Festival Closed by ‘Guardians of the Formula’ by Dragan Bjelogrlić

The 21st edition of Zagreb Film Festival closed on Saturday evening with an awards ceremony and the Croatian premiere of the Cold War drama thriller, Guardians of the Formula, in a packed SC Cinema alongside producer, director, screenwriter, and Serbian hitmaker Dragan Bjelogrić, as well as actors Radivoj Bukvić, Alisa Radaković, and Jovan Jovanović.

This year’s festival screened 115 titles and 26 films were in the running for the Golden Pram Award, out of which 8 in the feature and national short film competition Checkers, and 10 in the international short film competition.

Winners of the 21st ZFF are also known. The feature film jury consisting of producer Renée Hansen Mlodyszewski, producer and actress Labina Mitevska, and director Sebastian Meise has awarded the main festival award, the Golden Pram for Best Feature Film, to the film How to Have Sex by British director Molly Manning Walker with the explanation: “A film that deeply disturbed us and triggered discussions that showed us once again how we are still stuck in different perspectives. Where are the grey zones of what is expected of us? How specific do we have to be in order to be understood by others? With an independent cinematic vision, a great cast and intimate direction, this film reveals layer by layer how fragile our coexistence is.”

Jury for the short metre feature film: cofounder and Vienna Shorts festival director Daniel Hadenius-Ebner and directors Matjaž Ivanišin and Josip Lukić awarded the best international short film award to the Portuguese Please Make It Work by Daniel Soares, “a minimalist, smart, and incredibly well-done film which left a deep impression on us”. Special mention for the international short film program went to the film Tits by Norwegian director Eiving Landsvik “who depicts growing up in an unconventional and warm way”.

The Golden Pram for the Best Film from the national program Checkers was awarded to David Gašo for the film Short Cut Grass “which set itself apart with a thought-out directorial concept which was deftly executed”, and Checkers special mention was awarded to the film Under the Rug by Paško Vukasović.

The jury of the Together Again program: cinematographer Stanko Herceg, film editor Višnja Skorin, and director Josip Žuvan has awarded the Golden Bicycle Award for Best Film of the Together Again program to the “intense film which takes the viewer through numerous moral quandaries, not leaving him with only one solution”, Teachers’ Lounge by Ilker Çatak. The children’s jury awarded the Best Film Award from the KinoKino program to the Spanish title Full of Grace by Roberto Bueso. The list of all awarded authors with the juries’ explanations are available here.

At this year’s excellently attended Zagreb Film Festival, over the course of seven days, at five locations and three online sites, a number of filmmakers from the region and the world had the chance to present their films. Among them, Bosnian director Una Gunjak presented Excursion, her feature debut, Serbian director Vladimir Perišić his drama Lost Country, Dutch actress Lisa Zweerman presented Sweet Dreams, a film by Ena Sendijarević, Jasna Nanut presented Seventh Heaven, and British producer Emily Leo presented the winning film, How to Have Sex. Industry, a ZFF program for professionals, hosted a number of renowned guests at lectures and panels, such as the famous German editor Bettina Böhler, Norwegian producer Renée Hansen Mlodyszewski, Slovenian-Czech director Olmo Omerzu, experts from the prestigious Talents and Short Film Market (TSFM) fair, and many others.

Although the official part of Zagreb Film Festival has ended, the film program continues on Sunday, and Guardians of the Formula start their conquest of Croatian box offices on 16 November.