VR Technology, Top Speakers and Masterclasses in Industry Section, ZFF’s Training Platform

In addition to its film program, Zagreb Film Festival also comprises training programs for professionals, young filmmakers and all the interested public in a special section, INDUSTRY, consisting of many workshops and lectures by film industry’s prominent names, revealing the secrets of the trade.

This autumn, the 16th ZFF is welcoming top film industry names, led by Marianne Slot, who produced most of Lars von Trier’s films (starting with the iconic Breaking the Waves to The House that Jack Built) and who has over 25 years of experience in many international productions directed by Sergei Loznitsa, Benedikt Erlingsson, Naomi Kawase or Yeşim Ustaoğlu. This French producer of Danish origin was honoured with the French Order of Chevalier des Arts and des Lettres in Cannes in 2015, and her latest film, a quirky action comedy about an environmental activist charging on the aluminium industry with a bow and arrow, Woman at War, is screened in this year’s festival competition. Her lecture is scheduled for Friday, 16 November at 5pm, followed by a screening of A Gentle Creature (2017) by Sergei Loznitsa, another title she produced.

Another masterclass will be held by the award-winning Icelandic director and screenwriter Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson (Wednesday, 14 November at 4pm), whose third film Under the Tree is currently released in cinemas after it premiered in Venice and represented Iceland in the Oscar run. Sigurðsson will speak from his own experience about how limitations and pressures accompanying film production (especially a director’s first and second film) lead to a better awareness of one’s boundaries and creative and interesting solutions which may not seem obvious at first glance.

In association with Restart Label and Kinedok, we are organising a case study of the Hungarian director Balasz Simonyi under the title Run, Director, Run – A Filmmaker’s Triple Life (Saturday, 17 November at 4pm). Before the lecture, the audience will have a chance to see his documentary film Ultra, made in co-production with HBO and focusing on Spartathlon, one of the most prestigious and most demanding races covering the historical 246 distance between Athens and Sparta over the course of 36 hours, which the director ran six times. The case study will show what it looked like to work on a film whose director is also its protagonist and how it was to work with that amount of material (over 250 hours).

On Monday, 12 November and Tuesday, 13 November, a VR workshop for young participants Virtual Aleppo will take place, co-organised in association with Are You Syrious, during which the participants (age 10+) will have a chance to meet the inspirational vision of 14-year-old Mohammed Kteish who responded to the destruction of his native city of Aleppo with a scale model of a city, translated into virtual reality by VR experts. The participant will take his example and ‘reconstruct’ Zagreb in paper models. The workshop mentors (Alex Pearson, creative producer, and Andy Overton, 3D animator and creative technologist) will then transmit the scales into a digital form and create their VR versions.

Virtual Aleppo premiered at Sheffield DocFest and a unique chance to participate is open to anyone fluent in English. Applications for the two-day workshop (12 and 13 November, 4.30pm to 8pm) are open (email: inja@zagrebfilmfestival.com) to the full capacity.

The entire Industry program, ZFF’s special training platform, which also includes workshops such as My First Script, My First Video Game and Industry Youth! will be published on Tuesday, 30 November.