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Reykjavik International Film Festival

Níu dagar í RIFF 2023! Miðasalan er hafin

The 20th edition of the Reykjavík International Film Festival will take place between September 23rd and October 8th, 2023.

Iceland’s major annual film event, the main purpose of RIFF is to offer a wide selection of groundbreaking, independent cinema, and to highlight the work of young and emerging filmmakers, by presenting only first and second works in the Grand Prix competition category New Visions. The objective of the festival is to increase general interest in independent cinema, increase the level of cinematic literacy and enrich film culture in Iceland by offering different cross-platform programs.


RIFF 2011 Awards

RIFF 2011 Awards


New Best Icelandic Short Film Award established to honor Thor Vilhjálmsson

Record festival attendance nears 27,000 admissions

RIFF 2012 September 27 – October 7

"Auf wiedersehen papa".

The Golden Egg Winner was "Auf wiedersehen papa" by Sandra Nedeleff: "An everyday drama that navigates from stone cold reality into a fairytale and back again, throwing in a few twists along the way. This is a beautiful and elegantly realized film, shot on location in Berlin and is only the second film from this actor turned director. Auf Wiedersehen papa is a wonderful film." - From the Jury (Ben Frost, Bogi Reynisson, Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir).


Russian director Angelina Nikonova´s film TWILIGHT PORTRAIT (Portret V Sumerkakh) which tells a story of revenge between a social worker and a militia man against the modern day backdrop of a Russia ridden with social conflict.

Jury Statement

“For the extremely inspired use of cinematic language and storytelling while depicting an intriguing and provocative subject matter with unsettling, realist sensibility.”

Special Jury Mention: Italian director Andrea Segre’s SHUN LI AND THE POET (Io Sono Li) “For the poetry and grace employed in treating the subject of the integration (or lack of integration) of immigrants in western society.”

Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s OSLO, 31. AUGUST “For the strong demonstration of directorial skills when dealing with a complicated and sensitive subject. “

First and second films are eligible.

The jury is led by Danish actor Ulrich Thomsen, and includes Tudor Giurgiu, Director of the Transilvanian International Film Festival and Irene Bignardi, journalist Il Messaggero (Rome).

FIPRESCI AWARD International Critic’s Award

Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson´s VOLCANO (Eldfjall).

Jury Statement

"For the sensitive yet unsentimental portrayal, built on powerful acting, of themes that are not usually the focus of filmmaking: aging with dignity in an intimate relationship, dealing with severe illness, caring and dying."

Films from the New Visions program are eligible.

On the jury are Alison Elizabeth Frank, Ph.D. from the University of Oxford (England); Nicole Santé, Chair of Dutch Board of Film Journalists (Holland) and Susanne Schütz, Arts Editor Rheinpfalz (Germany).


Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson´s VOLCANO (Eldfjall), a love story that has transcended the years and now confronts the final chapter.

The Church of Iceland film award is presented for the sixth time this year.

Jury Statement

“Volcano is a realistic film, carried by a strong story, excellent acting and confident direction.

Volcano is a film about love in all of its diversity. It shows the intimacy and pleasure of lovers. It shows responsible and sacrifical love. Mesmerizing close-ups soften a harsh man and connect the audience and the protagonist.

Volcano is a film about family, about interaction that is both broken and whole. It shows despair, it mediates hope. It shows use closeness and annoyance, warmth and coldness, joy and pain.

Volcano is a film about growing old and reminds us of the human need for care and presence.

Volcano is a film that leaves the viewer with questions and compels a conversation.”

Special Jury mention: Brazilian director Julia Marat’s STORIES THAT ONLY EXIST WHEN REMEMBERED (Historias Que Só Existem Quando Lembradas) is a well made and mesmerizing film about closeness and community. It introduces us to a group of people who gather to break bread in church and at the table. It is a unique testament to slow, calm society and stands as a witness against the stressed existence of our times.“

First and second films are eligible, from the New Visions category.

On the jury are Sr. Árni Svanur Daníelsson, (Deus Ex Cinema); Sr. Elín Hrund Kristjánsdóttir (Deus Ex Cinema, pastor at Reykhólar) and Guðni Mar Harðarson (pastor at Lindakirkja Church).

RIFF AUDIENCE AWARD Most Popular Film Award

Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki’s film LE HAVRE which is a romantic tale of the triumph of the human spirit as a young African illegal immigrant passes through the fabled port city on his way to London.

Presented by Bjarni Guðmundsson, managing director of the National Broadcasting Company of Iceland, RÚV.

Audience award is tabulated by using admissions and taking into account the size of the screening room and the number of screenings.


Irish director’s Risteard Ó Domhnaill’s THE PIPE, a story of a small Irish community divided by the prospect of a oil pipeline that will bring economic gains but also destroy their way of life.

Jury Statement

“Risteard Ó Domhnail's way of telling the story is powerful, yet simple. It contains all the good elements of a classic cinema. In the spirit of Cinema Verité he brings forth few but strong characters to lead the story forward, the style is effortless and clear. Although a local story from a remote area it speaks to us in a bigger context.The Pipe is a film that talks to our times and has a rendezvous with the future. ”

Special Jury Mention: “Eco Pirate: The Paul Watson Story is an epic tale of a one man’s struggle against the exploitation of the oceans, and at the same time provides a unique observation of four decades of the environmental movement Greenpeace. The film is a traditional documentary that deals with its subject matter with profound care, well balanced structure and historical subplots”

Films from the Greendocs program are eligible.

On the jury are Hrönn Kristinsdóttir, producer; Ósk Vilhjámsdóttir, artist and Þorfinnur Guðnason, filmmaker.


Börkur Sigthorsson’s SKAÐI (Come To Harm)

Special Jury Mention: Haukur M. Hrafnsson’s ÓSÝNILEG MÆRI (Invisible Border).

Films from the Icelandic Panorama are eligible.

The award is accompanied by the first grant from the Thor Vilhjalmsson Fund, founded by RIFF and the Icelandic Society of Filmmakers to honor the memory of renowned author Thor Vilhjálmsson.

The grant is 200,000 ÍSK line of credit with Iceland Express to fly anywhere in the world and a 150,000 ÍSK credit at the famed Eymundsson bookstores.

Jury: Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson, director; Ásgeir H. Ingólfsson, critic and Silja Hauksdóttir, director.


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