RIFF in the press

RIFF has become one of the corner stones of international film festivals. People come to Iceland in order to experience the unique landscapes and artistic visions that have inspired so many artists over the years. A lot has been written about RIFF in the international press. Here are some of the highlights.

2018: Brooklyn Rail

For its 2018 edition, the Reykjavík International Film Festival presented almost 100 feature films, nearly as many shorts, and enough extra-cinematic activities to make one feel guilty for not spending more time in the dark of the theater. Now in its fifteenth year, RIFF continues a tradition of spotlighting young filmmakers while paying tribute to past and present masters. Honorees this past year included Lithuanian iconoclast Jonas Mekas, subject of both a solo gallery exhibition and a generous retrospective of his groundbreaking diary films.

2018: Nordisk Film og TV Fond

Woman at war premiered during RIFF and has gone to win many prises internationally.

2017: IndieWire

“I think all my early films were more about ideas,” Aronofsky said at the Reykjavik Film Festival late last year. When it came to ‘Noah,’ there was this clear environmental statement in the original gospel, which was interesting to push forward. My latest project probably has similar political intentions behind it, but first and foremost responsibility as a narrative filmmaker is making something that is emotional and can connect with an audience.”

2017: Paste Magazine

RIFF is creatively and expertly programmed by a multinational group that consists of festival founder and director Hrönn Marinósdóttir (Iceland), main programmer Giorgio Gosetti (Italy), documentary programmer Gabor Pertic (Canada) and shorts programmer Ana Catalá (Spain). It’s also one of the smoothest run festivals I have ever attended, and besides Gosetti and Pertic, is entirely run by women. Furthermore, six of the nine films that won awards or honorable mentions where directed or co-directed by women. (Perhaps the tide is turning. Given the news of the past few weeks, one can only hope.)

2017 Screen International

Chloe Zhao’s The Rider has taken home the top prize, the Golden Puffin, at this year’s Reykjavik International Film Festival, which wrapped on Sunday (October 8).The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in Directors’ Fortnight.

2017: The New European

Founded relatively recently — in 2004 — it’s not just that the Reykjavik festival is itself a new contender. In order to mark itself out from the Cannes and Berlins of the world, its organisers decided that its big prize (the Golden Puffin) could only ever go to directors bringing their first or second movies. Which has made this chilly Icelandic event a target for hot new talent the world over. “Our aim,” festival director Hrönn Marinósdóttir told The Guardian in 2011, “is to present the new generation of directors.”

2016: IndieWire

Iceland might seem like an ideal setting for a Darren Aronofsky movie — it’s where he shot “Noah,” after all — but that’s not why he came to the country this month. Instead, he was in town to receive the Creative Excellence award from the Reykjavík Film Festival. The award was presented at Bessastaðir, the presidential residency where the newly elected Guðni Th. Jóhannesson resides. But before the Golden Puffin was presented, the writer, poet and environmental activist Andri Snær Magnason delivered a short speech in Aronofsky’s honor.

2016: Screen Daily
An article about Godless which won the Golden Puffin at RIFF.

Bulgarian-Danish-French drama previously won festival awards in Locarno and Sarajevo.

2015: Cinema Scandinavia:
Article about Danish films that were at focus at RIFF in 2015.

2014: Episodi
Finnish newspaper talks about the festival. The article is written in Finnish.

2014: Huffington Post

RIFF’s “cultural strategy” is to display gutsy indie filmmakers who reflect the “young, innovative and authentic” feeling of Reykjavik itself. The uncompromising Mr. Leigh not only personifies that spirit in his very mien, but, as a late night conversation with Leigh groupies confirmed, he’s also an inspiration to young filmmakers seeking to follow in his fiercely original footsteps.

2014: Variety

Until such time as someone establishes a chance to watch movies on the moon, the Reykjavik Intl. Film Festival looks to be the next best thing. Though the Icelandic capital boasts all the amenities of a modern European city, the surrounding countryside — renown for its spectacular emerald green cliffs, jet-black volcanic soil and massive shelves of ice — suggests the surface of another planet.

2014: Dagens Nyheder

Mårten Blomkvist: Islands science fiction-landskap charmar Hollywood

2013: Screen daily
Screen Daily reflects on the program at RIFF 2013.

Lukas Moodysson, Laurent Cantet and James Gray to receive honorary awards; focus on Greece and environmental docs.

2012: Björk at RIFF –  IndieWire

Watch Bjork’s Surprise Appearance at the Reykjavik Film Festival Awards Ceremony

2011:  Guardian

Iceland’s annual celebration of young film-makers is local and low-key – but attracts some of the world’s hottest names

2011: Article in NYtimes  about Volcano and RIFF

Iceland is a country of upheavals, natural and artificial, literal and figurative, so it should be no surprise that the featured Icelandic selection at the eighth annual Reykjavik International Film Festival is “Volcano,” directed by Runar Runarsson, which opens with spectacular scenes of the Eldfell volcano chewing the bones of a small island town in 1973.

2011: Politiken

Op mod hver tiende islænding har været inde og se en eller flere film under Reykjavik International Film Festival, hvor særligt to film har tiltrukket sig opmærksomhed:Den 34-årige dansk-islandske filminstruktør Runár Runársson debuterede med sin første spillefilm, ’Vulkan’, og den 61-årige danske dokumentarinstruktør Ulla Boje Rasmussen præsenterede sit kontroversielle portræt af den islandske erhvervsklan Thor-familien, ’Thors saga’, for det islandske hjemmepublikum.

2011:  NYMAG

Article in Morgunblaðið about an article in New York Magazine.

David Edelstein frá hinu virta New York Magazine skrifar langa og lofsamlega umfjöllun um RIFF í nýjasta hefti blaðsins. Greinin er sprenghlægileg þar sem Edelstein segist m.a. feginn að hafa ekki hitt á Jim Jarmusch þar sem hann hafi kallað síðustu mynd hans líklega þá „leiðinlegustu sem gerð hafi verið“.

2010 : Indie Wire

It’s clear because of the audience. The festival, despite a crippling financial crisis that affected its community, saw a ten percent increase in admissions in 2010, with its total just over 25,000. That’s essentially twenty percent of Reykjavik’s population, and over eight percent of Iceland’s total population.

2009:Screen Daily

Milos Forman receives Lifetime Achievement Award; other winners include Together from Norway and The Girl from Sweden.

2009: Film comment

For six years now, Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital and cultural center, has hosted a medium-scale (in international, not local terms) film festival. Despite the crippling economic crisis that hit last September, this year’s edition yielded more films (over 100 features) and its largest audiences to date.