Get familiar with the competing films of the 64th ZFF

04. May 2024

Our dramaturges have selected 126 films from around the world for this year's six competition sections. You can look forward to stories resonating with the theme of friendship, but we also don't forget the usual tales of love, family, sports, nature, and fantasy. Films for older audiences touch on themes of nationality, religion, culture, and sexual diversity.

International Competition of Feature Films in the Children´s Category

Lars Is LOL (NOR, 2023, dir. Eirik Sæter Stordahl)

Eleven-year-old Amanda is looking forward to starting school after the summer. It's mainly because of Adam, whom she's head over heels in love with, but also because she'll be a mentor to one of the cute first-graders. Things get a bit complicated when instead of that, she's tasked with caring for Lars, a new classmate with Down syndrome. Lars unintentionally draws unwanted attention from Amanda, making her feel embarrassed in front of Adam and others at school. However, as Amanda gets to know Lars better, she realizes they have much more in common than she originally thought. To her surprise, they become good friends. But how to explain it to classmates and still remain popular? A touching, funny, and imaginative film about the importance of friendship, diversity, and the struggle to fit in, based on the Norwegian bestseller by Iben Akerlie, awarded the Audience Award at the Tromsø Film Festival.

Coco´s Farm (CAN, 2023, dir. Sébastien Gagné)

Twelve-year-old Max, after his father's bankruptcy due to clumsiness, must move from the city to the countryside. In the village, he discovers the world of small-scale farming and awakens his entrepreneurial spirit. With the help of his cousin Charles and local YouTuber Alice, he tries to transform an old dilapidated barn into a small chicken farm. The animal-friendly farm quickly becomes a big hit, and it seems that Max's ingenuity and bold plan to sell shares to local residents will overcome all obstacles. However, soon the three young entrepreneurs find themselves facing the harsh reality of an industry dominated by large agricultural businesses. They must meet strict bureaucratic inspection rules. A heartwarming film for the whole family, delivering an inspirational message and extraordinary values, has delighted audiences' hearts at numerous world festivals.

Kina & Yuk (CAN/FRA/ITA, 2023, dir. Guillaume Maidatchevsky)

A pair of Arctic foxes, Max and Maya, live in a land covered in snow. They love each other so much that they are expecting fox cubs. Max tries his best to provide for Maya, but it's getting harder. He ventures further and further from their den. And then it happens... Crack!!! A broken ice floe carries him away to sea, far from Maya. Suddenly, both face all sorts of challenges to find their way back to each other and prove that love can overcome even the coldest storm. Their story is about courage and an unyielding desire to be together again before little fox cubs sneak into their lives, bringing a new chapter to their Arctic tale. This playful and suspenseful adventure with real animals was filmed in the far north of Canada, where temperatures drop to −40°C for six months a year, lasting an incredible 15 weeks. The film will delight both young and old viewers and gently explain how nature works. 

Christmas on Cobbler Street (NOR, 2023, dir. Mikal Hovland)

Shortly before Christmas, nine-year-old Stine arrives in a small town as a stowaway on a train. She is running away from a girls' boarding school and seeking shelter from the cold winter night. She sneaks into the house of shoemaker Andersen. The old, grumpy man, who prefers to be alone and hasn't left his house for years, resists the presence of the curious girl in every way. However, their encounter not only changes their lives but also the lives of the local residents. The little girl makes the old curmudgeon realize that life is best when shared with those you love. This positively tuned and touching film with an important message for the whole family was filmed near Lillehammer, in authentic Norwegian countryside. Inspired by the popular 1979 TV series, it became a hit in Norwegian cinemas in the fall of 2023.

Fox and Hare Save the Forest (NLD/BEL/LUX, 2024, dir. Mascha Halberstad)

Beaver, a small furry creature with a big ego, proudly unveils his masterpiece on a large forest clearing - a giant dam. With the help of two mice, he blocks the river's flow, and within moments, a massive lake forms. Beaver is very proud of himself, but unfortunately, there's no one around to admire his achievement. Meanwhile, unsuspecting forest animals are having a good time at a party. When one of them returns home in the evening, they are surprised by strange water currents flowing all around. Where did all this water come from? While the other animals search for Owl, who panicked and fled, the water level continues to rise, threatening the forest. A great adventure to save the forest begins, testing the friendship of all its inhabitants to the limit! This animated adventure film is based on the book series by Flemish author Sylvie Vanden Heede and premiered at the international festival in Berlin.

Thabo and the Rhino Case (GER, 2023, dir. Mara Eibl-Eibesfeldt)

Thabo is an eleven-year-old boy who lives with his uncle, a ranger, in an African wildlife reserve. He dreams of becoming a private detective. However, things take a quick turn in the peaceful African village of Hlatikulu when a rhinoceros is killed in the neighboring safari park for its rare horn. Suspicion falls on Thabo's uncle. Together with his new German friend Emma, Thabo embarks on a detective quest to find the real culprits. Additionally, they must take care of an abandoned rhinoceros calf. This adventurous film for the whole family addresses the theme of animal protection against poaching. It also showcases the effort, love, and resources invested in raising orphaned animals. Filming took place with a real orphaned rhinoceros in a stunning wilderness that few of us can visit in real life. The film is based on the successful book series by German author Kirsten Boie. 

The Pinchers’ High Voltage Heist (SWE, 2023, dir. Leif Lindblom)

The Pincher family are notorious thieves. However, their son Turer is honest and incapable of stealing or lying. He’d rather become a policeman and finds a kindred spirit in Constable Paul. He urges his well-practiced family to stop stealing and choose the right path. It seems to happen on the surface, as his parents and sister start buying things instead of stealing them. However, the situation changes when it's discovered that their family dog - Turer's best friend - is also stolen. Turer must make a choice. Should he be honest and return the dog, or keep it and get involved with his family in another elaborate theft scheme? His bored family is planning a big heist - to steal a diamond-encrusted diadem from the local museum. And they need a talented dog for it. This comedic and thrilling adventure, based on the children's book by Swedish author Anders Sparing, will entertain both young and old viewers. 

A Greyhound of a Girl (LUX/ITA/IRL/GBR/EST/GER/LAT, 2023, dir. Enzo d'Alò)

While the life of 11-year-old Mary is dominated by her two older brothers, football, and ready-made meals, she dreams of becoming a great cook. Her rebellious grandmother Emer, with whom she shares a close bond, urges her to pursue this dream. One day, a mysterious woman appears on Mary's street, bringing a message for her grandmother. It turns out to be her grandmother's mother, who has come to help her daughter say goodbye to her loved ones and take her to safety into the afterlife. Mary embarks on an adventure through the barriers of time, where four generations of women meet and embark on a journey through their family history. This gentle, colorful, often ironic, yet also touching coming-of-age story is an adaptation of the novel by internationally acclaimed Irish writer Roddy Doyle. It was produced in co-production with seven European countries and has been screened at many international festivals. 

The Inventor (FRA/IRL/LUX/USA, 2023, dir. Jim Capobianco, Pierre-Luc Granjon)

Embark on an exciting journey with perhaps the greatest genius of all time in a humorous story inspired by the life and times of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo works diligently in Italy, but the Pope is not a fan of his creations. The endlessly curious and stubborn inventor thus leaves Italy to join the French court, where he can freely experiment, invent flying machines and incredible contraptions, and study the human body. There, Leonardo, along with the brave Princess Marguerite, uncovers the answer to a fundamental question: What is the meaning of it all? He realizes that the meaning of life cannot be found in material things or in fame. The meaning of life lies in discovering the beauty and mysteries of the world. An honest tale of the power of human creativity, delivered with warmth, charm, and the humor of animated classics. This family-friendly film is brought to you by the creators of the hit Ratatouille. 

Through Rocks and Clouds (PER/CHI, 2024, dir. Franco García Becerra)

Eight-year-old Feliciano spends his days herding alpacas in a remote Andean region. His only companions are the young male alpaca Ronaldo and an old dog, Rambo. Feliciano chats with his animal friends about soccer and the matches of the Peruvian national team. He and the whole village are big soccer fans, and Peru has a chance to qualify for the World Cup. But beneath the seemingly boring and peaceful routine lies a grim reality. Their environment is threatened by a contaminated lake, and a mining company wants to take over their land. One day, beloved Ronaldo goes missing, and because the authorities ignore the request for help, Feliciano sets out to search for him alone. Meanwhile, his parents and neighbors unite to take action against the mining company. Set against the backdrop of the stunning snowy landscapes of the Peruvian Andes, this positively tuned film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. 

The Song of Spring (CHN, 2023, dir. Chaofeng Pan)

A young boy, Dorje, lives a nomadic life with his mother and dreams of owning his own horse. Despite his mother's disapproval, he and his friends embark on plans to earn as much money as possible to buy a horse. After school, they start collecting cow dung, digging up caterpillars, and even growing mushrooms. When they almost have enough money saved up, an unexpected situation arises. Dorje's dream white horse is stolen, and his mother is suddenly taken to the hospital. The whimsical desires of the adolescent boy collide with the winding paths of fate, leading Dorje to unexpected maturity. He gains courage and wisdom in the fight to save his family. Set against the backdrop of the magical scenery of the Tibetan Plateau, this positively tuned story carries a deep message.


International Competiton of Feature Films in the Junior Category

Emma´s Dream (ARG, 2023, dir. Germán Vilche)

Sixteen-year-old Emma and her father, Marco, live in the Del Tigre delta near Buenos Aires. Each day, the two embark on a boat journey; Emma to school, and Maco to deliver propane butane bottles to their neighbors. Life without a mother and wife is tough, but their relationship is strong and loving. And fragile. A significant test arises when Emma is offered a scholarship to study in London. Her desire to travel beyond her father's boat on the local river, however, meets with her father's disapproval. The film offers a completely different view of contemporary Argentine youth cinema. The hustle and bustle of life in Buenos Aires is juxtaposed with the tranquil river journey, and politically themed stories are interspersed with the everyday lives of locals. The camera captures the beautiful nature, allowing us to be mesmerized by the beauty of the river, which becomes another character in the film.

Kensuke´s Kingdom (GBR, 2023, dir. Neil Boyle, Kirk Hendry)

Eleven-year-old Michael goes on a voyage across the Pacific Ocean with his family, smuggling his dog Stella on board. During a storm, Michael and the dog are both swept overboard by a huge wave. They find themselves on a deserted island. Scared, confused, and hungry, Michael soon realizes that this won't be a holiday Robinson Crusoe adventure and that they are not alone on the island. Facing hunger and dangerous jellyfish, he is saved by Kensuke, a mysterious Japanese man who has been inhabiting the island for several decades. Until now, he has only had wild animals for company, especially a group of orangutans, whom he respects and admires. The old man soon reveals his life story to Michael. Both must join forces when a group of hunters arrives on the island, threatening this paradise. This film offers viewers a great deal of action, suspense, and the opportunity to become a castaway for a while.

La Suprema (COL, 2023, dir. Felipe Holguín Caro)

We find ourselves in the small and remote Colombian village of La Suprema. A place forgotten by the world. More precisely, forgotten by the local authorities, who have erased it from the map. There isn't even electricity here, even though it's the year 2001. To remind people of La Suprema's existence, teenager Laureana takes action after learning that her uncle will be fighting for the world boxing title in Venezuela. Not everyone has such a famous native, so she involves the whole village in the task of getting a TV set and a generator – especially her two best friends and her uncle's former coach. Laureana’s initiative convinces even the skeptics to yield to it. The film is both a celebration of courage in the face of tradition, and a snapshot of the local charm and soul hidden in the little things, like singing while doing laundry in the local river and the laughter of old men playing dominoes.

Lioness (NLD, 2023, dir. Raymond Grimbergen)

Fourteen-year-old Rosi lives for soccer, her friends, family, basically everything dear to her on the sun-drenched island of Suriname. However, she loses a lot of that when she moves with her parents and brother to the Netherlands. Fortunately, she doesn't have to navigate the new environment alone when she meets the kind-hearted Jitte, who introduces her to the soccer team. As a newcomer, she doesn't have an easy time and must fight for her place in the starting lineup. She has exceptional talent, which some of her teammates don't like. The coach’s favoritism towards Rosi begins to bother even Jitte, who is benched because of Rosi. It is at this tense moment when a sad event occurs in the family, forcing her to think about what soccer actually means to her. Is her dream still to make it to the national team? This film from the world of girls' soccer became a favorite of festival screenings after its release.

Winners (GER, 2024, dir. Soleen Yusef)

Beginnings are not always easy. Whether in the shoes of an immigrant in a new country or as a new student among pubescent classmates. Now, it's the turn of the adolescent Mona, who fled with her Kurdish family from their native Syria to Germany, specifically to the Berlin district of Wedding, to a school is full of “foreigners”. There is chaos and tension among teachers and students, yet there is one unifying element - the school football team. Teacher Chepovski brings in the hesitant Mona, who may not yet speak German, but she does speak the language of football. Through it, she recalls memories of Syria, yet she doesn't have it easy. She faces struggles within both her family and the team. In both environments, however, the same rule applies - though we are all individuals, we win as one team. This is a German film about loss, desire, and the courage to pursue one's dream.

Young Hearts (BEL/NLD, 2024, dir. Anthony Schatteman)

Fourteen-year-old Elias leads a peaceful life as a typical teenage boy with somewhat normal parents and great friends. He even has a best friend, but she may feel something more for him. However, Elias's young heart races when Alexander moves into the neighborhood. After just a few days, Alexander confesses to him that he's into boys. From that moment on, Elias experiences a storm of emotions, and despite his efforts to deny the budding love for Alexander outwardly and inwardly, it's to no avail. Instead, he gets entangled in increasingly elaborate lies. In the end, he is left alone with the question of how not to lose Alexander's affection and his best friend's friendship. As his grandfather's past story suggests, love is singular and too rare to let slip away. This Belgian debut, with autobiographical elements, is a sweet romance about first love and the challenges of navigating emotions and social codes.


International Competition of Feature Films in the Youth Category

City of Wind (GER/MON/NLD/POR/FRA/QAT, 2023, dir. Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir)

Seventeen-year-old Ze lives with his mother and sister in a small village near Ulaanbaatar. He's indispensable to his fellow villagers as he's a practicing shaman and is crucial for the local believers in resolving not only health but also psychological and family issues. Every day, he navigates between rigorous high school life and spiritual communication with deceased ancestors. His routine is disrupted by an encounter with a girl named Marala, who captivates him to the point where Ze gradually distances himself from his calling, immersing himself more in the materialistic world of the modern city. A completely new reality unfolds for him, speaking against old Mongolia and its traditional way of life. The film is full of contrasts, both visual and thematic, providing insight into the minds of contemporary Mongolian youth who stand on the border between the old and the new world, between order and freedom.

Last Swim (GBR, 2023, dir. Sasha Nathwani)

Over a day, we follow young Ziba and her best friends, who've just received their final grades from high school and want to spend the day together before going their separate ways. There is to be a unique meteor shower at night and Ziba, an astronomy enthusiast, has included this event in their itinerary, which everyone will follow today. However, another participant joins this exceptional trip—soccer player Malcolm, whose sports future has just collapsed. He thus joins Ziba, whose dream of studying astrophysics at a prestigious university is now in jeopardy. Despite or perhaps because of this, the two find an affinity for each other, and Ziba begins to consider crossing out one item from her carefully crafted agenda. This emotional story about human mortality and the immortality of friendship also gives us the opportunity to see London from a completely different perspective.

On Earth as in Heaven (CAN, 2023, dir. Nathalie Saint-Pierre)

Clara and Sarah are sisters. That wouldn't be unusual except they live in an evangelical community on the fringe of society, entirely closed off by its own rules from the outside world. The community is in turmoil after Sarah's escape. She is viewed by the community as a defector who strayed from the Path of Truth. Not in Clara's eyes, though, whose love for her sister is so strong that she decides to find her in Montreal and bring her back onto the right and only path. The city becomes a jungle for the quiet girl, where Clara, like a timid animal, moves about confused and frightened. She finds refuge with her aunt, who, like Clara, once lost her sister. The protagonist gradually discovers a completely new world, so different from the one she has lived in until now. The film is the story of a girl embarking on a journey of self-discovery. It's a tale of the strength of sisterhood, and the power of freedom.

Sisterhood (FRA, 2023, dir. Nora el Hourch)

Friendship is sometimes stronger than family ties. This seems to be the case in the relationship of three best friends, Amina, Djeneba, and Zineba. They are like one body and fight for each other in a world where the cards aren't always dealt equally. The strength of their bond is jeopardized when Amina posts a video on social media without the others' consent, showing Zineba being sexually harassed. With this decision, Amina sets off a barrage of verbal and physical attacks that the girls must face. The worst happens – the breakup of their girl tribe. Unspoken words about class and racial differences come to light. All three will have to deal with the consequences of Amina's fight for women's rights, but this time, each one alone. Nora el Hourch's impactful debut is aimed not only at the #MeToo generation.

Uproar (NEZ, 2023, dir. Hamish Bennett, Paul Middleditch)

The main character of the film is high school student Josh Waka, who tells his story from 1981. His father has passed away, and his older brother, after an injury and being forced to leave the rugby team, loses his zest for life. Josh, due to his famous father and brother, endures a school for white boys, where rugby is like a religion. As a half-Maori, he faces bullying and realizes it's best to not stand out. He might have remained just a victim, but two determining factors enter his life. A literature teacher recognizes theatrical talent in Josh, and in the same year, mass protests erupt among the indigenous people against the arrival of the South African rugby team due to apartheid. Josh finds himself in the midst of the fight for Maori rights, yet he is bound by love for his mother, who does everything to keep the family together. A retro story about identity, roots, and the courage to face one's destiny.

Yurt (FRA/GER/TUR, 2023, dir. Nehir Tuna)

In 1997, Turkey was in a tense period marked by conflicts between religious groups and secular Turks. Even an Islamic boarding school for young people learning Islamic values was not immune to disputes. Among the new members is Ahmet, whose recently converted father paid a hefty sum to enroll him. But Ahmet is unhappy there; he faces problems just as daunting as the textbooks on his school desk. He keeps his new home a secret from his classmates – he isn't popular at the dormitory either – and playing the role of the perfect son is a demanding task. The only escape from his new reality is his friendship with Hakan, who helps him navigate the complex rules and regulations of the school. They share their dreams and desires and embark on a journey together, from which neither returns the same. The fact that the film is inspired by the director's life adds depth to the viewer's experience.


Competition of European Feature Documentaries for Young Audience

Circus Siblings (HUN, 2023, dir. Glória Halász)

At the beginning of 2020, 12 students from Hungary are given the opportunity to continue their studies abroad in a special international class for circus artists. These 12- to 14-year-old children are prepared to leave their families and friends to start a new life far from home. However, at that moment, the global COVID-19 pandemic strikes, paralyzing the world and preventing their journey. After several months of uncertainty, the students are finally able to spend a semester at the Kyiv Academy of Circus Arts in the fall of 2021. They view the local life, which is shattered by war a few months later. A special bond forms between the Hungarians and Ukrainians, bridging the gap between cultures.

Dakar Sistaz (CZE, 2024, dir. Jan Těšitel)

Teenage twins Aliyyah and Yasmeen Koloc are a renowned racing duo, winning car races and aspiring to compete in the 2023 Dakar Rally, aiming to challenge global competitors. In a captivating documentary, we follow Aliyyah and Yasmeen through their rigorous race preparation in their Czech hometown of Roudnice nad Labem and training in the desert dunes of Dubai. However, as they mature and their paths diverge, what will happen to their shared dream of Dakar success? And more importantly, how will their sibling rivalry impact their relationship?

Eat/Sleep/Cheer/Repeat (IRL, 2024, dir. Tanya Doyle)

Being a world-class cheerleader requires strength, sweat, and tears! Amidst pastures and communal living in the industrial zone on the outskirts of the westernmost city in Europe, the best cheerleaders and athletes from across Ireland gather to form the national team. This uplifting documentary about coming of age seeks to explore the lives of young people searching for their place in the world through the sport they love. It's a story of athletes who not only strive to excel but also grapple with self-doubt and the desire to belong.

We Have a Dream (FRA, 2023, dir. Pascal Plisson)

Who said living with a disability means giving up on your biggest dreams? Pascal Plisson traveled the world to meet Xavier, Charles, Antonio, Maud, Nirmala, and Khendo – children who prove that love, inclusive education, humor, and courage can move mountains and that destiny is sometimes full of surprises. The story is punctuated by moments of intense reflection and unexpected events, evoking the true essence of existence – with its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, laughter, and tears. An inspiring and deeply moving documentary about exceptional children who defy their disabilities to fulfill their dreams.

Tell Them About Us (GER/JOR, 2024, dir. Rand Beiruty)

A documentary about friendship, sisterhood, and the pursuit of dreams follows the lives of six spirited teenage girls embarking on the journey of adolescence in Eberswalde, a small town in eastern Germany. What they all share is having fled their homelands in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Kurdistan, and Romania, seeking peace in the provincial town. They face not only the typical challenges of teenage life – friendships, school, and self-discovery – but also the complexities of adapting to a new culture and environment. Despite these challenges, they find solace and strength in their bond as they strive to carve out a place in their new home and community. Through encounters with inspiring artists, they discover their own creative ways to overcome hidden discrimination.

Sting Like a Bee (ITA/FRA, 2024, dir. Leone Balduzzi)

A bold, heartfelt, and visually stunning hybrid documentary follows Italian teenagers from suburban areas across central and southern Italy. They candidly discuss their daily lives and the challenges of growing up in a comforting yet limiting reality. United by their passion for Piaggio Ape three-wheeled mopeds, iconic symbols of Italian culture, they navigate adolescence's transformative journey. As they explore their surroundings, they face the complexities of self-discovery (or rediscovery) in a world that both embraces and intimidates them, forging their path amid the intricacies of teenage life.

The Grand Finale PSO (CZE, 2024, dir. Dominik Kalivoda)

The Police Symphony Orchestra is an amateur musical ensemble comprised of hundreds of musicians, singers, and volunteers from a small town. With infectious energy, they embark on increasingly ambitious projects – selling out the legendary Lucerna, organizing a charity concert for 5,000 spectators, and performing with international stars. Dreams and plans are great, but when you want to bring them to life and face all challenges, it's no joke. Will their enthusiasm withstand the clash with adulthood, and will the members of PSO find what truly matters in life? A documentary chronicle of an extraordinary musical group venturing onto grand stages, it's also a personal testimony of ordinary young people about the world around us.


International Competition of Short Animations for Children

#DoudouChallenge (FRA, 2023, dir: Julie Majcher, Alexandra Delaunay-Fernandez, Sixtine Emerat, Marine Benabdallah-Crolais, Scott Pardailhé-Galabrun, Noémie Segalowicz)

On the road to her family vacation, Olivia, a 10-year old girl hooked on her phone and social media, is abandoned by her parents at a highway service area.

After Grandpa (FRA, 2023, dir: Juliette Michel, Axel  Sense, Victoria  Leviaux, Florian  Gomes Freitas, Swann  Valenza)

Loup, a little boy obsessed with insects, is haunted by the terrifying ghost of his Grandpa. He will need to overcome his fear to discover why he came back.

Asiunia (POL, 2023, dir: Tomek Ducki)

Asiunia is a story of a little girl for whom the war started just after her fifth birthday, when one night her mother and her home disappeared.

Baking with Boris (FRA/SUI/CRO, 2022, dir: Maša Avramović)

Every morning, Boris the village baker makes a fresh batch of crusty bread and pastries for all his neighbours until… Achoo! He can’t stop sneezing.

Bobo (SVK, 2023, dir: Veronika Obertová)

Bobo has poor eyesight and wears the "wrong" eyepatch. He invents extraordinary things and wants ordinary glasses.

Cafunè (SPA, 2024, dir: Carlos F. de Vigo, Lorena Ares)

Alma, a solitary refugee child, is thrust back into her past when her doll falls into the swimming pool, mirroring the shipwreck of the refugee boat.

Clawlolo: Gramophone (CYP, 2023, dir: Alexey Alexeev)

An octopus finds a vinyl record and winds up a gramophone, not allowing other sea creatures to sing or play along.

Coot (NLD, 2023, dir: Marlies van der Wel)

A coot and a ferry skipper peacefully coexist along a city river. Their harmony is disrupted when a new bridge is constructed.

Dhakira (FRA, 2023, dir: Salma Gaoua, Amandine Van Hille, Aïda-Marie Tadevosian, Cyprien Fermaut)

Basma has to draw her vacation memories. She was in Morocco, her country of origin. She feels hesitant because she is Muslim and has a different culture.

Dormouse (GER, 2022, dir: Julia Ocker)

The dormouse overslept and missed his birthday party.

Everything We Missed (CZE/SVK, 2024, dir: Marta Prokopová)

She is too busy while he needs more of her attention. She is a young woman he is a dog. When the pandemic traps them in a small flat, they only have each other. And they must find each other again.

Fallin´ (SPA, 2023, dir: Carlos Navarro)

Awakening in a season not its own, the Winter Spirit must learn to discover beauty in the unfamiliar and embrace the ever-changing cycle.

Fly By (CZE, 2023, dir: Filip Dobeš)

The story of a little cloud taking care of a colorful flower. His peaceful day is disrupted when an airplane enters the scene.

Forage (USA, 2024, dir: Carolyn Gair)

Zip is an intrepid but lonely “rustbot” in a world of found-objects come-to-life. Zip explores the vast expanses of a cluttered and long-abandoned attic.

Forever Seven (GER, 2024, dir: Antje Heyn, Alexander Isert)

Mouse stumbles across an abandoned box. Croc then makes it his own. Then Moggy, Dachshund, Frog, Snail, and Porker.

Foxtale (POR, 2023, dir: Alexandra Allen)

A hungry fox fights for the last berry on top of the tree.

Go Away, Alfred! (FRA/Bel, 2023, dir: Célia Tisserant, Arnaud Demuynck)

Alfred had to flee his country because of the war. Without housing, he wanders from rejection to rejection. One day he meets Sonia, who offers him a coffee.

Goodbye Mamejee (FRA, 2023, dir: Taslyne Oumarkatar, Marie Susanyan, Jin-Hyung Park, Antoine Furic, Emma Daillie, Léonardo Girardi)

Pondicherry, India. On the eve of his departure to France, Noor is devastated at the thought of leaving his uncle Mamajee.

Head in the Clouds (FRA/BEL, 2023, dir: Remi Durin)

Alfonso, a young squirrel, always has his head in the clouds. He loves watching them and sometimes takes snapshots of them.

Hoofs on Skates (LIT, 2024, dir: Ignas Meilūnas)

On a bright winter's day, in a land of fluffy hills and frosted trees, Piglet and his best friend Cow are having fun ice-skating on a lake.

Kids in Winter (CHN, 2022, dir: Maing Caochong)

In the cold winter, the snowstorm is an inescapable challenge. Faced with an icy cave mouth, some rabbits need to make a concerted effort to return home.

Laika, the Brave Dog (ITA, 2024, dir: Francesco Catarinolo)

Moscow. 1957. Only a few days are left until the launch of Sputnik II, the first satellite in the history of humanity to host a living being: Laika.

Little Fan (GER, 2023, dir: Sveta Yuferova)

As Little Fan explores the table, he encounters an object which brings new challenges.

Lucky Four - Mates from Boomsplutter (CZE, 2024, dir: Michal Žabka)

Myshpulin invents a special replicator. But when Pinďa accidentally falls into it, out pop four Pinďas. But which one is the original and real one?

Magic Candies (JAP, 2024, dir: Daisuke NISHIO)

Kids at the park never play with Dong-Dong. But he’s fine just playing marbles on his own. One day he ends up buying a bag of colorful, marble-shaped candy.

Marie (CZE, 2024, dir: Jan B. Piskač)

František delves into the depths of fantasy and gets lost in his drawings. Thoughts of his classmate Marie emerge as he delves deeper into his world.

Mr. Slumber (CZE, 2023, dir: Zuzana Matysová)

Slumber sets off to the city every night to provide people with rest. However, sometimes someone appears who does not want his services.

Night Market (USA, 2023, dir: Yingyu Zhu, Chenyi Zhu, Xinyu Sun)

Guided by butterflies, a sick little girl escapes from a hospital. She tries to embrace the freedom of city streets at night.

Nina´s Friend (BEL, 2024, dir: Neyrouz Jemour)

Nina is a young girl who doesn't know how to communicate with other children. One day, she forms a new friendship in the park with Ellie.

OVO (FRA, 2023, dir: Stiv Spasojevic)

This is the story of a meeting between an astonishing robot from outer space and an adorable little bird just hatched from its egg…   

Potatoes (POL, 2023, dir: Marcin Podolec)

A trembling line tells a story of family relationships. Sometimes it's worth letting go, both: for yourself and for the others.

Pufferfish (GER, 2022, dir: Julia Ocker)

In an ocean full of big bad fish, the pufferfish is trying to seem as big and strong as possible.

Rhino (GER, 2022, dir: Julia Ocker)

The rhino is looking forward to his date with the rhino lady.

Scrubby (GER, 2023, dir: Paul Vollet)

Scrubby wants to live in his mother's thick fur forever, but she's starting to lose hair. One day he brings back a strand of hair that flew away.

Shellfish (FRA, 2023, dir: Justine Aubert, Cassandra  Bouton, Gregoire  Callies, Maud  Chesneau, Anna  Danton, Loic  Girault, Gatien  Peyrude, Justine  Raux)

A small and selfish hermit crab loses its shell. It has to face dangers of the beach to find another one.

Summer Rain (SUI, 2023, dir: Marlene Low)

Quincy spends a peaceful childhood with her parents. However, when her mother falls ill, Quincy has to cope with the changes in her everyday life.

The Girl With The Occupied Eyes (POR, 2024, dir: André Carrilho)

A girl wanders through the city, countryside, beach, always clutching a phone from which she never takes her eyes off.  

The Girl With the Red Beret (CAN, 2023, dir: Janet Perlman)

A girl takes a wild ride on the metro in Montreal. Travelling from station to station, she encounters an array of colourful characters.

The Hedgehog (CZE, 2023, dir: Daniela Hýbnerová)

A schoolgirl draws a hedgehog that can swim. A classmate sees it and wants to test it. They have a pool, and under the tree… a hedgehog.

The Missing Spots (AUT, 2023, dir: Astrid Rothaug)

This poem tells the story of a little leopard born without spots. He tries to find ways to fit in despite looking different.

The Queen´s Flowers (USA, 2023, dir: Ciara Lacy)

A magical true story follows Emma, a Native Hawaiian girl in 1915 Honolulu, as she makes a special gift for the last monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili`uokalani.

Three Trees (CAN, 2023, dir: M.R. Horhager, Aaron Hong)

Three best friends, Maple, Pine, and Magnolia, live together on top of a mountain. As the seasons change, the trees discover surprising things in themselves.

Touching Darkness (CZE, 2024, dir: Jamaica Kindlová)

Vítek navigates everyday situations and his big dreams. He shows that even life without sight is colorful. But even the bravest have moments of sadness.

Tuu Tuu Til (GER, 2024, dir: Veronica Solomon)

For little children the world is full of mystery and unknown and they need the help of a wise companion to navigate the challenges of everyday life.

Two Apples (CAN, 2023, dir: Bahram  Javahery)

When a young woman leaves her homeland in search of a better future, she brings with her a single memento from her past: a ripe apple with fragrant cloves.

What´s Inside That Crate? (BEL, 2023, dir: Bram Algoed)

A story about a pilot, a captain, a machinist, a driver, a mailman, a girl... and a giant box. What's in the box?  

What's Up with the Sky? (SPA, 2023, dir: Irene Iborra)

The sun rises over the horizon and is welcomed by the beautiful landscape. The humans also wake up and they cut down trees, construct aimlessly, and pollute.

When I Was Scared of the Dark (FRA/BEL, 2023, dir: Célia Tisserant)

Robert does not like going to bed as he thinks there are monsters in his room hiding in the dark. His mother leaves the landing light on and his door ajar.

Who´s Wrong (SWE, 2024, dir: Linda Hambäck, Stina Wirsén)

Today is show-and-tell at preschool and all the kids bring their favourite toy. Teddycat is so excited about showing her superhero.

Writing Home (CZE, 2024, dir: Eva Matějovičová)

A bark beetle girl lives in a forest tree. An accidental fire burns the forest to ashes, turning her hand to coal, and she becomes separated from her family.

Yuck! (FRA, 2024, dir: Loic Espuche)

When people are about to kiss, their lips become all pink and shiny. Little Léo laughs at them, like all the other kids at the summer camp.


International Competition of Student Films Zlín Dog

Short live-action films

Catching Birds (GER/FRA/AUT, 2023, dir. Simon Maria Kubiena, Lea Marie Lembke)

Sixteen-year-old wrestler Anouk wrestles with boys her age. Her focus on the sport is disrupted one day by a new member of the team.

Crust (GER, 2023, dir. Jens Kevin Georg)

You can only become a true family member by getting your first scar. Twelve-year-old Fabi still doesn't have one.

Eighth Day (CZE, 2023, dir. Petr Pylypčuk)

Members of a religious sect gather by a lake in the forest, preparing for a baptism, but teenage Anna has her own plans.

Guardian of the Steppe (KAZ, 2023, dir. Saya Omar)

Zharas is apprenticed to Asylbek, a seasoned guardian of the Kazakh steppe. Their joint pursuit of poachers gradually reveals the darker sides of this profession.

Recordings of a Weather Camera (GER/AUT, 2024, dir. Bernhard Wenger)

A portrait of an alpine ski resort where meteorological cameras capture majestic mountains and human interactions, actions that may seem harmless at first glance.

So Long My Truck (CHN, 2023, dir. Yinghe LUO)

A widow of a truck driver exerts all efforts to obtain her husband's job. She rejects the possibility of her own happiness.

Son (IRN/SUI, 2024, dir. Saman Hosseinpuor)

In a remote village in the mountains of Kurdistan, a lonely mother waits for her son. When she decides to search for him, she uncovers his secret.

Stateless (BEL, 2022, dir. Tawfik Sabouni)

When Syrian refugee Salma obtains a residency permit, she discovers that the Belgian authorities have revoked her and her son's citizenship.

Stay Home Stay Safe (CZE, 2023, dir. Martin Bystriansky)

Artificial intelligence creates inspiring virtual simulations for a writer. In the artificially created world, he meets his muse, who isn't real enough.

Stuck Together (CZE, 2023, dir. Anna Wowra)

Viki, Sara, and Kiki have stuck together since childhood, supporting each other in an unfavorable environment. They are united by naivety and a dream of leaving their hometown.

The Rooms We Share (GER, 2023, dir. Nadiia Kathymlianska)

Hannah offers a room to Ukrainian refugee Yulia. She has certain expectations, which the war-affected girl from her country is currently unable to fulfill.

Tremolo (GER, 2022, dir. Leonard Julius Mink)

A deaf boy meets his father, a musician who doesn't know sign language. They find a way to connect through music.

Short animations

And Then… (SUI, 2022, dir. Leo Graf, Tanja Nuijten, Raphael Stalder)

Three children invent a story about a whale leaping from a mountain lake and flying away in a hot air balloon.

CookedFellas (GER, 2023, dir. David Sick)

Cannelloni is furious because someone is using inferior cheese to dilute his delicate Parmesan. The culprit must be found.

Dead End (GER, 2024, dir. Fabienne Priess, Levin Tamo)

When a strange creature invades Fred's space, everyone is terrified. Only Fred dares to approach the intruder, slowly questioning all fear.

Doubt (CZE, 2023, dir. Adela Križovenská)

Through abstract animation, the artist depicts her struggle and doubts about her own and others' creativity.

Dream Rotation (SVK, 2023, dir. Katarína Jelínková, Darya Sidorova, Viktória Zimmermannová, Rebeka Vakrčková)

Lost souls aimlessly make their way through the night forest. Four converge by a fire to share their terrifying testimonies.

Electra (CZE, 2023, dir. Daria Kashcheeva)

An Electra complex in an imaginative tale that transcends the boundaries of dreams. Premature adolescence intertwines with the traumatic memories of the protagonist.

Every Other Weekend (IRL, 2023, dir. James Naughton)

A recently divorced father desperately tries to escape the routine of his biweekly visits with his two children by taking them camping in western Ireland.

Giovanna and the Big Peacock (ITA, 2023, dir. Maria Zilli)

Warrior Giovanna travels on a horse through a colorful rubber world, searching for a mysterious creature until... a rhythmic sound shakes her.

Heart Hug (ISR/UKR, 2023, dir. Nika Zhukova, Rimma Gefen)

A story of the bond between an elderly woman and her faithful dog Max. Both the lady and her four-legged friend bear the heavy toll of war in their country.

Homodeus (GBR, 2023, dir. Armin Rangani)

In a future world, a girl decides to end her life by putting on VR glasses, leading her into a dreamy world of perfect colors and creatures.

Humanity (CZE, 2024, dir. Tereza Kovandová)

A dark comedy about what we all do – hate other people for utterly trivial reasons. Life is hard enough without the obligation to tolerate others.

Instruction (EST, 2023, dir. Ksenia Pleshakova, Jelizavera Averko)

A cat needs the perfect guide to live, but for now, it just wants to wash a sweater. A story as confused as an instruction manual for a washing machine.

La bride – The Dog´s Leash (BEL, 2022, dir. Nicolas Piret)

How far can a dog go when it's been tied to a leash its whole life? The journey to freedom isn't easy, or free. Let's root for him.

Legacy (HUN, 2023, dir. Tamás Ivády)

A granddaughter clears out her late grandma's flat. Memories of raspberry squares and her baking flood back. Will grandma and her baking become mere memories?

My Father´s Car (FRA, 2023, dir. Jeremy Andriambolisoa, Cérine Raouraoua, William Ghyselen, Benjamin Germe)

Two brothers in Madagascar must quickly repair their father's car before he finds out what happened to it.

Okyo (CZE, 2023, dir. Lucie Lisníková)

Lonely Noam leaves a rundown city with only an orange backpack and an old black suitcase. He arrives at a cold beach, which holds special meaning for him.

On the 8th Day (FRA, 2023, dir. Agathe Sénéchal, Alicia Massez, Elise Debruyne, Flavie Carin, Théo Duhautois)

The creation of the world took seven days; disrupting its balance took only one.

Pipes (SUI, 2022, dir. Jessica Meier, Kilian Feusi, Sujanth Ravichandran)

Sometimes work takes us to unexpected places. For plumber Bob, it's a gay club with fetishist inclinations.

Small Business (FRA, 2023, dir. Mathis Dubrul)

An unexpected food inspection surprises Mr. Henry at the vegetable store. However, Inspector Vallard himself becomes a witness to a crime.

Such Miracles Do Happen (POL, 2022, dir. Barbara Rupik)

Animated sculptures leave their sanctums one day, all calmly heading in the same direction. The procession fascinates a girl with a skeletal body.

The Deer (NLD, 2023, dir. Baran Sedighian Bidgoli)

The story of a deer who leaves his herd and begins to search for his new self.

The Nectar Instead (USA, 2023, dir. Yoo Lee)

A young fly gets trapped in a stop-motion studio, realizing it spent its life chasing the wrong thing.

The Wasteland (SVK, 2023, dir. Timotej Lukovič)

A woman living in the desert finds life from a solitary tree. One day, petals fall from the sky, prompting her to search for where they came from.

There Are People in the Forest (POL, 2023, dir. Szymon Ruczynski)

A wordless film reflects the cruel, yet sadly common situations at the Polish-Belarusian EU border, the scene of an ongoing refugee crisis.

Vidalia (FRA, 2023, dir. Camille Borg, Tabatha Hugues, Bastien L´Hourre,Constance Cartaut, Morgane Jolivel, Enzo Regardin, Emile Lachkar, Céline Soubrane,Diane Hamel)

In a ravaged village, some residents are abducted by strange creatures. The only survivors, two onions named Cal and Vidalia, decide to search for them.

Short documentary films

49 385 (POL, 2023, dir. Helena Stańczyk)

Grandmother Zosia talks about the hardships of war and life in a concentration camp with incredible ease during a family gathering.

Budapest Silo (HUN, 2022, dir. Zsófia Paczolay)

József has been working in a grain silo for over 30 years. He views a construction site from his container home. Place and work are inseparable to him.

Poisoned Well (SVK, 2023, dir. Radek Ševčík)

The death of two innocent LGBTI+ individuals - Juraj and Matúš. Without a political response. A story of the deteriorating state of Slovak society.

Resilient (CZE, 2023, dir. Jan Považan)

Benoit lost his hand in a work accident, but this won't stop him from pursuing his life passion – surfing.

Rising Above (CZE, 2023, dir. Natálie Durchánková)

An anidoc capturing the feelings of a woman who has become a victim of rape. We observe her coping with trauma and emerging as a stronger person.

Sea Fortunes (BEL, 2022, dir. Elisa Mezquita, Armelle Fouat)

Plunge into the lives of 19th-century sailors and the dangers facing them. Initially more of a spiritual journey, today it leans towards pragmatism.

The World Is Ours (CAN, 2023, dir. Nadia Louis-Desmarchais)

After a pandemic, every second young person shows signs of depression. Six teenage girls will leave the city for the first time and embark on a canoe expedition.

Wounds (UKR, 2023, dir. Lesia Diak)

Even the beautiful Carpathian landscape, where three widows live, can't conceal their grief for the men who lost their lives during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.