Checkers – Uncompromising Visions and the Courage to Create

Checkers, the competition program of Croatian short film dedicated to showcasing authors who have not yet created a feature film, will present eight new titles in its 21st edition. Among them are works by authors who are well-known to connoisseurs of Croatian short film, as well as those whose work we will meet for the first time during the 21st ZFF.

Checkers’ selector Vladimir Gojun describes this year’s selection: For the first time, this introduction is intended exclusively for authors. To the ones who were selected, as well as the ones who were not, which does not diminish their importance. I want to say that all of you equally deserve recognition for your work and courage in creation. You are the creative forces which have made Checkers and who are responsible for its popularity and sold out theaters during the festival.

You are the reason behind every applause and wow which echoes around the theater when the credits start rolling and you are the reason for the insatiable curiosity of this introduction’s author. As much as Checkers has grown thanks to our faithful audience, they have also improved in quality thanks to your uncompromising visions which draw in new audiences year after year, new film lovers and, most importantly, new fans of Croatian short film. We want it to stay that way, that the enthusiasm and the need for new ways of expression lives on and that you return year after year, because otherwise this page would be empty.

Some authors are already known to ZFF’s audience, like David Gašo (Incendiary – ZFF 2021) who will present his film Short Cut Grass, which premiered at the prestigious festival in Oberhausen, Filip Zadro (Upside Down – ZFF 2017), who will present his film Creepy Crawlies, Saša Poštić (Talk to You Later – ZFF 2022; Rockets – ZFF 2021) will present the film Skummy, Martina Marasović (My Nikola – ZFF 2022), whose short film I’ll Be the First will also be part of this year’s program, and Marko Jukić (Honey and Milk – ZFF 2016) with the film The Pack.

Paško Vukasović is a Checker’s first-timer with his film Under the Rug. Paško is a well-known actor who starred in films such as Quit Staring at My Plate and TV shows such as Road Patrol and Black & White World. Then there’s Kristina Barišić with the film Let Love In, and Luka Galešić with It’s Alright, It’s Nice.

The Real Truth About the Fight by Andreja Slaviček, the film included in the Critics’ Week program at Cannes, will be screened out of competition. This marks the festival’s participation in the “H15 ― 15 Years in Our Film” project, celebrating 15 years of HAVC’s activity.

The Checkers program, which has existed since the very beginnings of the Zagreb Film Festival, has premiered short films by now established Croatian directors, which makes Checkers one of the most important platforms for promoting young talent in Croatia. The director of the best film will be awarded the Golden Pram award, as well as a 2000 euro prize, sponsored by the Croatian Film Directors’ Guild and ZFF.

Checkers’ media sponsors are Vizkultura and Kinofilm.