Best of Checkers


Zagreb Film Festival is proud of its Checkers, the competition program reserved for short films of Croatian authors. A lot has changed between 2005, when the first edition of the program took place, and the present-day, when we will be watching Checkers for the eighth time. 

When we introduced this program for the first time, it consisted of a series of Croatian films of various running times, mostly feature-length or medium-length. The rule that the films had to be debutant works of their authors was still in force. The first award went to Ivan Goran Vitez for his Last Communion, later also awarded for the best script at the Days of Croatian Film. However, debutants with feature-length films gradually moved to the competition program and Checkers started inclining toward short films only. The debutant rule also disappeared with time, so we redirected our focus to short films of new authors. Some of them had their films in our program more than once, which gave us an opportunity to follow their work over a longer period of time and, eventually, witness their entry to the world of feature-length films.

This year, inspired by the ever better Croatian short film production that we have been following and directly promoting for many years, we have launched releasing and further promotion of a selection of the best films from Checkers program. We brought together four short winners (Let Me Sleep by Sara Hribar, Cold Front by Uroš Živanović, And Then I See Tanja by Juraj Lerotić and Komba by Tin Žanić) under the title The Best of Checkers and are now offering them to international festivals to screen them and to exchange their programs with us. Also, we have initiated cooperation with short film festivals (Vilnius Short Film Festival and Tampere Film Festival) and we ask their representatives to join us in Zagreb as jury members for Checkers program. In return, our compilation The Best of Checkers screens at these festivals (like Clermont-Ferrand in this year's edition of ZFF).

We are looking forward to watching films of new authors in Checkers program and to having new winners who will join The Best of Checkers compilation in future.