Mark your calendars for one of the year's most exciting weeks for cinema buffs. The 18th Zagreb Film Festival (ZFF) is slated for the week of November 8-15 November, and it will be held online and at Kino SC, Kino Tuškanac, the Croatian Music Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and more.
ZFF will celebrate turning 18 with a variety of international film screenings, not only in Zagreb but also in a number of Croatian cities which are hosting the ZFF Travels program.
Learn more about the program and watch some fantastic film trailers below.
The ZFF program
The festival's competition program includes a few segments, such as international feature films, short films by up-and-coming talent, and Checkers (Croatian short films).
Another competition program is Together Again, which includes new works by already-established directors whose careers have been followed by ZFF from the very start.
Apart from competitions, this ZFF 2020 promises the usual accompanying programs such as The Great 5 and the Festivals in the Spotlight, along with the Industry program for film professionals.
Awarded films to be shown
This year’s ZFF will be held in a somewhat smaller capacity according to epidemiological measures, but the number of fantastic films airing will not be diminished.
Serbian film Oasis is directed and written by Ivan Ikić, one of the region's most interesting new talents. This film recently premiered during the Authors’ Days program at in Venice, and took home the title of Best European Film (the
Europa Cinemas Label Award).
Oasis is an unusual love story which takes place in a home for disabled children, teens, and young adults in Belgrade. At the same time, it's a painfully earnest look into the emotions and lives of people who are often deprived of their basic needs and wants. The protagonists are Marija, Dragana and Robert, residents in the home, who are caught up in a love triangle.
Ikić, who first caught public attention with his debut film Barbarians (2014), cast the main roles to amateur actors who are themselves residents of the Sremčica Home for Children and Young Adults with Disabilities. Starring are Marijana Novakov, Valentino Zenuni and Tijana Marković, and supporting are Goran Bogdan and Maruša Majer.
Presented the Silver Lion Award in Venice, New Order is a dystopian thriller by world-renowned Mexican director Michel Franco. The film will be airing as part of the Together Again program - Franco's film After Lucia aired at ZFF 2013.
New Order is the director's most provocative work yet, exploring the question of revolution from a deeply cynical and dark angle. It also points out the lack of sustainability of today’s world and the impossibility of establishing a new, better one.
Lauded Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson's Echo is a poetic take on the Icelandic winter. Rúnarsson's previous feature films were also screened at ZFF, including Volcano in 2011 and Sparrows 2015.
Echo is made up of 56 vignettes. It features a sequence of poetic compositions, by cinematographer and permanent collaborator of the director Sophie Olsson, of the Icelandic winter during the holidays.
Uppercase Print is a new film by one of the greatest current Romanian directors, Radu Jude. The director is a two-time ZFF laureate for The Happiest Girl in the World in 2009 (special recognition) and Everybody in Our Family in 2016 (Golden
Now, with Uppercase Print, Jude has created an adaptation of the same-name play by author Gianina Cărbunariu. The film dives deep into the archives of the Ceauşescu regime to investigate a bizarre incident in 1981. The plot explores the case of the secret service's colossal intelligence machinery nearly atrophying under the weight of a few anti-communist chalk doodles written by a 16-year-old pupil.