About the Festival

17th Zagreb Film Festival
7-17 November 2019

Zagreb Film Festival is one of the central and most visited cultural events, and the largest international film festival in Croatia. It is held during November in Zagreb and presents to its audience the best of newer independent international and local film production. From its beginnings, ZFF’s mission is to discover and promote contemporary independent film and debut films of directors from all over the world. For almost two decades, it has offered a festival, and later also a distribution platform, and it has screened works which are often left out of the programs of multiplex cinemas. The festival has also played a key role in educating generations of audiences which enjoy film art. The festival program offers a diverse film and educational content for all ages and interests, and serves as a platform for the networking of professionals: each edition of the festival gathers around 200 film experts from Croatia and around the world who come to Zagreb to present their films or participate in the festival’s educational programs.


A film heatwave is expected this November in the 17th ZFF autumn. Zagreb Film Festival, the biggest film adventure in Zagreb, will be held from 7th till 17th November in Tuškanac Cinema, MSU, KIC Hall, KUC Travno, NS Dubrava and Lauba. After more than 10 years, ZFF is at a crossroads, and enters its new chapter without the biggest and most beautiful movie theatre, Europa, whose future remains uncertain — with hope for a better and brighter future for cinema in Zagreb.


Zagreb Film Festival has always paid special attention to debutants and their first film steps. First and second films of upcoming authors are in the focus of the main competition program: the competition of feature films and international short films, and Checkers, a program dedicated to domestic short works. Over the years, numerous, then unknown directors, some of which are well-known names on the international film circuit, like Andrey Zvyagintsev, Xavier Dolan, Anton Corbijn, and Taiko Waititi, have presented their first films in Zagreb. ZFF continuously follows their work and shows their new films in the special competition program Together Again.


Aside from recent works of debutants which should be on every film enthusiast’s radar, the Festival also offers a whole range of attractive side programs for all generations. My First Film is dedicated to the film debuts of the world’s most significant directors, and this year it will have its special edition, In memoriam. Cinema hits from Europe’s biggest five cinematographers (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) are featured in the popular program The Great 5. The program PLUS, selected and awarded by highschool students, aims at a younger audience, while Bib for Kids is aimed at elementary school pupils. Selectors of renowned European festivals (Berlinale, the Venice Film Festival, Orizzonti section, Sarajevo Film Festival, Mediterranean Film Festival Split) pick films for Zagreb’s audience in the section Festivals in the Spotlight. There are also several special side programs each year, and this year, one of them is dedicated to prominent directors who tackled emigration in their work.


During its 11 days, ZFF brings us the best of current European and world debut production, and it enables numerous participants to work on education and professionalization. The educational platform Industry encompasses a number of workshops, lectures, panels, and other activities aimed at professionals, young filmmakers, and everyone interested. My First Script workshops are already a tradition aimed at filmmakers who are preparing their scenario for their first feature film, while established film authors can discover the secrets of film production during lectures. Industry also features new content like virtual reality workshops and video-game production.


Hrvatski Telekom is the general sponsor of the Festival, and it is financially supported by the City Office for Culture, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Creative Europe – a MEDIA sub-programme, Kultura Nova Foundation and Zagreb Tourist Board. The monetary awards sponsor in the international program is the Addiko Bank.