Zagreb Film Festival is one of the central and most visited cultural events and the largest international film festival in Croatia. It’s held every year in November in Zagreb and presents to the audience the best of recent independent international and domestic film production. From its beginning, ZFF is oriented towards discovering and promoting contemporary independent film and debut films of directors from around the world. By offering for more than two decades a festival, and later a distribution platform, and by screening films which are often not found in multiplex theatres, the festival played a crucial role in bringing up generations of audiences who enjoy film art.
Festival main competition program is presented in three categories:
> INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
> INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM
International feature and short film programs present exclusively debut directors’ films (first or second), while the Checkers present short films by Croatian directors who have not made a feature film yet.
Each year some of most prominent names of the film industry sit in two international festival juries who decide on the best films in the main competition section. One jury is deciding on the best feature films, while the other on the best short films. The winner in each category receives the Golden Pram and a money award.
Next to the competition programs Festival is also presenting side film programs, along with Industry, a unique training and networking platform which hosts an educational and practical program with numerous masterclasses, pitching sessions, workshops, panel discussions and round tables held by some of most respectful names in the film industry.
> Golden Pram for Best Feature Film and money award
> Golden Pram for Best Short Film and money award
> Golden Pram for Best Croatian Film in Checkers Program and money award
> Network of Festivals in the Adriatic Region: Adriatic Audience Award
ARTICLE I - General Propositions
The 21st Zagreb Film Festival will take place in Zagreb, Croatia, from 6th to 12th November 2023. Its aim is to get the Croatian audience acquainted with new film directors and their first or second films, and to organize creative meetings with international and local film artists and professionals. The festival thus aims to make a positive impact on the improvement of Croatian film production and culture. The Festival's specific focus is to enable insight into European cinema.
ARTICLE II - Application Requirements
In the competition program, the Zagreb Film Festival will present an international selection of directors' first or second films in the following categories:
> Feature Fiction Film - to meet the festival requirements for the competition program, the film should be the director's first or second feature produced in 2022 or 2023 and longer than 70 minutes. If selected for the program, the film must be screened in the DCP format. The director's first or second film means that it is director's first or second film intended for theatrical screenings.
> Short Fiction Film - to meet the festival requirements for the competition program, the film should be the director's first or second short film produced in 2022 or 2023 and should be up to 20 minutes long. The director's first or second film is considered to be their first or second professional film during or after the studies. Authors who apply with their film are requested to precisely define the status of their film in the application. In case this information is not provided, film will not be considered.
Animated, experimental and documentary films will not be accepted.
Croatian Premiere - to be eligible for the competition program, the submitted films, apart from the ones produced in Croatia, must not have had public screenings on the territory of the Republic of Croatia and in case the film is selected for the festival's program, its screening must be the Croatian premiere. Feature films produced in Croatia must not have had screenings before, except at the Pula Film Festival. The Zagreb Film Festival will also present a competition program of Croatian short film in the Checkers program (the regulations are available in the Croatian version of the Terms and Conditions).
Submissions for international feature and short programs are subject to a registration fee payable during the online submission process. The submissions are to be paid through Film Freeway platform. The submission fee is non-refundable.
The submission and participation of a film in the Festival imply acceptance of the Terms and conditions for participation. In any unforeseen eventuality, the decision of the Festival Management is final.
The application deadline for the competition program is August 20, 2023. Upon submitting the online application, an online screener must be provided in the application and the link should be available by the end of the selection process.
Only the films completed after January 1, 2022, can be selected for the competition program.
Submission with incomplete or misleading information or documentation will not be
ARTICLE III - Selection and Film Screenings
For the competition program, the selection panel will choose 10 first or second feature films, and 10 to 12 first or second short films as well as 10 to 12 Croatian short films (Checkers program). Each of the selected films will be screened up to three times during the festival. All selected films will be screened in its original version with English and Croatian subtitles. Films produced in Croatia must have subtitles in English. After the festival’s selection team has seen all the films and has made the final selection, the festival organizers will inform the authors about the decision via a letter of
All the authors of the selected films will have been notified by October 10, 2023.
Films which promote racism, or any other form of intolerance, or those which promote pornography shall not be taken into consideration by the selection panel.
ARTICLE IV - Jury and Awards
The international jury for the competition program of feature films will consist of at least three film professionals and will give one award:
> the Golden Pram for the best feature film. Together with the award, the director of the best feature film will be given award money.
The international jury for the competition program of international short films and for the competition program of Croatian short films (Checkers) will consist of at least three film professionals and will give two awards:
> the Golden Pram for the best short film. Together with the award, the director of the best short film will be given award money.
> the Golden Pram for the best Croatian film in the Checkers competition. Together with the award, the director of the best Croatian film will be given award money.
The money award will be transferred within 60 days from the day of announcement of the awards (November 11, 2023).
ARTICLE V - Press material
Upon the notice of selection, the Festival will demand press material for each of the selected films, which has to contain the following:
- At least 3 high resolution stills from the film
- A photo of the director
- A document containing a brief synopsis, credits list and information about the production
- Poster of the film in .jpg format
- The dialogue list in .srt format (in English and in the film's original language)
- The list of festivals and awards as well as other relevant information which can be used for the promotion of the film
- Trailer, short excerpts or teaser of the film.
By providing the materials, the producer or director authorizes the festival to use and publish all listed materials in the festival's catalogue, and authorizes it to use the materials in print media and on TV (up to three minutes of the film) for the purpose of promoting the festival in the media.
ARTICLE VI - Transportation of Screening Materials
All screening materials of feature and short films should arrive to the festival’s address by October 10, 2023 or later, depending on the arrangement with the distributor or producer. Film copies need to have English subtitles, except the films done in English language.
Transportation expenses of the screening materials will be covered in both directions, except in case the copy is transported to or from another festival. In that case the festival shares the transportation expenses with the other festival.
The parcel has to have the following sign: No commercial value, for cultural use only. Copies of the film will be returned no later than two weeks after the festival's closing unless otherwise stipulated with the distributor or producer. The festival's selection panel reserves the right to reject the copies of low technical quality, which can cause possible problems in the course of its screening.
ARTICLE VII - Guests of the Festival
Directors whose films have been selected in the competition program are invited to the festival. The directors will be contacted by the Festival's hospitality office.
ARTICLE VIII: Archive Copies
Screeners of the submitted films will be archived for the purpose of documentation. Every commercial use of the archived materials is strongly forbidden.
ARTICLE IX - Final Provisions
Terms and Conditions are written both in Croatian and in English. In case of ambiguities in the interpretation of the text, the Croatian version is prevalent. Items that are not comprised in this Terms and Conditions will be considered directly by the festival organizers in compliance with the generally established Terms and Conditions. All the participants of the festival accept this Terms and Conditions. In case of complaints, all the issues related to the festival fall exclusively within the jurisdiction of the ratione materiae court in Zagreb.