Zagreb Film Festival initiates internet platform for promotion of Croatian short film 

Conceived as an extension of Checkers, Zagreb Film Festival’s Croatian short film competition programme, the platform for the promotion of Croatian short film, croatian.film (www.croatian.film) offers a free of charge, quality overview of the rich local short film production, available for viewing from anywhere and at any moment.

The new project was presented by ZFF Director Boris T. Matić and Executive Director Hrvoje Laurenta.

'Recognizing the importance of the short film form, numerous film festivals dedicate a portion of their programme to screening and promoting short films. Short films are effective, fast-paced and concise, often leaving a lasting mark on the viewers. At the same time, they play an important role in the industry because they are commonly a filmmaker’s first foray into directing and a stepping stone for venturing into feature filmmaking. Short film is a practice ground for directors, screenwriters, actors, editors and all the other film professionals,' said at the beginning of the launch Boris T. Matić, Director of Zagreb Film Festival. He added that ZFF likewise recognized the value of short film, which is why, 15 years ago, it introduced the Croatian short film competition, Checkers.

The new internet platform, croatian.film, is conceived as an extension of Checkers, offering the viewers a quality overview of local short film production of different categories (fiction, animation, documentary, experimental and hybrid) and genres, completely free of charge. A special feature of the platform is that it is optimized for quality viewing on all devices (phone, tablet, computer or TV). 

'After 15 years of working in the field of culture and running Checkers, we realized that, after their festival run, short films have little or no chance of being seen by viewers who missed their festival screening. This is a big disadvantage, especially in the light of the fact that, since its inception, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre has co-financed almost 450 short films – a substantial number for such a small production country as Croatia,' ZFF Executive Director Hrvoje Laurenta elaborated on the reasons for initiating the platform. 

The croatian.film collection currently holds 118 captivating and noteworthy award-winning short films, including films that have screened and won numerous awards and recognitions at home and abroad, by authors such as Judita Gamulin, Mladen Stanića, Sonja Tarokić, Jasna Nanut, Miroslav Sikavica, Đuro Gavran, Zvonimir Jurić, Antoneta A. Kusijanović, Igor Bezinović, Hana Jušić, Juraj Primorac, and numerous others. 

'Our goal was to create a platform intended for film professionals and viewers alike. We felt it was the right time to initiate this unique film portal, in order to save our “shorts” from oblivion and the interested audience from a lack of quality films,' said Laurenta.

In addition to the film collection, the platform also offers related content, such as the film database, the database of film professionals and production companies, news, film columns, interviews with 'filmmaker of the month,' a list of upcoming festivals, the possibility of registering and commenting on the content, and most importantly, the possibility for authors and distributors to send in applications with their short films. 

The platform is bilingual, which means that all texts and information is also available in English and all films are available with English subtitles, allowing international audience easy access to all content on the portal and increasing Croatian film visibility on an international scale. 

Hrvoje Laurenta also expressed plans the future development of the platform consisting of 5 key points: promotion in Croatia and abroad, technological development and introduction of additional technical features, ensuring platform sustainability and development of the platform as a relevant go-to database and a channel for easy access to the entire Croatian film production.

For additional information, visit the croatian.film website or contact them by e-mail at: info@croatian.film.

The portal croatian.film is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture as part of the Public Call for promoting entrepreneurship in cultural and creative industries and by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre as part of a public call for supporting complementary activities. The project holder is Zagreb Film Festival.

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