Over the years, the main competition of the festival has included films made by directors such as Steve McQueen, Anton Corbijn, Radu Jude, Andrei Zviagintsev, Xavier Dolan, Alexandros Avranas, Uberto Pasolini, and even George Clooney (despite being best known as an actor, Clooney has directed several films including Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Good Night and Good Luck, Leatherheads, The Ides of March, and The Monuments Men).
However, the names of directors that participate in the competition in no way affect the decision of the jury. All films are judged based on their artistic value, so talented young filmmakers have the same chance to win as established film directors. Each edition of the festival typically features three international competition programs (for feature films, short, and documentaries) and a Croatian short film competition (the Checkers program).
The main award of the Zagreb Film Festival is the Golden Pram (Zlatna kolica). It is awarded to the best film in each competition. During the first two years of the festival’s existence, the prize was called the Golden Bib, but the organizers renamed it in 2005 and changed the festival logo accordingly. Besides, there is the VIP Audience Award for the best film in all competition programs as voted by audience. Special awards such as the Best Film for Young Audience are given out as well.
Along with competitive screenings, the program of the Zagreb Film Festival features non-competitive thematic screenings. They may showcase films for children and youth, debut feature films of established filmmakers, etc.
Some of the festival’s most exciting programs include Together Again (new films by directors whose first and second works participated in the main competition in the past years), The Great 5 (films from Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the UK), Yellow Bib for Kids by RBA (films for the youngest audience), Eastern European Horrors, My First Film: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Retrospective: Orson Wells. The festival also features industry events (pitchings, presentations, masterclasses, and more).