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Samir Mehanović

Samir Mehanović
Black and white head shot of Samir Mehanović
Mehanović on location in Jharia, India
Born Tuzla, Bosnia
Residence Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation Film director
Years active 1992-present
Notable work

The Fog of Srebrenica

Mouth of Hell
The Way We Played

Samir Mehanović is a Bosnian and British multi-award winning film and theatre director, producer, and screenwriter who lives in Scotland since 1995. He is nominated for UK BAFTA 2017 and received the Grand Prix Award 22nd International Short Film Festival in Drama, Greece 2016 for the short film Mouth of Hell,[1] IDFA Special Jury Award for Documentary The Fog of Srebrenica[2] and the BAFTA SCOTLAND award for the short film The Way We Played.[3]

Early life

Mehanović was born the youngest of five sons to a family of coal miners. His father survived a mine explosion but was unable to continue working at the mine. He found work as an usher and janitor at Moša Pijade, the Bosnian Cultural Centre in Tuzla, and took his family to live with him. Young Mehanović often visited Moša Pijade, and was inspired by the work of theatre companies from Eastern Europe and Russia.

During the Bosnian War, the siege of Tuzla[1] by Serb forces put an end to Mehanović's studies. He established JLS Avantgarde Theatre company, developing his directing craft, learning together with his actors, and creating groundbreaking plays. On 25 May 1995 Mehanović went to rehearse a play with his theatre company, and narrowly avoided the Tuzla massacre, where 71 young people were killed. In July 1995 Mehanović witnessed the arrival of refugees from the Srebrenica genocide, mostly women and children.

Mehanović left Tuzla to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, having been invited by Richard Demarco OBE, co-founder of the Traverse Theatre. Mehanović remained in Edinburgh and applied for asylum, briefly living on the streets, before finding a council flat in Niddrie, a suburb of Edinburgh, at the time one of the most deprived areas in Scotland.[2][3]


Mehanović continued directing theatre in Edinburgh and in 2001 directed his first short film, Pigs Flying Pink. In 2004 he completed an MA in Film and TV at the Edinburgh College of Art, winning the Ingles Allen Award (2004) for Best MA Film with Game Over. The following year, he wrote and directed the short film, The Way We Played, about two boys from different religious backgrounds at the beginning of the Bosnian war, for which he won the Best First Time Director BAFTA Scotland award (2005), and the Houston Film Festival Silver Award (2006)[4]. Mehanović made his TV debut directing for BBC Artworks in 2008 with Class Enemy: A Message from Sarajevo, a 30-minute documentary completed within a two-month schedule. The same year he directed Richard and I, a very personal documentary that examined his relationship with art impresario Richard Demarco. In 2011, Mehanović attended the Binger Director's Lab, Amsterdam. In 2014, he directed the short film Mouth of Hell (2015), filmed on location in Jharia, India.

In 2014 Mehanović filmed, directed and produced Silent War Bekaa Valley, a documentary filmed on the Lebanese/Syrian border.

In 2015 he made film about Srebrenica genocide The Fog of Srebrenica that has been commissioned by BBC has also won IDFA Special Jury Award, as well as Amnesty International Award at Ljubljana Doc Fest and Best Cinematography Award at SEE Fest in LA.

In 2016 Mouth of Hell was awarded Grand Prix Award at Drama ISFF, Greece and it has received nomination for UK BAFTA 2017, award ceremony to be held in February.

Currently he is completing film about Syrian Refugees Through Our Eyes and writing feature length script.


Year Title Role
1992 The Prophet Director
1993/94 Fly out of the cage Director
1994 Dream of the Little Prince Director
1995 Pictor and Pictoria Director
1995 Lora’s Bosnian Diary Director
1997 Vivus Figurae Director
1998 Carmina Burana Director
2000 Performance on the Music by J.S. Bach Director
2000 The Double Director
2001 Perpetual Motion I Director
2002 Perpetual Motion II Director


Year Title Role Type
2001 Pigs Flying Pink Director Short film
2004 Game Over Director Short film
2005 The Way We Played Director, writer Short film
2008 Richard and I Director, producer, camera Documentary
2009 Class Enemy: A Message from Sarajevo Director Documentary
2015 Anant Director, writer Short film
2014 Silent War Bekaa Valley Director, producer, camera documentary
2015 The Fog of Srebrenica [] Director, producer, camera documentary
2017 Through Our Eyes [] Director, producer, camera documentary


1. Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2013
2. Interview, Sunday Times (2005)
3. Film awards ˇ 4. [1] 5. [2] 6. [3] 7. [4] 8. [5] 9. [6]

External links