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 28 to October 2, 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland during the Zurich Film Festival (September 22 to October 2, 2022).


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 18th 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 an application irrespective of age, gender, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, as long as following requirements are met: The applicant is an aspiring director, scriptwriter or producer, who has worked on either one feature length film, a number of short fims, or a TV/web series that has been internationally recognized 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 a film career irrespective of age to submit us an 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 the necessary documents and complete the online application form. Send your CV (incl. filmography) and your headshot to daniela.engler@zff.com

What are the important points regarding your motivation letter?

  • You will need to state your motivation in the online application form. It is a good idea to plan ahead and type out some of your answers in a separate document. You can then cut and paste them directly into the application form.
  • Please remember not to exceed the 2000 characters incl. signs or the 500 characters respectively. We will strictly not read the signs exceeding the maximum amount of characters.
  • A good tip is: remain 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.


Which excerpt from my chosen work sample should I submit?

  • It is up to you to choose which excerpt you would like to submit. Think about which scene best represents the film you have submitted.
  • It is important that the excerpt is no longer than five minutes, but it may be shorter.
  • If you submit a short film that is shorter than the five minutes, you may enter the entire short as your excerpt.

Can I enter a five-minute excerpt from a film other than the one I submitted?

  • No. The five-minute excerpt must be from the submitted film.

How many participants are selected for ZFF Academy?

  • 20 applicants are selected to participate in the 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 end of August.