What is ZFF 72?
ZFF 72 is an online contest that gives you 72 hours to produce a film lasting no longer than 72 seconds. The contest is organised by the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) and open to all interested in filmmaking. For each contest, ZFF will announce the theme shortly before the 72h countdown. From then on, you have 72h to come up with a story based on the given theme, shoot and cut your film. An overview of all submitted films from the last years can be found in our film archive.

How do I register for ZFF 72?
You will be guided through the registration steps on the ZFF 72 website. At first you need to open a My ZFF account and therefore you will be forwarded to the zff.com website. Once your My ZFF account has been set up, you can fill in the entry form at zff72.com and register for the contest. Please note that you have to register anew for each new contest via zff72.com

Do I have to live in Switzerland to take part?
No, participation is not bound to a specific place of residency. You can do everything required by ZFF 72 online. However, we are grateful for every person that comes to Zurich and turns the city into one huge film set together with the other participants!

Can I take part as an individual?
Yes, the choice is completely up to you whether you want to enter the contest alone or with a crew.

Do I need experience in filmmaking to take part in ZFF 72?
No, filmmakers of all kinds are welcome. The only important things are creativity and a passion for filmmaking.

What do I need to know when taking part as a group?
If you are taking part as a group (crew), only one of you needs to register for ZFF 72. You will, however, be able to enter the name and function of each of your crewmembers in your account. It is important to note that only the person registered for ZFF 72 has the right to claim a possible prize. It is left entirely to this person to decide on how to share the prize with possible crew members.

How do I enter my film?
You can upload your film file to the entry form at zff72.com during the 72h of filmproduction. You can access your entry form by logging into your account via zff72.com (once you have registered for ZFF 72). Please note that once you have submitted your form, you will no longer be able to alter your film or any of the details contained on the form. Important: you can only submit one film per participant/crew.

In which file formats can I upload my film?
You can upload your film at zff72.com using one of the following file formats:

  • MOV
  • MPEG4
  • AVI
  • WMV
  • FLV
  • 3GPP
  • WebM


What can I win?

For the ZFF 72 edition during the 15th Zurich Film Festival from September 24, 2020 till October 4, 2020 there is a Jury Award endowed with a CHF 5'000 cash prize and an audio postproduction in the amount of CHF 5'000 provided by Jingle Jungle Tonstudios, a Viewers Award endowed with a CHF 4'000 cash prize and a Mobile Filming Award endowed with a Galaxy S20  provided by Samsung.

How will the winner of the Jury Award be determined?
The jury will choose the Jury Top 10 as well as the winner of the Jury Award from all submitted films, regardless of the number of points they received from online votes.

Who are the members of the jury?
The members of the jury are featured on our website zff72.com in due course.

What criteria are the jury looking for?
The jury judges how well the film adheres to the given theme, the creativity and originality of the content and the quality of the film’s realisation.

How will the winner of the Viewers Award be determined?
The winner of the Viewers Award will be determined by online public voting via the zff72.com website. The voting period lasts for 72 hours. The film with the most points at the end of this period wins the Viewers Award.

How will the winner of the Mobile Filming Award be determined?
The jury of the Mobile Filming category will determine the winner of the Mobile Filming Award from all submitted films in this category.

Theme and film

How do I find out what the theme is?
The theme will be announced on September 25, 2020, at 12 noon on zff72.com as well as the ZFF 72 Facebook page. 

What kind of films can I enter?
It is a requirement of the contest that your clip does not exceed 72 seconds in duration (incl. credits). Apart from that, you are free to choose the genre of your film, e.g. scene film, CGI, stop motion and so on..., everything and anything is possible. The content of the film must adhere to the theme in order to have a chance of winning a prize. Entries containing pornographic and commercial content, as well as those containing scenes glorifying violence, will not be accepted. A list of further restrictions can be found in the ZFF 72 Regulations.

What languages can my film be in?
Basically, all languages are allowed. However, in order to make your film appeal to as many viewers as possible (and in particular, to the jury), we advise you to add English and/or German subtitles if your film is not already in one of these languages.

Where will the films be shown?
Your clip will be uploaded to the zff72.com website for online voting. Additionally, it will be linked to a playlist on the ZFF 72 Vimeo channel. It is also possible that some clips will be shown on other platforms.

Can I use found/or bought footage?
As long as the film has been created by you within the framework of the respective edition of the ZFF 72 and adheres to the given theme, it is not forbidden to use single sequences of your own archive material and/or bought film material (with the appropriate licences).

Help and preparation

How can I prepare myself for ZFF 72?
There is nothing you can really do to prepare yourself for your film’s production, because the theme is only announced at the beginning of the contest. If you are planning to enter as a group, however, it is highly advisable that you find your crewmembers beforehand. We will also be posting regular online tutorials, which may be able to teach you a thing or two, on our ZFF 72 Facebook page.

How can I find crew members?
Create a free ad in the new talent pool on zff72.com to either find crew members or find a crew to participate in ZFF 72.

Where can I get help during the contest?
During the 72 hours of production, an online helpdesk will be at your disposal via our ZFF 72 Facebook page. Experts from ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts) are happy to answer your questions.

Rights and privacy

What do I need to know with regard to music rights and third party rights?
Anybody in your film that is easily recognisable or audible must also agree to being in your film. If ZFF feels in anyway that a person in your film does not agree to appear, you must be able to provide written permission from this person upon request. The same applies to music rights: If you yourself do not own the rights to any music audible in your film, you are required to seek approval from SUISA. The simplest way to avoid this problem is to compose the music yourself or use SUISA-free music. You must also be able to provide proof that the music is SUISA-free upon request. You confirm by submitting your film that you hold all necessary rights with respect to that film.

What rights does ZFF have to use my film?
You do not lose the rights to your film by entering it into the contest. You do, however, grant ZFF the right to present, distribute and use your film for advertising purposes without spatial or temporal restrictions. This applies as long as your film is available on your Vimeo channel. Your film will be available for viewing on the zff72.com website and the ZFF 72 Vimeo channel. It is also possible that your film will be made available for viewing on other platforms, such as the ZFF’s Facebook pages or media partners’ websites.

How does ZFF treat my personal data?
ZFF treats your data as confidential and does not forward any details to third parties without your explicit permission. However, ZFF may pass on the necessary data to cooperation partners if required for the awarding of a prize. It is important to note that during the ZFF 72 contest, photos and videos may be made of you and published in combination with your name on various platforms (including on the zff.com website, ZFF Facebook pages and in further publications).

(dated August 2019)