Irish send ‘As If I Am Not There’ to Oscars

Juanita Wilson pic shot primarily in Serbo-Croat

LONDON — Juanita Wilson’s “As If I Am Not There” is Ireland’s submission for the foreign-language category for the Academy Awards.

Pic, which is the feature debut from Irish helmer-scribe Wilson, was announced as the Irish entry by the Irish Film and Television Academy on Wednesday.

Story, set in the Balkans, was developed and produced by Octagon Films in Bray, and shot primarily in the Serbo-Croatian language.

Pic stars Natasa Petrovic and Miraj Grbic, and follows the true story from the Balkan War of the 1990s, based on Croatian journalist Slavenka Drakulic’s book of the same name.

Story follows a young woman from Sarajevo whose life is shattered the day a soldier walks into her apartment and tells her to pack up her things. She, along with other women from the village, becomes imprisoned in a remote region of Bosnia.

James Flynn produces the pic.

“As If I Am Not There” was recently included in the official selection list for the European Film Awards, and won three awards at the IFTA ceremony earlier this year (best film, director and script).

Pic marks Ireland’s second submission for the Academy’s foreign-language film category: The country submitted Tom Collins’ Irish-language drama “Kings” in 2009.

Wilson was nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for her live-action short “The Door.”