Checkers and the international competition: the best of domestic and international short film production

As a festival dedicated to debut and other films of authors, Zagreb Film Festival follows closely their first short film steps. Thus, this year we’ll see 7 best short films of upcoming Croatian authors in the Checkers program, while the selection of the best international short films will be composed of 12 carefully chosen and award-wining films from around the world, including two Croatian co-productions.

The best films in both programs will be chosen by the same jury composed of: Rino Barbir, director of the last year’s Checkers winner, Snitch; Stefan Đorđević, last year’s winner of the Golden Pram for best international short film, The Last Image of Father, and Ivan Đurović, founder of Montenegro Film Forum and first president of Producers and Directors of Montenegro.

Checkers are a competition program for Croatian short films and one of the most significant platforms for the promotion of young talent in Croatia. In February this year, the program has upgraded its long existence in the form of an internet platform,, which enables quality overview and insight into the domestic short film production at any time and anywhere. The platform will feature 7 films from Checkers chosen by our longstanding programmer, Vladimir Gojun. The films are: Nine Months, a new film by Josip Lukić (Boo-boo Boo hoo hoo – ZFF 2015 and Summer Fruits – special mention, ZFF 2019), Angina Pectoris, a new film by Filip Mojzeš (Elephant’s Graveyard – ZFF 2019), I’m Not Telling You Anything, Just Sayin’, directed by actress, scriptwriter, and director Sanja Milardović, Forest by Sara Grgurić, Sultriness by Petar Vukičević, Tenant by Borna Zidarić, and Bepo by Filip Antonio Lizatović. The winner of the award will also receive 10000 Kuna by the Croatian Film Directors’ Guild.

In the selection of International short films, we have 12 films, two of which were made in Croatian co-production: All Dogs Die by award-winning Icelandic filmmaker Ninna Pálmadóttir (Castor Multimedia), and Deer by Hungarian director István Hevesi (Eclectica). The selection also includes an Egyptian film, the first one in 50 years to be included into the Cannes short film selection where it won the Palme d’Or for best film – I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face by Sameh Alaa, the Columbian Between You and Milagros by director Mariana Saffon which was declared the best film of Horizons program in Venice, and the film Leave of Absence by the Russian director Anton Sazonov who received the best director award in Locarno. From the Cannes Critics’ Week, we have the French film Dustin by director Naïla Guiguet, from the short film selection in Cannes the Greek film Motorway 65 by Evi Kalogiropoulou, and from Venice we have the Portuguese film The Shift by Laura Carreira which was nominated for the European Film Award. In the race for the Golden Pram we also have the Bulgarian film by Kristina Spasovska, Motherland, and the Dutch En Route by Marit Weerheijm.

Films from the Checkers selection will be available for free at while the competition program of international shorts will be available at, also free to watch.