Croatian film festivals: an overview

March 23, 2022 – As the 94th Academy Awards fast approach, Total Croatia News takes a look at some of the major Croatian film festivals celebrating the best of Croatian and international cinema, paving the way for major film festivals around the world .

This Sunday, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, will be held the 94th edition of the Oscars, celebrating the best of the film industry in 2021. In recent years, the role of international cinema in the film industry has gradually increased. This was evident at the 92nd Academy Awards, where the Oscar for Best International Feature Film was awarded for the first time, replacing the former Best Foreign Language Film. More importantly was the fact that it was the first time a non-English language film had won the prestigious Best Picture Oscar. This was the case of “Parasite”, from South Korea, directed by Bong Joon-ho, which also won the statuettes for best director and best original screenplay.

It seems that, in this last decade, the Academy has decided to reorient its vision of cinema towards a more globalized vision, in which we can notice the presence of international films in different categories, thus naming films, directors, actors, actresses , and scripts from around the world.

Unfortunately, it couldn’t be the year of Croatian cinema again because it failed to find a place among the best international films. No Croatian film has yet been nominated for Best International Film. This year in particular has seen quite a bit of controversy in the selection process, after ”Murina”, directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic, was not chosen by Croatia as its representative in the race for the Oscars, despite its enormous international recognition at festivals such as Cannes, where it won the Caméra d’Or for best first film. Instead, the Croatian contestant was ”Tereza37”, directed by Danilo Šerbedzija.

The Pula Film Festival, one of the most important Croatian film festivals. (Picture:

The road of Croatian filmmakers to the major film festivals of the world is long and very competitive, but in recent years international audiences have set their sights on this region of the continent, due to its wealth of stories from its past and his tumultuous present. The Bosnian film ”Quo Vadis, Aida?”, nominated in 2021, and the Macedonian film ”Honeyland”, nominated in 2019, are proof of this.

But despite the fact that it’s every director’s dream to show their stories around the world, it always starts right here at home. Many start at student film festivals or at film festivals organized by their city or county. If one investigated enough, one would realize that there are film festivals almost everywhere in Croatia. The Croatian Audiovisual Centre, for example, currently co-finances 60 Croatian film festivals and other audiovisual events. These Croatian film festivals perform various functions: they are particularly important for the promotion of Croatian audiovisual creation and serve as a platform for the screening of artistic content and non-commercial film forms, which makes them locally relevant , regional, national and, in some cases, , international level.

In this article, we review ten Croatian film festivals with great recognition and importance not only for budding filmmakers but also for a wide audience eager to enjoy good Croatian cinema. Many of these festivals also include workshops and special events for budding filmmakers. Pay close attention to the dates of these Croatian film festivals, you might still be in time to buy your ticket, or even submit your own film or short film!

Zagreb Film Festival

Zagreb (23 – 30 October 2022 | 20th edition)

The Zagreb Film Festival is one of the central and most visited cultural events and the most important among Croatian film festivals. It is held in November in Zagreb and presents its audience with the best of new international and local independent film production. Since its inception, ZFF’s mission has been to discover and promote contemporary independent cinema and first films from directors around the world. For nearly two decades, it offered a festival, then also a distribution platform, and screened works often absent from the programs of multiplex cinemas.



the The festival has also played a key role in educating generations of viewers who love the art of cinema. The festival program offers various film and educational content for all ages and interests, and serves as a platform for professional networking: each edition of the festival brings together around 200 film experts from Croatia and around the world who come to Zagreb to present their films. or participate in the festival’s educational programs.

Split Film Festival – International New Film Festival

Split (1 – 9 September 2022 | 27th edition)


Photo: Split Film Festival/Facebook

The Split Film Festival – International New Film Festival focuses on new, creative, experimental, radical and subversive films, videos and new media. It projects all forms and genres, with particular emphasis on works that deviate from the mainstream film and video production model, whether through traditional cinematic techniques or the use of the most advanced digital technologies. most recent.

The competition program is divided into two parts: feature films and short films. The festival’s parallel program features web projects, interactive works, performances, special programs and retrospectives by local and international filmmakers.

Pula Film Festival

Pula (16 – 23 July 2022 | 69th edition)



Pula Film Festival is one of the oldest ongoing film festivals in Europe and the world. Started in 1954 as the main Yugoslav film festival, the Pula Film Festival became Croatia’s national film festival in 1992. Its main competition program includes fiction feature films. Along with other venues in the city, the festival program takes place in the amphitheater of Pula, popularly called the Arena. It is organized by the public institution Pula Film Festival.

STIFF – International Student Film Festival

Rijeka (25 – 28 November 2022 | 9th edition)



STIFF is Croatia’s first international film festival entirely dedicated to student films. Created by SKC Rijeka (Student Cultural Center) and Filmaktiv – the aim of the festival is to strengthen the student film industry by allowing insight into the work of other student filmmakers, encouraging the development of new ideas and establishing international collaborations in the field of media production. The main objective of STIFF is to present the best of student film production from around the world and help them attract their audience. It strives to educate the public on the quality of the work of emerging filmmakers.

Split Mediterranean Film Festival

Split (16 – 25 June 2022 | 15th edition)



The Split Mediterranean Film Festival takes place every June in the city of Split, the second largest city in Croatia. The festival focuses on feature and short fiction and documentaries from Mediterranean countries. In addition to feature films, great attention is devoted to the programming of short films and the promotion of young authors and their work. The Festival also organizes conferences, workshops, exhibitions and other parallel events. In 12 years of existence, the Festival has become the most visited cultural event in the city of Split. The Kino Mediteran project is also part of the FMFS. It is a network of cinemas in 30 small Croatian coastal towns, mostly on islands.

Croatian Film Days

Zagreb (10 – 14 May 2022 | 31st edition)



Croatian Film Days is a national festival founded in 1991 dedicated to showcasing annual Croatian production of short and medium-length films, documentaries, experimental, animation and commercial films. The festival is competitive in nature, with awards given by the festival jury, members of the Croatian Film Critics Association and the public. The organizer is the Croatian Film Association.

Motovun Film Festival

Motovun (26 – 30 July 2022 | 25th edition)



The Motovun Film Festival is dedicated to films made within small film industries and by independent productions. The program is made up of feature and short fiction films and documentaries. The festival is jointly organized by the Motovun Film Festival, the County of Istria and the Municipality of Motovun.

Vukovar Film Festival – Danube Region Film Festival

Vukovar (summer 2022 | 16th edition)



The Vukovar Film Festival screens films from the Danube and neighboring countries – Slovenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Moldova, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine. It is the only festival that literally takes place on the Danube. The competition program accepts feature films, short fiction films and documentaries, and the jury awards prizes for all three categories. The festival is organized by Discovery Film, the city of Vukovar and the Croatian House of Vukovar.


Zagreb (3 – 10 April 2022 | 18th edition)


Photo: ZagrebDox © Julien Duval

ZagrebDox is an international documentary film festival launched in 2005. The Festival aims to give audiences and experts an overview of recent documentary films, stimulate national documentary production and stimulate international and regional cooperation in co-productions. The competition program of the festival includes international and regional categories. Besides the competition program, ZagrebDox offers a number of out-of-competition programs – retrospectives and films focusing on specific topics, genres, techniques and aesthetics.

Brač Film Festival

Brač (summer 2022 | 8th edition)


Brač Film Festival is an international feature film festival for emerging filmmakers from Europe and the Mediterranean. The main objectives of the Festival are the promotion of the first directors of feature films, the presentation of student short films, the development of cinematographic culture among children and young people and the connection of young film professionals with experienced professionals. The short film program is the only competition program, where the public awards prizes for the best short film.

Discover other Croatian film festivals on the official website of the Croatian Audiovisual Center HERE.

To find out more, see our lifestyle section.

About Eleanor Blackburn

Check Also

DOK Leipzig announces its Co-Pro Market selection

09/19/2022 – 34 projects from 32 countries, including a very first series at the market …