General information

What is the ZFF Academy?

  • The ZFF Academy is a 5-day intensive programme, designed for directors, scriptwriters or producers, being at the beginning of their career, organised within the framework of the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland. In the context of the programme the selected participants get the chance to meet and learn from the film industry's most notable experts.

Who is behind the ZFF Academy?

  • As mentioned above, the ZFF Academy is organised within the framework of the Zurich Film Festival. The programme is organised by its Industry Team.

When and where does the ZFF Academy take place?

  • The ZFF Academy takes place from September 29 to October 3, 2021 in Zurich, Switzerland during the Zurich Film Festival (September 23 to October 3, 2021).


Programme questions

What is included in the ZFF Academy?

  • Participation in the programme of the ZFF Academy (Master Classes, Networking Events,...)
  • Industry accreditation for the 17th Zurich Film Festival.
  • First-class accommodation during the ZFF Academy
  • Breakfast, selected lunches and dinners.
  • Invitations to numerous events including the glamorous Award Night Afterparty.

What does the specific content of the programme look like?

The programme is refined and adapted each year to the selected participants. Check out the programme section for more information.


Application questions

Who can apply?

  • In general, everybody is welcome to submit his/her application irrespective of age, gender, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, as long as he/she meets the following requirements: Is an aspiring director, scriptwriter or producer, has worked on either one feature length film, a number of short fims, or a TV/web series that has been internationally recognised and is fluent in English. You'll find the precise eligibility requirements under this link. 

Is there an age limitation?

  • No, we kindly invite every filmmaker in the beginning of his/her career irrespective of age to submit us his/her application.

Can I apply as a DoP, Editor, Sound Designer?

  • No, the ZFF Academy is only open to directors, producers or scriptwriters

If you have been unsuccessful in a previous application, can you apply again?

  • Yes, you can.

How to apply?

  • Application is done in two mandatory steps: Prepare your application documents and complete the Application form online. Send the following documents to deborah.schmidlin@zff.com: CV, Letter of motivation, Work Sample.. 

What are the important points regarding your motivation letter?

  • Explain clearly why you are applying right now, at which point in your career you are at the moment and to what extend the ZFF Academy could help you to move a step forward.Focusing on the following questions may help: Who are you Why is "right now" a perfect moment to participate in the ZFF Academy? What are you working on currently and what are your plans for the nearer futher? What do you expect from the ZFF Academy? What are you passionate about in film making?
  • Please remember not to exceed the 2000 characters and be personal. We don’t expect you to write a novel.

Which Work Sample should I submit?

  • Paricipants should choose one complete film of their oeuvre. We expect participants to submit the one that represents them best. This need not necessarily be your most recent work.

Can I submit more than one Work Sample?

  • No, we only accept one Work Sample.

How many participants are selected for ZFF Academy?

  • 20 applicants are selected to participate at ZFF Academy.

How long will it take to hear back from us after you submit your application?

  • We acknowledge receipt of all applications by email pretty much straight away. All applicants will get a positive or negative answer of participation by approximately mid-august.