International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Zlín (Czech Republic)

Zlín Film Fest about to open

Zlín (Czech Republic) - Drawing from the rich history of Zlin Film Studios - a hotbed of the most extraordinary Czech animation of the 20th century, the Zlin Film Festival is focused on cinema for children and young audiences. With almost 50 years of continual history, it is also among the oldest worldwide. The festival features several international competitions, augmented by industry events and special events.

ZLIN 2008 - 48th International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Zlín invites you to spend eight exceptional days with us - full of packed movie theatres and satisfied viewers of all ages. Festival visitors can enjoy the best of contemporary film for young audiences, attend events with both Czech and foreign filmmakers and choose from rich supporting programme. But the festival’s unique atmosphere will be created mainly by you, our guests and viewers!

No film festival would be complete without VIP visitors and the Zlin film fest is no exception to this. Like in previous years, a number of star guests will join the long list of respected celebrities who attended our festival, including Joel Haley Osment, Andrej Chalimon, Gerrit van Dijk, Lawrence Guterman, Alfonso Cuarón, Marléne Jobert, Pierre Brice, Michael York, Peter Ustinov, Emmanuelle Béart, Annie Girardot, Gina Lollobrigida, Ornella Muti, Oleg Tabakov, Krzysztof Zanussi and many others.

With its long history, extensive programme and lengthy list of celebrities, the festival is now one of, if not the, largest children’s film festival in the world and has established a strong reputation amongst international film professionals. The festival also keeps alive Zlin’s unique cinematic heritage, being the cornerstone of Czech Animation and the home of the 70-year-old film studios where acclaimed film-makers Karel Zeman and Hermína Týrlová created their greatest works.

The festival provides a unique opportunity for both film professionals and general public to see and discuss film production aimed specifically at children and youth, as well as offering a student filmmaking competition, international advertising awards targeted at young audience and many other supporting events.


International Competition of Feature Films for Children and Youth
The heart of the festival, where sixteen feature films compete in two categories: films for children up to 12 and films for youth from 13 years of age upwards.

International Competition of Animated Films for Children and Youth
Around seventy short animated films for young audience compete in this category.

International European Debuts Competition
Featuring the cinematic debuts of ten rising European directors. With no genre restrictions, these films seek to provide a fresh and original outlook on the world from their young creators.

Competition of Feature Films from the Visegrad Four
This section features films without theme or age restrictions but will be judged by a jury consisting entirely of students. The Visegrad Four is a political initiative of the new members of the EU consisting of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

International Student Film Festival “Zlin Dog”
The international festival of student films is an autonomous event organized under the umbrella of the main festival. The competition is divided into four categories: Animated, Feature, Documentary and New Form films (spots, video-clips, experimental work etc). An important part of this event is a series of invaluable practical workshops provided by key professionals within the industry.

International Advertising Award “The Rainbow Marble”

This competition of TV advertising spots and print advertising, focusing on children and youth, has been a part of the festival programme since 2003. The TV advertising spots compete in five categories. The programme is supported by a conference the topic of which is “The Child and Advertising”

Days of European Cinema
This project was started in 2003 with the aim of showcasing European film production to audience. Previous years have seen the spotlight shone on German, Scandinavian and Baltic, French, Russian Cinema, and in 2007 we presented Dutch cinematography. Great Britain has been chosen for 2008. Her films for children and youth are regarded by critics and the public alike as pearl of world cinematography. Aside from several planned sections of older well-known and even, (till now) unshown classic films, the dramaturgy is focused mainly on the newest film works. Patronage taken by the UK ambassador and supported by the British Council and the British Film Institute, this section is definitely going to be one of the festival highlights.

Czech Film and TV Production for Children and Youth
Maintaining the Czech Republic’s strong reputation for children’s film production throughout the international film community, this section provides an overview of the last year’s local productions.


A section dedicated to documentary production for children and youth and covering areas connected to current children and youth issues.

Night Horizons – New section
Within the new non-competitive section Night Horizons, the newest of films aimed at young audience will be screened. The section deals with films which present serious and/or provocative dilemmas that concern young people or are experienced by them. The Night Horizons section does not only aim at bringing controversial topics for the sake of doing so. Its aim is that of a more complex nature. The selection of films is expected to raise discussion and attention. Since many films cross the border into the adult world, some screenings will take place in late-night times.

A retrospective section presenting mainly award-winning works screened at other festivals which bring new and often unconventional visions.

A collection of Japanese animated films – anime – is going to be presented at the 48th annual Zlín Film Festival. Fantasy and fairytales will be the prevailing themes of the collection.

A highlight of the festival’s programme is the award for the recognition of a “Creative Contribution to Filmmaking for Children and Youth” to an outstanding personality within the world of cinema. The award is accompanied by a retrospective of the work of the award winner.

Press release:
Zlín Film Fest about to open

Latest pre-festival press release. Contains competition lineup, VIP guests / delegations list, festival statistics. The pdf document can be downloaded here.


Press release submitted by FILMFEST, s. r. o., 29th of June 2008

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