Awards & Juries

Over the years we have screened many outstanding films by brave and artistic voices at RIFF. The ones that show artistic excellence and break boundaries will win awards. The films in our New Visions section will compete for the most acclaimed award of the festival:  The Golden Puffin, whose recipient will be named Discovery of the Year. 

An award will be also given the most outstanding film in the documentary competition section A Different Tomorrow.

Short films from the participants in the Talent Lab will compete for the Golden Egg.

And we also award the best of our national cinema with our Best Icelandic Short and the Best International Short in our International Shorts competitive section.

RIFF 2020

Discovery of the Year: The Golden Puffin

The films in our competitive category New Visions are all debut or sophomore efforts. One will be named Discovery of the Year and receive the Golden Puffin.


Shahrbanoo Sadat

Shahrbanoo Sadat

Afghan filmmaker

Shahrbanoo Sadat, 1991, is a female scriptwriter, producer and director based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her debut film WOLF AND SHEEP won the top award at Directors’ Fortnight-Cannes Film Festival 2016. The film was developed with the Cannes Cinefondation Residency in 2010, Shahrbanoo was 19 years old at the time - the youngest ever selected for the residence. She premiered her second feature THE ORPHANAGE at the same section at Cannes Film Festival in 2019. Both Wolf And Sheep and The Orphanage are part of her pentalogy project (5 feature films) based on Anwar Hashimi’s autobiographical text of 800 pages. In 2013, she opened her own production company “Wolf Pictures” in Kabul.

Jan Naszewski

Jan Naszewski

CEO of the New Europe Film Sales

Jan is the founder and owner of New Europe Film Sales, a Warsaw-based boutique world sales company selling quality feature films and shorts from all over the world. The company’s catalogue includes award-winning and widely-sold films, such as Rams, A White, White Day, Corpus Christi, Summer 1993, Under the Tree, Winter Brothers, The Last Family, United States Of Love, Pity, Loveling and The Load - all selected for Cannes, Berlin, Venice, TIFF, Sundance, Locarno. In late 2018 Jan created NEM Corp – a creative collaboration hub which includes the companies of Ewa Puszczyńska (producer of Ida and Cold War) and Klaudia Śmieja (producer of Claire Denis’ High Life and Agnieszka Holland’s Mr. Jones) and New Europe.

Ísold Uggadóttir

Ísold Uggadóttir

Icelandic filmmaker

Ísold Uggadóttir is an Icelandic writer and director. Her feature film debut, “And Breathe Normally”, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2018, where Ísold was awarded Best Director in the World Cinema Dramatic category. The film received the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the Göteborg Film Festival 2018 and subsequently took home numerous awards worldwide, including 9 nominations to the Icelandic Academy Awards. It was acquired by Netflix. Ísold’s four short films played at countless film festivals, including Sundance, Telluride, MoMA and beyond, winning 30 international awards, and in addition to two Icelandic Academy Awards and multiple nominations. Screen International named her “one of the rising stars of Icelandic film.

Best Icelandic Short and Best Icelandic Student Short

In this competitive category one director will get the prize of the Best Icelandic Short. The jury also awards the best Icelandic Student Short this year.



Þóra Sigríður Ingólfsdóttir

Director of the Icelandic National Film Archive

Þóra Ingólfsdóttir is the director of The National Film Archive of Iceland. She has MA degrees in literature and public administration. Þóra has been a member of many literary and cultural selection committees, such as for the Icelandic Literary Prize.


Júlíus Kemp

Icelandic filmmaker

Július Kemp studied film directing at West Surrey Institute of Art & Design in The UK. He has made a number of music videos and saw them as a springboard to full-length films. In 1991 Julius Kemp founded The Icelandic Film Company/Kisi Production ( and it is one of the oldest and respected film production companies in Iceland. Kisi has both produced films that have had a great deal of success on the festival circuit and dominated the Icelandic box office. His films include Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre, Blossi/810551, and Veggfóður: Erótísk ástarsaga.


Carlos Madrid

Director of Cinema Jove - Valencia International Festival

(Valencia, 1982) Degree in Advertising and Public Relations at Jaume I University. He has worked as an audiovisual translator and coordinator of the Lamilk trends magazine, as well as an advisor to several cultural projects. Between 2007 and 2011, he worked as communication manager for the music and contemporary art’s Observatori Festival and founded in 2008 La Cabina Medium-Length Film Festival, of which he directed its first nine editions. He has directed Cinema Jove since 2017.

A Different Tomorrow Award

The films in A Different Tomorrow shed light on environmental and humanitarian topics because, sometimes, the right film can change the world. The most outstanding groundbreaking film in this section will be receive our A Different Tomorrow Award



Margrét Jónasdóttir

Icelandic producer

Margrét Jónasdóttir is one of Iceland’s most experienced documentary film producer. She is the executive producer of documentary production at Sagafilm the largest production company in Iceland. Margret has produced a dozen TV-series and documentaries for broadcasters in Iceland, the Nordic countries, several documentaries for BBC Storyville, worked with NDR/ARTE, VPRO and many other international TV stations. She has been on the board of Nordic Panorama and a juror at International Film Festivals. She is a historian by education and holds an MA in Modern History from UCL in London.


Simon Brook

British filmmaker and producer

Simon Brook is an award-winning filmmaker who has written, directed and produced over fifty films. His career and passions span the full spectrum of the arts – from visual and performing arts and music to photography and filmmaking. Director of numerous theatrical and TV documentaries for ARTE, BBC, Discovery amongst others, his recent films include A DIFFERENT AMERICAN DREAM about a Native American tribe in North Dakota struggling to save its cultural identity and INDIAN SUMMER about Ayurvedic medicine and cancer.


Sunna Nousuniemi

Sámi filmmaker

Sunna Nousuniemi - Niillasaš Jovnna Máreha Juhani Sunna (born 1993) is a Sámi filmmaker, dj and film worker who has worked over five years in film programming and coordinating projects for International Sámi Film Institute. She is also a former film festival director of Skábmagovat Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival that takes place in her home village, Inari.

Best International Short

With urgency and determination, the talented filmmakers in this section make us travel beyond the borders of reality, expanding the scope of our imagination, reinventing cinema within every frame. The bravest voice will be awarded our Best International Short.



Cristèle Alves Meira

French-portugese filmmaker and script writer

An award-winning filmmaker and trained actress, Cristèle Alves Meira started out as a theater director. She has directed among others SOL BRANCO (Premiers plans d’Angers, Entrevues de Belfort, Côté Court de Pantin…), CAMPO DE VÍBORAS (Critics’ Week…), and INVISIBLE HERO (Semaine de la Critique…) and winner of last year’s Best International Short at RIFF. His latest short film Tchau-tchau is currently being edited, and she is currently preparing her first feature film entitled Bruxas.


José F. Rodriguez

Filmmaker and Senior Consultant at the Points North Institute

José F. Rodriguez was formerly a senior staffer at Tribeca Film Institute, where for the past six years he has been acting as their Director of Documentary Programs. During his 10 years at TFI, he also led documentary workshops in the United States and throughout Latin America. In the past three years, he has made two short films: the documentary short ADOLESCENCIA (DOK Leipzig 2017) and the experimental short Mama, mama (Guanajuato IFF 2019).


Christof Wehmeier

Head of Festival Promotion at the Icelandic Film Center

Christof Wehmeier has been working for the Icelandic Film Centre since 2007 as Head of Festival Promotion, promoting Icelandic feature films, documentary films, shorts and TV Series abroad through intl. film festivals, film weeks, international relations as well as taking care of film coordination. He loves watching films, reading good books, listening to various kinds of music and he loves his football teams, Bayern Munich and Arsenal along with supporting both the Icelandic and German national teams. Last, but not least, he could not imagine life without his twins and wife.