It Happened Just Before

a film by Anja Salomonowitz
International Premiere: Berlinale Forum 2007

Austria 2006 // color // 72min // 35mm // Dolby SR


“It happened just before” is an artistic confrontation with the global phenomenon of trafficking in women. Anja Salomonowitz has chosen an unusual approach to the theme: her film is based on real narratives by women who were the objects of trafficking which were then re-worked into a documentary screenplay by the director. The stories are not retold by actresses but by people who have a direct relationship to events and places in the film: a customs officer, a village inhabitant, a bar-keeper in a bordello, a woman diplomat and a taxi driver. A film about false promises and exploitation, showing, that trafficking is everywhere around us, although we may not notice.

Written & Directed by

Anja Salomonowitz

Concept Consultants

Nora Sternfeld & Radostina Patulova

Text Consultant

Verein Lefö


Rainer Halbauer, Otto Pikal, Anna Sparer, Leopold Sobotka, Mag. Gertrud Tauchhammer


Jo Molitoris


Vladimir Bilic


Eric Spitzer

Art Director

Yindra Soukup


Frédéric Fichefet & Gregor Wille


Florian Richling & David Salomonowitz

Production Management

Karin Berghammer


Gabriele Kranzelbinder & Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu



Supported by

Filmfonds Wien, ORF Film/Fernseh-Abkommen, IF Innovative Film, Land Niederösterreich


Autlook Film Sales

Awards & Nominations

Viennale 2006, Wiener Film Preis
Internationales Forum des Jungen Filmes, Berlinale 2007, Caligari-Filmpreis
Mar del Plata 2007, Artistic Innovation Award
Diagonale 2007, Preis für die beste Bildgestaltung
Cinéma du Réel 2007, Mention vom Comité des Bibliothèques
Alba Film Festival 2007, New Vision Best Director Award
Filmfest Osnabrück 2007, Friedensfilmpreis der Stadt Osnabrück
Jihlava Int. Documentary Filmfestival, Special Mention
Wiener Filmjournalisten 2007, Papierener Gustl for the best Documentary film 2007


WOMEN MAKE WAVES Film Festival, Taipei, October 2016
IndieLisboa - International Independent Film Festival 2015
CoPro 17 – The Israeli Documentary Screen Market 2015
Woman of Cinema - A4- Space for Contemporary Culture 2015
3rd China Women´s Film Festival in Peking 2015
Kino unter Sternen, Wien, 2015
Oslo Eurodok - Dokumentarfilmfestival 2008
Zagreb - Human Rights Film Festival 2008
Helsinki Docpoint - Dokumentarfilmfestival 2008
Festival d'Angers 2008
Warschau International Film Festival - Human Rights in Film 2007
Berlin One World - Filmfestival für Menschenrechte und Medien 2007
Copenhagen CPH:DOX International Documentary Filmfestival 2007
Berlin EthnoFilmfest 2007
Ljubljana International Film Festival, Slovenia 2007
Leeds International Filmfestival 2007
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2007
Duisburger Filmwoche 2007
Paris Feminist Filmfestival 2007
Leipziger Internationales Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm 2007
Jihlava International Documentary Filmfestival 2007
Osnabrück Filmfest 2007
Münster Filmfestival 2007
Flanders International Film Festival Ghent 2007
Nürnberger Filmfestival der Menschenrechte 2007
Copenhagen International Film Festival 2007
Vancouver International Film Festival 2007
Nancy Aye Aye Filmfestival 2007
Prizren Documentary Filmfestival 2007
Motovun International Filmfestival 2007
Melbourne International Film Festival 2007
Wroclaw ERA NEW HORIZON, Polen 2007
Jerusalem International Film Festival 2007
Paris Cinema 2007
FID Marseille - Marseille International Documentary Film Festival 2007
Oberösterreich Festival der Regionen mit Werkschau Anja Salomonowitz 2007
International Film Festival Artfilm Trencin/Trencianske Teplice, Slovak republic 2007
Norwegian Short Film Festival - Grimstad 2007 (parallel program)
Freiburger Filmwoche 2007
Festival Internacional de Cinema Feminino, FEMINA 2007, Rio de Janeiro
Crossing Europe Filmfestival, Linz 2007
Internationales Frauenfilmfestival Dortmund 2007
IndieLisboa - Lisbon International Independent Film Festival 2007
Alba Film Festival 2007
Diagonale 2007
Cinéma du Réel 2007
Mar del Plata International Film Festival 2007
Internationales Forum des Jungen Filmes, Berlinale 2007
Viennale 2006