In the media

RIFF has become one of the cornerstones 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. In addition to the unique venue people are given the opportunity to meet great artists and professionals from the film industry. 

With every year RIFF  becomes more visible in the Icelandic and foreign press and every year we welcome media people from all over the world.


A lot has been written about RIFF in the press. Here are some of the highlights.


2018Brooklyn Rail
Talk about the importance of a festival like RIFF and what the festival offers.

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

A woman at war was one of the films shown at RIFF.

2017: IndieWire

Darren Aronofsky discusses his film Mother and also mentions his time at RIFF.

“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

Mark Rabinowitz writes for Paste Magazine. Rabinowitz is also a reporter for Indiewire. In the article he calls the festival

"a rarity among events of the same kind" and kudos to the program managers and the director of the festival for a well-crafted and interesting program!

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

Here's Darren Aronofsky's keynote talk at RIFF 2016

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
Hér er fjallað um meistaraspjall Darren Aronofsky á RIFF 2016

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
Here they talk about RIFF's 2016 winning film, Godless

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

2015: Cinema Scandinavia:
The Danish focus was on the 2015 festival. Here we discuss the films that were shown.

Here, the Finnish newspaper Episodi discusses the festival. The article is in Finnish.

2014: Huffington Post coverage

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: Coverage 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: Coverage Dagens Nyheder

Mårten Blomkvist: Islands science fiction-landskap charmar Hollywood

2013: The program is discussed in Screen daily

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

2012: Coverage about Björn on RIFF IndieWire

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

2011: Coverage in Guardian

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

2011: Coverage in NYtimes About a 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: Coverage in 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: Coverage by NYMAG

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“.

2012: Coverage in 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: Coverage in Screen Daily

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

2009: Coverage in 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.