15th ZFF Presents Program!
Running for the Golden Pram will be 13 features, 10 international shorts and 10 Croatian shorts in the Checkers section. Feature fiction competition focuses on the topics that point to the current decay of different democratic rights we often take for granted. However, in selecting the titles we were led by the wish to present Zagreb’s audience with the films whose subject matter is very much pertinent in our environment. The exciting drama God’s Own Country focuses on LGBT love in rural England and has already been called the Yorkshire Brokeback Mountain by the critics. Director Frances Lee won a Jury Special Mention at Sundance. Debut director Ali Asgari, already compared to the great A. Fahradi, in his film Disappearance examines the issue of abortion ban. The challenges of illegal immigrants are in the focus of the Danish film The Charmer by Milad Alami, while the Australian director Jeffrey Walker and his film Ali’s Wedding humorously speaks about the problem of the second generation of Iraqi immigrants and the clash with the Muslim tradition. The Singaporean Oscar candidate film Pop Aye, on the other hand, describes people’s relationship to animals – this unusual road movie starring a man and an elephant won the Jury Special Mention for screenplay at Sundance.
The 15th edition of ZFF officially opens with The Divine Order, a film that amusingly depicts an infamous detail from the Swiss history, the fact that women were not allowed to vote in the election until 1971. Adopting the approach of an easy-going drama, director Petra Volpe describes how quiet rural housewives became suffragettes, determined to fight for their right which had been denied them longer than any other nation in Europe. Absurdity of the militarist culture is in the focus of the powerful (post-)war film Foxtrot by Samuel Maoz, the winner of the Jury Grand Prix in Venice. His acclaimed and award-winning debut Lebanon won a Jury Special Mention at the 7th ZFF. The main competition also includes the film Montparnasse Bienvenue by Léonor Serraille, which earned her the Camera d’Or in the section Un Certain Regard in Cannes, making her the second woman ever to win this prestigious honour.
Minorities in a macho environment through the character of teenaged Pio from a small Roma community in Calabria is the focus of the Italian Oscar candidate, A Ciambra by Jonas Carpignano. Arriving from France to Zagreb will be the director Xavier Legrand and his film Custody, the winner of the Silver Lion for directing in Venice, a thrilling drama about a struggle for legal custody over children. Other films in the selection also deal with masculinity, often toxic both to men themselves and their environment. These are Winter Brothers by Icelandic director Hlynur Pálmason, about the miners’ community in the north of Denmark, and the Argentinian film Hunting Season by Natalia Garagiola. This drama about male coping with loss premiered at the International Critics’ Week of the Venice Film festival, winning the Audience Award. Veterans and the consequences of PTSD are the centre of two Bosnian and Herzegovinian films in the main competition: Men Don’t Cry by Alen Drljević, which has already won a Jury Special Mention in Karlovy Vary, and The Frog by Elmir Jukić, a debut title winning the Audience Award at Sarajevo Film Festival.
Apart from feature films, short film are also running for the Golden Pram. THE INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETITION includes ten films from all over the world, from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary, to Brazil and New Zealand, while the Croatian short film competition, CHECKERS, consists of 10 titles, including the latest films by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, Tin Žanić, Juraj Primorac and Judita Gamulin.