#1 reason

Naturally heated cinemas

Located in Iceland’s capital, RIFF is an ideal meeting point for filmmakers from North America and Europe as well as farther afield. We do our best to cross boundaries in our film selection, looking beyond national borders and presenting cutting edge films from all over the world. 


#2 reason

Iceland looks like the Moon!

Iceland is a land of surreal beauty.  The breathtakingly stunning landscape is not the only magnet for renowned filmmakers to use as a backdrop in films. It is also the professionalism of Icelandic film crews and the recently improved tax rebate, which now amounts to 35%, which make Iceland the perfect filmmaking destination.

#3 reason

Iceland has a lot to share

The Industry Days have become a trademark of the Icelandic film industry, a forum for professionals from around the world to get to know the ins and outs of Icelandic film productions as well as a setting where Icelandic film industry professionals can acquaint themselves with the industry developments on the international stage.

#4 reason

You could meet the President of Iceland

Or you could also be the winner of our category A Different Tomorrow, which is devoted to films that raise awareness and aim to improve our lives and our planet. The films shed light on environmental and humanitarian topics because, sometimes, the right film can change the world.

RIFF is modestly hoping to change your life. 

#5 reason

A hell raising volcanic eruption!

RIFF is a boiling point where raw talent meets established stars. At the RIFF Award Ceremony, new talent is discovered and the New Visions Competition is reserved for the first or second films of up-and-coming directors.

The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and here you can meet superstars and mingle with everyone from producers to film students and even school teachers.

#6 reason

Amazing outdoor public swimming pools

It is important to look for more original and exciting ways to surprise the festival’s guests. You can for instance enjoy watching a film while soaking in a hot tub during the Special Events program at the RIFF festival, which includes Swim-in Cinema, Film Concerts, Drive-in Cinema, a Lava Cave and Ice Cave Cinema.

#7 reason

The Northern Lights are 100% real!

And we have plenty of them in the fall as we celebrate cinema in the short form! RIFF is an open platform for short film directors and we are extremely proud of our three film categories which give a look into the future of filmmaking.

These are Icelandic and International Shorts competitions, and the Golden Egg, which is the award given to the best Talent Lab Short production. 


#8 reason

Reykjavík is the biggest smallest capital in the world!

RIFF has become a place where new directors meet experienced filmmakers, where Icelandic & Nordic film meets international cinema and a point of encounter between those who make films and the wider cultural community that enjoys them.


#9 reason

It could change the way you see things

New Visions
Is intended for the first or second films of up-and-coming directors.
Open Seas (Out of competition)
Presents acclaimed films from many of the most talented and respected filmmakers in the world.
A Different Tomorrow (Competition)
Emphasises films that discuss the multiple problems faced by our species and look for solutions.
Aims to present the most interesting documentaries each year.
The Youth Program
Shows films and documentaries suitable for children and provides film-oriented entertainment, education and experience.
Icelandic Panorama
Showcases local films to the outside world, building a bridge between Icelandic cinema and international filmmaking. In this category we present some of the most interesting recent Icelandic features and shorts with some premieres.
Cinema Beats
Highlighting films that make music its protagonist, both in scripted and documentary form.
A delight of some of the very best current films in the animation form.

#10 reason

RIFF is more than “just” a film festival

Being a part of RIFF accomplishes a much broader purpose than helping deliver an amazing film festival. It also supports numerous other projects that contribute to the development and popularisation of cinematography in Iceland.

Some of which occur all year round, such as the Girls Film! project. Other projects take place outside of film theatres and venues dedicated to filmmakers and film industry professionals, such as RIFF Student TV and RIFF Cinema Bus.