Reykjavík International Film Festival

Reykjavík International Film Festival

September 26th | 6thOctober 2024

21st Edition

The Reykjavík International Film Festival is 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 – Reykjavík International Film Festival – is one of the biggest and most diverse cultural events in Iceland. RIFF is an independent non profit organization. Our staff works all year round to organize the festival but we could not do that without the help of volunteers from all over the world that come to Reykjavík every year to help out.
For eleven days every Fall since 2004, Icelandic locals and tourists alike are able to go to the cinema and enjoy the best and freshest of international film making. Our guests can also meet and chat with directors about their works, attend panels and workshops, concerts and exhibitions, and even watch interesting films under even more interesting conditions, for instance in a swimming pool or in the filmmaker’s home.
The festival also manages the RIFF industry office, complete with a video library, information and guest services, and co-organizes networking meetings and dinners for the attending professionals. The festival shows a wide range of dramas and non-fiction films from over 40 countries. The festival highlights independent film making from all over the world with the emphasis on up-and-coming film makers, with the main prize – the Golden Puffin, being awarded only to first or second time directors.
RIFF was founded in September 2004, by a small group of film professionals and film enthusiasts led by Festival Director Hrönn Marinósdóttir, with the goal of presenting new and progressive quality films, supporting innovation in filmmaking, networking between professionals from various parts of the world and fostering social and cultural dialogue.

Rules & Terms of RIFF

We accept fiction, documentary, hybrid, and animation films of any genre, both in the feature (beyond 60 min) and short (under 60 min) forms.

All submissions:

Must have been completed one before the festival starting. Must be at minimum Icelandic premieres (i.e. must not have been screened publicly in Iceland one year before of the festival starting, including a broadcast version of any length). Must be in English, or subtitled in English.

Submission Fee

The price for submission is 7.600 ISK (about 55 EUR) but early submission price is 4.900 ISK (about 35 EUR). Early submission is open until March 15th. The fee is non-refundable. Please note that submission fees contribute towards the administrative duties carried out by our festival team and previewing panel. These fees are essential to the sustainability of our festival and therefore we are unable to offer waivers.

Programming Consideration

RIFF will consider both international and Icelandic films, whether they are fiction films or documentaries, regardless of length or subject matter. All submissions will be given full consideration by our programming team.

Programming Decisions

The Final decision on programming, categorization, and scheduling of films will be determined by the Festival programming team. Their decision is final (and not open to negotiation). Successful applicants will receive this information in their official invitation. No screeners or application materials will be returned. Do not send film prints, master tapes, or other originals. If your film is selected, you will receive a more detailed form asking for promotional materials needed for our catalogue and website (delivering these on time and in the right format is 100% on you). We expect all submitted films to be free of screening fees. You can expect your film to be screened 3-4 times during the festival and 4-5 times around the rural countryside of Iceland in the month following the end of RIFF in a separate program named ‘RIFF around the country’. The project aims to reach audiences that would otherwise not have a chance to see our program.

Selected Films
RIFF features three juried competition programs: the ‘New Visions’ category (fiction and documentary films), the ‘A Different Tomorrow’ category (documentaries) and the short film categories (‘Best Icelandic Short’, ‘Best International Short’, and the ‘Golden egg’ – which goes to the best short film at The Talent lab); and several other programs that are non-competitive. Selected feature-length films in the ‘New Visions’ and ‘A Different Tomorrow’ categories, and short films at the ‘Short Film’ categories are eligible for jury prizes.

Our Program:

Over the last few years, RIFF screens annually around 200 films (features and shorts) from more than 40 countries. For your convenience, they are arranged in different categories that have solidified over time.

New Visions (Grand Prix Competition) –In New Visions, up-and-coming directors present their first or second feature films and compete for our main prize, the Golden Puffin. These films challenge cinematic conventions and pave the way for tomorrow’s cinema.

Open Seas (Out of Competition) – Every year a few distinct films make the headlines on the festival circuit. These are exciting – and sometimes masterful – works, some by established filmmakers, others by newcomers. Here we have the cream of this past year’s crop.

Documentaries –Our documentary program aims to educate and inform, but also to mediate knowledge in new and exciting ways. A great documentary ignites our imaginations and can have a profound impact on its viewer and society by presenting unexpected viewpoints or new information.

Icelandic Panorama – RIFF is the meeting point of Icelandic and international cinema. Icelandic Panorama presents new films that have strong Icelandic connections.

International Shorts – A finely curated selection of brave, artistic and delicate voices. With urgency and determination, these talented filmmakers make us travel beyond the borders of reality, expanding the scope of our imagination, reinventing cinema within every frame, demonstrated in this section.

Special Events – Reykjavík International Film Festival, RIFF, is all about the experience, and while few things measure up to watching a good film at the movies, we feel that it is important to spice our program up with a few special events. Among Special Events are movies shown in unconventional venues such as pools and homes for the elderly, panels and RIFF Talks.

RIFF Around Town – We believe that films can change the world and we exert to reach out to those who can’t attend RIFF. We spread out and screen influential films at libraries, nursing homes and prisons to name a few locations. RIFF focuses on young filmmakers and progressive film productions. Films that touch people, educate and enlighten. It is our desired goal that most film-lovers can enjoy these films during the festival and therefore we have RIFF Around Town.

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