Bosnian writer and director Danis Tanovic became a celebrity in the international film community practically overnight with the release of his award-winning drama about the horrors of the Bosnia-Herzegovina war, No Man's Land. Born in 1969 in the former Yugoslavia, Tanovic developed an interest in filmmaking after spending several years studying music and engineering, and was attending the Sarajevo Film Academy in 1992 when the war broke out. Over the next two years, Tanovic shot literally hundreds of hours of documentary footage of the war and its effect on the nation before leaving Sarajevo to study filmmaking in Belgium. While studying in Belgium, Tanovic produced a documentary about the Bosnian conflict, A Year After, and several short films; he also wrote a play, A Madman and a Nun. In time, Tanovic set aside documentaries and shorter projects to concentrate on his screenplay for No Man's Land, which Tanovic brought before the cameras with financing from Belgian, Italian, British, and Slovenian film companies (the film was shot in Slovenia). Released in 2001, No Man's Land received critical acclaim in Europe and America, and earned several awards for Tanovic: He won the Best Screenplay prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, the Best New Director trophy at the 2001 Cesar Awards, and was cited for his work on the film at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the San Sebastian International Film Festival, and the Sao Paulo International Film Festival.