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Reykjavik International Film Festival


The 18th edition of the Reykjavík International Film Festival will take place between September 30th and October 10th, 2021.

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 presents the films in the New Visions category competing for the Golden Puffin


RIFF presents the films in the New Visions category competing for the Golden Puffin

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Twelve up and coming directors  present their first or second feature film and compete for our main prize, the Golden Puffin. These films, in the New Visions category at RIFF challenge cinematic conventions  and pave the road for tomorrow’s  cinema.



Villa Touma (Án lands, no country)

Director: Suha Arraf

Three unmarried aristocratic Christian sisters from Ramallah have been unable to come to terms with the new reality of occupation and the mass migration of Palestine’s aristocracy. In order to survive, they lock themselves away in their villa, clinging desperately to the nostalgia of their former glory. One day, their orphan niece Badia walks into their lives and turns their world upside down. To preserve the family’s name, the three sisters try to marry her off to an eligible aristocratic Christian man. Will dragging Badia to every funeral, wedding, and church mass result in finding a good husband for her?

Suha Arraf was born in the Palestinian village of Melia, near the Lebanese border. She began her filmmaking career as a documentary producer. She directed and produced the documentary WOMEN OF HAMAS in 2010, which was awarded in several international film festivals. She wrote the award winning screenplay for LEMON TREE directed by Eran Riklis in 2008


The Lack

Director: Masbedo

THE LACK, is an spiritual journey through four variations on the theme of “lack” interpreted by six female characters. It shows how six women are immersed within the silent and primitive force of nature.  Eve, Xiu, Anja, Nour and Sarah are taken through a journey of self-knowledge into a sublime and mysterious nature: they experience abandonment, separation, courage and exertion and, through this inner voyage, they try to put the broken pieces back together and fill the emptiness in their lives. 

The Masbedo are a video-artist duo made by Nicolò Massazza and Iacopo Bedogni. They have exhibited in the most important museums of the world and for many years now they have taken part in many Film Festivals, such as Venice, Locarno, Rome, Istanbul, Lisbon, Athens, Miami and Reykjavik


Age of Cannibals/Zeit der Kannibalen


Director: Johannes Naber

Öllers and Niederländer have everything under control. For the past six years, the two successful business consultants have been traveling through some of the seediest countries around the world in order to satisfy their clients’ greed. They have achieved almost everything, but there is one career move left: to finally become a partner in the company! When they find out that their team colleague, Hellinger, made the cut, they devise a plan. “Up or Out” is the name of the game. When Hellinger falls from an office window for no explainable reason, questions are asked. Of all people, the young and ambitious Bianca steps in for Hellinger. Öllers and Niederländer become irritated, cynical and neurotic. The fight for survival within the company gets hard – the AGE OF CANNIBALS begins.

JOHANNES NABER was born in 1971 in Baden-Baden. He studied Philosophy and Indian Philology at the Freie Universität Berlin and Film at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Active as a freelance director, scriptwriter and gaffer on numerous features, documentaries and short films.

Before I Disappear


Director: Shawn Christensen

The journey begins with Richie, a seemingly hopeless introvert, who has decided he has had enough with life. But as he is attempting to end it all, he gets a phone call from his estranged sister, Maggie. Though they haven’t spoken in years, Maggie has found herself in a sticky situation and needs Richie to pick up her daughter from school. Richie reluctantly cancels his dark plans and goes to pick up his precocious niece Sophia and escorts her home. But when Maggie doesn’t return as scheduled, Richie is forced to take care of Sophia for the night. However, as the night progresses, Richie finds himself caught in a battle between his two bosses Bill and Gideon and soon figures out that baby-sitting is the least of his problems.




Director: Matthew Hammett Knott

Judith, an uptight divorcee, is appalled when her daughter Lily quits law school to move into a commune of hippie-misfits who live according to the behavioural principles of the bonobo monkey — a species famous for its ‘make love not war’ philosophy. Anita, the eccentric group leader, claims that she can resolve the conflict between mother and daughter if Judith will spend a day among the commune and submit to its principles. But with mother and daughter both hell-bent on proving each other wrong, Anita's methods must now be put to the test as never before. 

Matthew Hammett Knott made the short film ON THIS ISLAND (2012) which was screened at festivals worldwide and on British television, winning awards including the Golden Egg at the 9th Reykjavik Film Festival, where he also developed BONOBO in the Talent Lab.


The World/BotaALB

Director: Iris Elezi and Thomas Logorrheic

Albania, present day. At the edge of a haunted swamp, Juli, Nora and Ben work together in a cute little cafe in an isolated village. Their families were exiled during their country’s intense communist rule and the three wish to leave this desolate place. Under the disapproving eyes of Juli, Ben juggles an affair with Nora while dreaming of expanding his café into the Balkan big time. Their quiet world ceases to exist when a highway crew begins to widen the road nearby. Juli falls for engineer Mili, but worries about her ailing and confused grandmother Noje keep her from letting go. As the new road approaches, the village inhabitants have one last glorious night of fireworks and celebration. But when the dawn arrives, Juli, Ben and Nora must face a shared secret from their traumatic past.

Thomas Logoreci produced and co-edited Caveh Zahedi’s critically-acclaimed 2005 comedy feature, I AM A SEX ADDICT, which played at over thirty festivals worldwide and won the New York Gotham Award for ‘Best Film Not Playing at a Theatre Near You’. 


The Council of Birds/Zerrumpelt Herz


Director: Timm Kröger


Set in 1929, this mysterious film tells the story of Paul Leinert, a music teacher who receives an unexpected letter from his old friend Otto Schiffmann, a young and talented composer who has moved away from Berlin after a failed marriage. The letter is an invitation for Paul to come and visit Otto in his forest cabin and to get to know his new work, a long-awaited symphony. Taking along his wife Anna as well as his colleague Willi, the three find the cabin, but Otto is nowhere to be seen. As they go looking for him the next day, Paul notices something odd about the song of the local birds…

Director, screenwriter, and cinematographer Timm Kröger studied at the European Film College in Ebeltoft (Denmark), where he also spent a year as a teacher assistant. Following an internship at ARRI Rental, he studied documentary film at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. ZERRUMPELT HERZ is both his graduation and debut feature film. 


I Can Quit Whenever I Want/Smetto Quando Voglio


Diirector: Sydney Sibilia

Pietro Zinni is a thirty five year old researcher and a genius. But this is not enough. When cuts are made at his university, he is laid off. What can a nerd do to survive when he has spent his whole life studying? The idea is dramatically simple: put together a criminal gang such as the world has never seen. So he recruits the best of his ex-colleagues, who despite their skills are by now all living on the margins of society; one working as a gas station attendant, one washing dishes, one a poker player. Macroeconomics, Theoretical Chemistry, Anthropology and Classics all turn out to be perfect for climbing the gangster career ladder. Success is immediate and explosive: finally, they have money, power and women. The problem will be managing them.


Kebab & Horoscope


In a film about an absurd group of misfits, director Grzegorz Jaroszuk takes us on a sweet little trip down loser street. An out of work kebab-shop employee and his out of work horoscope writer friend con their way as marketing experts into a carpet store to kindle their sales. They begin training the rather useless staff in order to save the store from bankruptcy. The group of misfit employees makes the friendly takeover a living hell and mix the two crooks into their quirky little lives outside of work. KEBAB & HOROSCOPE might be a film about losers, underdogs or life-failures, but it has a giant heart and a great sense of humor, bringing the audience down to the level of its characters, and making them like it.

In 2011,Grzegorz Jaroszuk made his short film FROZEN STORIES which was shown at film festivals around the world, such as Sundance, Munich, Warsaw, Krakow, Leuven and St. Petersburg. It received numerous awards and nominations, among them Pianifica Prizena at the Locarno Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at AFI Fest in Los Angeles.


Summer Nights/LES NUITS D'ETE


Director: Mario Fanfani

France, 1959. Michel and Hélène are the perfect couple. Michel is an ambitious notary and Hélène does charity work and raises their son Jacky. There is nothing unusual about them apart from the fact that Michel has a dark secret: every weekend, he goes to his house in the forest, to become Mylène beneath the gaze of Flavia, an experienced transvestite and former war comrade. Determined to devote himself to his election as chairman of his professional association and to his role as a husband and father, Michel tries to end this double life. But he is soon overcome by his urges once more. When the young Pascal seeks refuge at the Villa and Hélène begins to ask herself some serious questions about her husband's mysterious absences, Michel has to make a difficult decision.

After a short period as an actor, Mario Fanfani directed a trilogy of short films that gave AIDS awareness a big boost in France. He was invited to direct his first television film for ARTE in 2005. SUMMER NIGHTS is his first feature length film.


They Have Escaped


Director: Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää

A boy and girl meet at a custody center for problematic youth. The boy has come to serve his obligatory civil service. The girl is one of the youths in custody, and she is constantly in trouble. There is fire inside her, a lust for life that can’t be quashed or controlled. The boy becomes infatuated with her. He is a quiet one – a stutterer. But there is fire in him as well. Rules, laws, punishment – the shackles of a hostile, uncompromising environment around them can be broken. They steal a car and flee together. Thus begins a journey on an endless road with infinite escapes. A visually told story of love, escape, hope, violence and survival, THEY HAVE ESCAPED is a contemporary road movie.

Currently living in Helsinki, Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää made two award-winning short films, Eyes Closed Without Hands and The Fall. In 2005, Valkeapää was selected for the Cannes Film Festival’s Résidence du Festival programme to develop the script for The Visitor, his debut project as a director. The Visitor premiered at the 2008 Venice Film Festival and won the Nordic Film Award.


Two Step


Director: Alex R. Johnson

Kicked out of college, James visits Grams, his only remaining family, who dies shortly after his arrival. He finds consolation in the company of Grams’ neighbor, Dot, a dance teacher, as he figures out his next move. While settling Grams’ affairs, James learns she’s been the victim of the “grandparent scam” in which someone posing as James has been slowly bilking her out of thousands. But before James can go looking for the culprit, he shows up at the front door, desperate for money. The culprit, Webb, has his own problems in the form of Duane, who has ordered Webb to pay an old debt or else. And if Webb can’t get it from Grams, James will have to do – no matter who stands in his way.

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