The Reykjavik International Film Festival is back! The festival, also known as RIFF, was founded in 2004 by a small group of film professionals and enthusiasts. Today the festival lasts for eleven days and screens films from more than 40 countries. RIFF stands out among other film festivals with their unique categories of film screenings, such as “the Golden Egg” and “A Different Tomorrow”. The greatest honor at RIFF is the Discovery of the Year Award, which is decided by an international jury and awards the coveted Golden Puffin. In 2012, an American film won the Golden Puffin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, and in 2013 and 2014 two Italian films won the prize. Which film will win the Discovery of the Year 2015? We won’t know until the end of the festival on October 5.
RIFF is different than many film festivals, because unlike those of Cannes or Sundance, it is not so much focused on the celebrity aspect, but rather the films alone. RIFF screens foreign short and one minute films across Reykjavik at public places, and also tries to make the films accessible to people in other parts of the country by hosting showings in Akureyri, Sauðárkrókur and several other towns. There are also special RIFF events, such as a Swim-in Cinema that invites movie lovers to watch the films while they dip in the Laugardalur Swimming Pool, and a film concert that entails musicians performing while a movie is projected behind them.
This year, Canadian director David Cronenberg will be the RIFF guest of honor, and he will be awarded the lifetime achievement award. Almost every year, RIFF honors someone in the film industry for their hard work over the course of their career.
For young filmmakers looking to bust into the business, the RIFF Talent Lab is a must, with masterclasses and discussions spanning over four days. And for all foreign visitors who seek connections in the film world, the RIFF Industry Days aim to create connections across borders, with introductions to local talent, seminars, panels, and day parties.
Stay tuned for a link to the entire Festival’s program!