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Citizenship Bosnian and Belgian
Alma mater University of Sarajevo
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1994–present
Spouse(s) Maelys de Rudder Tanović[1]

Danis Tanović (born 20 February 1969) is a Bosnian film director and screenwriter. Tanović is best known for having directed and written the script for the 2001 Bosnian movie No Man's Land which won him the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Life and career[edit]

Tanović was born in Zenica on 20 February 1969. Tanović was raised in Sarajevo, where he also received his primary and secondary education. He also attended the University of Sarajevo Music Conservatory, where he played the piano.

As a young adult, Tanović decided to study at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo. However, due to the Siege of Sarajevo, Tanović was forced to stop his studies in 1992.

Immediately after war broke out, Tanović formed a film crew that followed the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, going on dangerous missions. The material that Tanović and the film crew produced has since been used in numerous films and news reports about the Siege of Sarajevo and the Bosnian war.

In late 1994, Tanović left the film crew he had worked with for over two years. A year later, Tanović decided to resume his studies, this time in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. In 1997, Tanović completed his studies in Brussels, graduating at the top of his class. During his studies he made several documentary films.

Shortly after, Tanović began his first movie project, entitled No Man's Land. He wrote and directed the movie, which was completed in 2001 and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival that same year. No Man's Land went on to win the Award for Best Screenplay (Prix du scénario) at Cannes, followed by numerous awards including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001, the European Film Academy Award for Best Screenplay, the César for the Best First Feature Film, the André Cavens Award for Best Film in 2001, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002.

Tanović was a member of the jury at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

His second feature project was L'Enfer, completed in 2005, from the screenplay by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz. The film marked the second installment in the Polish duo's projected trilogy Heaven (filmed by Tom Tykwer in 2002), Hell and Purgatory. Inspired by Euripides' Medea, L'Enfer explores the lives of three sisters, "each locked in her own unhappiness, nursing a secret flower of misery, the seed for which was planted by their late father with a terrible incident in their girlhood" (from a review by Peter Bradshaw).[2] The film received mixed reviews.[2][3][4][5]

Tanović holds joint Bosnian and Belgian citizenship and lives in Sarajevo with his wife and five children. He lived in Paris until 2007.

Tanović announced in March 2008 that he would be founding a political party, Naša Stranka, which would start contesting elections with the local elections in October 2008. He stated his motivations as wanting to bring political change to the country; his announcement was received positively.[6][7]

His 2010 film Cirkus Columbia was selected as the Bosnian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards,[8] but it didn't make the final shortlist.[9]

In June 2011, he was bestowed with an "honoris causa" doctorate by the University of Sarajevo.

His 2013 film An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker premiered in competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival[10] where it won two prizes: Silver Bear for Best Actor and the Jury Grand Prix.[11]

His latest film "Death in Sarajevo" won Jury Grand Prix at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. It has also won FIPRESCI Award for the best film in competition.

Currently, he works as a professor of film directing at Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo.


Year Film Director Writer Composer Screenplay Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1995 Miracle in Bosnia Yes No No No
1996 L'Aube Yes No No Yes
1999 Buđenje Yes Yes No No
2001 No Man's Land Yes Yes Yes No 93%[12] 84%[13]
2002 11'09"01 September 11 Yes Yes No No 78%[14]
2005 L'Enfer Yes No No No 67%[15]
2009 Triage Yes No Yes No
2010 Cirkus Columbia Yes No No No 80%[16] 57%[17]
2011 Prtljag Yes No No No
2013 An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker Yes Yes No No 93%[18]
2015 Tigers Yes Yes No Yes TBC TBC
2016 Death in Sarajevo Yes


  1. ^ https://www.klix.ba/lifestyle/modailjepota/pogledajte-najljepse-kreacije-sa-crvenog-tepiha-24-sarajevo-film-festivala/180816091#7
  2. ^ a b Bradshaw, Peter (April 21, 2006). "Hell (L'Enfer)". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2017. 
  3. ^ "'Pakao': Filmska ponuda koju Danis Tanović nije mogao odbiti". jutarnji.hr. 30 November 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2017. 
  4. ^ Dawson, Tom (April 12, 2006). "Hell (L'Enfer) (2006)". BBC. Archived from the original on June 16, 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2017. 
  5. ^ Holden, Stephen (March 10, 2006). "A Dose of French Film, Civil and Sane". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 December 2017. 
  6. ^ Oscar-winning director to establish new political party in BiH (SETimes.com)
  7. ^ http://soc.kuleuven.be/iieb/docs/2009/26780_Touquet.pdf[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Bosnia selects Cirkus Columbia; Bulgaria submits Eastern Plays for Oscars". Screendaily. Retrieved 29 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Continue to Oscar Race". oscars.org. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Berlinale Competition 2013: Another Nine Films Confirmed". berlinale. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Prizes of the International Jury". berlinale. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "No Mans Land". rottentomatoes.com. 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  13. ^ "No Mans Land". metacritic.com. 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  14. ^ "11'09\"01 September 11". rottentomatoes.com. 2002. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  15. ^ "L'Enfer". rottentomatoes.com. 2005. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Circus Columbia". rottentomatoes.com. 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Circus Columbia". metacritic.com. 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  18. ^ "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker". rottentomatoes.com. 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 

External links[edit]