Guide to the Festival Galaxy

The Brazilian film Loveling, with the presence of the director Gustavo Pizzi, officially opens the 16th ZFF on Sunday, 11 November. The festival lasts until Sunday, 18 November, and will present over 100 films in as many as 12 sections. For easier navigation through the festival galaxy, we have prepared a guide to help you plan your daily visits to the cinema.

MONDAY of great acting names

With the film Just like My Son (Europa cinema, 6.30pm) we pay tribute to the international success of Croatian actress Tihana Lazović. Based on actual events, this film follows two brothers residing in Italy after fleeing from Afghanistan. Their world turns upside down when they learn that their mother is still alive. Aside from Tihana, we will be hosting director Costanza Quatriglio and the leading actor, the Hazara poet, human rights activist and journalist Basir Ahang. Later the same day, don’t miss the outstanding American drama Wildlife (Europa cinema, 9pm), the directorial debut of Paul Dano, the actor we remember by amazing roles (Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood, Okja), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan (Shame, The Great Gatsby). Miloš Forman’s debut film Black Peter launches My First Film: Czech Republic (F22, 9pm), and Together Again opens with the original comedy Tel Aviv Burns (Tuškanac, 7.30pm), about the nice Palestinian soap opera trainee with a humorous and brave outlook on the divided country. The leading actor Kais Nashif won an award in Venice for this role!

TUESDAY of fatherly love

Tuesday will be ZFF’s days for fathers. Leave No Trace (Together Again, Tuškanac cinema, 7.30pm), the latest film by the prominent name of the American indie scene Debra Granik features a story about a war veteran living with his daughter in an isolated forest, and the main competition screens the new film by the theatre and film director Bobo Jelčić All Alone (Europa cinema, 9pm), about a father whose wish to see his daughter more often leads him into the clutches of Croatian bureaucracy. The Croatian premiere of the film at ZFF will be attended by the cast and crew, including actors Rakan Rushaidat and Miki Manojlović. English all-male boarding school is portrayed in ZFF’s main programme with Old Boys (Europa cinema, 6.30pm), followed by a romantic comedy about a matchmaking nerd starring Alex Lawther (End of the F* World), and director Toby MacDonald will attend a Q&A after the screening. In the section My First Film: Czech Republic, don’t miss amazing the debut film by Vĕra Chytilova, the director of the feminist classic Daisies.

Berlusconi’s WEDNESDAY

ZFF’s Wednesday brings two films about the former Italian prime minister and media mogul. The political satire The Caiman by Nanni Moretti is screened in the free program Tycoons: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (F22, 6.30pm), and the biographic comedy Loro (Tuškanac cinema, 5pm), directed by the great Paolo Sorrentino, represents Italy in The Great 5. In the main program, don’t miss the amazing drama Dear Son (Europa cinema, 9pm) by Mohamed Ben Attia, about the agony of a father whose son joins ISIS, and All Good (Europa cinema 9pm), the graduation film by German director Eva Trobisch, who stole the thunder from much more famous directors in Locarno. In Together Again, we will be watching the Croatian premiere of the acclaimed (meta-)film by Sara Hribar and Marko Šantić Lada Kamenski (Tuškanac cinema, 8pm). The authors found inspiration in the workers of the Kamensko factory and chose three divas of the Croatian acting scene, Ksenija Marinković, Nataša Dorčić and Doris Šarić Kukuljica (who won a Golden Arena for this role!) and set them in a fierce fight for one film role. A film about the position of women which communicates on several levels, which will be the topic of a Q&A with the directors and actresses immediately after the screening.

THURSDAY only what matters

The biggest Thursday event will be the Croatian premiere of the film The Load by Ognjen Glavonić, which had its world premiere in Cannes, one of those important films making the new generations face the past, awaited by some cinemas for decades. Leon Lučev for the leading role, a truck driver and a chance witness of war crimes, won the Heart of Sarajevo. In Together Again we will be watching Sunset, the latest film by Lászlo Nemes, the director of Son of Saul (Palme d’Or, Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe for best foreign film, ZFF Golden Pram). The story is set in Budapest on the eve of the First World War, Nemes’s attempt of warning of today’s totalitarian threats in Europe. On Thursday ZFF will host Marianne Slot, one of the biggest European producers, who produced almost all of Lars von Trier films. Marianne will present the Icelandic comedy Woman at War (Europa cinema, 6.30pm), directed by Benedikt Erlingsson, and on Friday, as part of INDUSTRY, she will give a speech open to the public. Apart from the main competition, Woman at War is also part of LUX Film Days, screening this year’s finalists for European Parliament’s award for outstanding achievement in European cinema.

FRIDAY for cinema aficionados

Cinema at the Cinema, 16th ZFF’s special program, is a tribute to the magical ritual of community film watching in the darkness of a movie theatre. This section includes seven titles (Monday-Friday, Muller Hall, 8pm), aiming to draw attention to the importance of cinemas for the development of collective imagination, a reminder of the growingly uncertain destiny of such a form of entertainment in the world of new distribution forms. ZFF’s main program also features two lavish entries, inviting us to forget about cell phones and laptops and. Like real cinephiles, make ourselves at home before the big screen. Visually lavish and teeming with symbolism, the Thai film Manta Ray (Europa cinema, 9pm), directed by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, has won the best film award in Venice’s Horizons section. After a refugee hunter saves an injured stranger in the swamp, what begins as a friendship will turn into identity theft. The film Retablo (Europa cinema, 6.30pm) has a Brokeback Mountain plot, set in the picturesque Peruvian Andes!

SATURDAY with Geraldine Chaplin

Saturday is a big day for ZFF. Apart from finding out who the winners are, the festival officially closes. Geraldine Chaplin will be arriving in Zagreb as a special guest of the 16th Zagreb Film Festival, and the festival will officially close at 8pm with a screening of one of her most recent titles, a bitter-sweet romantic comedy about love, friendship and motherhood Anchor and Hope, directed by Carlos Marques-Marcet (10000 Kilometres). On Saturday, in LUX Film Days, we are screening the remaining two finalists for the prestigious European prize: Styx by Wolfgang Fischer (Tuškanac cinema, 7.30pm) and The Other Side of Everything by Mila Turajlić (Tuškanac cinema, 9.30pm). Film lovers who are also passionate about running might like by the documentary film Ultra (F22, 4pm), directed by Balász Simonyi about Spartathlon, one of the most important ultra-marathon races, stretching for 246 kilometres from Sparta to Athens and lasting 36 hours. The screening will be followed by a case study and Q&A with the director. On the penultimate day of the festival don’t miss the new film by the German genius director Christian Petzold, Transit. Petzold again focuses on the Holocaust, but this time from a time distance, setting a refugee love story in present-day Marseille. The past mingles with the present and refugees of different times intertwine, creating an image of Europe as an ongoing transit.

SUNDAY for a first trip to the cinema

ZFF continues with the programs on Sunday, as well, the day after the closing. The youngest film lovers can enjoy Bib for Kids’ selection of short films First Time at the Cinema, also available to audience in Zagreb neighbourhoods of Travno and Dubrava (Europa cinema, KC Travno, NS Dubrava, 11am). Europa cinema will rerun the titles from the main program: The Load, Loveling and Wildlife, and on Sunday the program continues at the Museum of Contemporary Art as well, with films Lada Kamenski (Together Again, 6pm) and Loro (The Great 5, 8pm). On Sunday, Tuškanac cinema will be screening the 16th ZFF winning film at 9.30pm. Tickets for screenings of Checkers, ZFF’s platform for the promotion of films by up-and-coming Croatian filmmaker, have always been in demand. In case you missed these outstanding Croatian titles during the week, you will have a chance to see the rerun on Sunday (Tuškanac cinema, 12am and 2pm).