Panels and Masterclasses
A series of panels and masterclasses with a focus on the most pressing matters in the field and society at large, brings together professionals from the film industry to exchange ideas and stimulate discussion.
Inuit Chills and Thrills
October 4 | 14:00-16:00 | Mál og Menning
A spotlight on the tales from Inuit Nunaat (Inuit circumpolar arctic) that let our imaginations run wild and maybe give us a scare. The screening of a selection of short films will be followed by an extended panel discussion with filmmaker Nyla Innuksuk and writer Gunnar Theodór Eggertsson. Curated and moderated by Cass Cardiner.
Free screening and event.
NaluJuk Night | Jennie Williams
Every January 6th, families in the Inuit community of Nain, Canada, celebrate Nalujuk Night when eerie figures in tattered fur clothing arrive to reward the good and punish the bad.
Mahaha | Babah Kalluk
When Aulaja’s father is off hunting she ignores his reminder to be cautious. Aulaja leaves her protective sled dog Siku behind to go fishing and she is attacked by an ancient land spirit. If she hopes to survive, a sacrifice will need to be made.
Gnawer of Rocks | Andrea Flaherty
While everyone is busy preparing for the coming winter, two girls wander away from their camp, following a path of strange, beautiful stones. Each stone is lovelier than the last, and the trail leads them farther and farther away from camp. But what starts out as a peaceful afternoon on the land, quickly turns dangerous when the girls find themselves trapped in the cave of Mangittatuarjuk – the Gnawer of Rocks! Based on a traditional Inuit legend.
Angakusajaujuq (The Shaman’s Apprentice | Zacharias Kunuk
A young shaman must face her first test – a trip underground to visit Kannaaluk, The One Below, who holds the answer to why a community member has become ill. Facing dark spirits and physical challenges, she must trust her mentor’s teachings and learn to control her fear.
Cass Gardiner is an Anishinaabe Algonquin filmmaker, curator, and writer from Kebaowek First Nation. She produced the short documentary Jewels Hunt, which was supported by ITVS and TFI, and broadcast on Independent Lens. Her curatorial work has led her to collaborate with the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, the Critical Distance Centre for Curators, and the Indigenous Curatorial Collective. She has been published in Inuit Art Quarterly, Cherry Bombe, and Compound Butter magazine. Cass has held positions within the National Film Board of Canada, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival, Wapikoni Mobile, Tribeca Film Institute, and she is a consultant with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian programming for their Native Cinema Showcase. She holds an MFA from Ryerson University and a BA from NYU Gallatin.
Nyla Innuksuk is a filmmaker, producer and comic book writer based out of Toronto, Canada. Nyla co-created the teenage superhero Snowguard, a member of Marvel’s Champions League with her friend Jim Zub. Innuksuk’s first feature SLASH/BACK is a sci-fi adventure about a group of 14-year old girls from a remote Arctic community who take on an alien invasion. The film premiered at SXSW in March, 2022. Trapped, a short horror film shot specifically for a 24K resolution, 7 foot high, 270 degree screen, premiered at the 2022 Venice Biennale. Innuksuk is currently developing a second feature with her writing partner Ryan Cavan, set to film in 2023.
SLASH/BACK – Directed by Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk), Canada, 1 hour 26 minutes, English | Screening dates/times to be announced.
When Maika and her ragtag friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny arctic hamlet, it’s up to them to save the day. Utilizing their makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge, the aliens realize you don’t mess with girls from Pang.
Gunnar Theodór Eggertsson is a film critic and fantasy author from Reykjavík. For his master’s thesis in film theory he combined two of his favorite subjects: animal rights and horror cinema. Gunnar has written numerous books of fantasy and horror for children and young adults and currently works part-time as a writer on a video game inspired by Icelandic folklore.
EFA Shorts & Kickoff
October 4 | 17:30 - 19:45 | Mál og Menning
The European Film Awards 2022 will take place in Reykjavik in December and it promises to be a special edition under the Northern Lights. Before it’s time to announce the winner on December 10th, RIFF is teaming up with EFA to present a series of events leading up to the ceremony. We’re kicking off during the RIFF Industry days with a special panel discussion on the importance of European co-creation and cooperation followed by a screening of EFA Shorts On Tour.
Free screening and event.
Since 2021, Matthijs Wouter Knol (1977) is the CEO and Director of the European Film Academy. At the helm of this historical institution, founded in 1989 by Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Claude Chabrol, István Szabó, Wim Wenders and many other European filmmakers, he is responsible for all programming of current and future new activities of the Academy, including brand new audience development and film education projects. The annual European Film Awards being its most well-known event, the scope of its impact will change: in the upcoming years, the Academy will initiate an annual Month of European Film programme, the European Film Club and numerous activities embracing European film heritage. This new portfolio is carried out in collaboration with major stakeholders all over Europe. Originally a historian, Matthijs read Contemporary History in Leiden, the Netherlands and Rome, Italy, and started working as an magazine editor and journalist. From 2001 onwards, he was involved as creative and associate producer in over 30 documentary films in Amsterdam. For ARTE, he co-produced a digital edition of 40 re-mastered works of Dutch documentarian Johan van der Keuken, which was awarded the Prix Cahiers du Cinéma (2006). For 12 years he formed part of the senior Berlinale team, first as Head of Programming of Berlinale Talents (2008-2014), then as Director of the European Film Market (2014-2020). Since 2017, Diversity and Inclusion have been an intrinsic part of Matthijs’s work. Gradually introducing D&I schemes, both at EFM and more recently at the European Film Academy, rethinking and diversifying organizational structures within the European film industry is a key element in his daily work. In 2020, he was one of the co-founders of the Anti-Racism Taskforce for European Film, an organization addressing systemic racism in European film culture and joined that year by 25 European film organisations. As a Board member of the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR), he works on advocacy and the support of filmmakers imprisoned or threatened by authorities in and outside Europe. Matthijs was born on Europe Day, which commemorates the start of the European Union. He’s a Dutch citizen based for almost 15 years in Berlin, and feels comfortable in 6 European languages.
Samir Karahoda began working as a photographer in 1992. In 2003 he completed his photography studies at the Academy of Fine Arts at Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul. In addition to his work as a photographer, he is also a cinematographer, tutor and curator of the short film program at the Documentary and Short Film Festival DokuFest. Cinematographed several shorts and feature films including his own films. His documentary short film „In Between“ was his directorial debut, which in 2019 had its world premiere at the Berlinale as the first Kosovar film to compete at this festival. Displaced (Pa vend) is his second short film which premiered at Official Competition at Festival de Cannes in 2021 where was awarded with EFA nomination for European Film Awards 2021. Displaced, won IMDb Pro short cuts award as best short film at Toronto International Film Festival and best nonfiction at Sundance Film Festival.In 2019, Karahoda was awarded with Annual Cinematography Award from Ministry of Culture of Kosovo.
Rúnar Rúnarsson had his debut feature film at the Director’s Fortnights in Cannes 2011 with VOLCANO, which was nominated for the Camera d’Or. The film screamed at a large number of festivals and collected 17 international awards. His sophomore feature SPARROWS started its impressive festival run by winning Concha Ora, Main Award at the San Sebastian film festival. Since then, collecting 20 international awards. His 3rd feature film, ECHO, had a World Premiere in Locarno 2019 and was selected for Cannes Artelier and honored with six international awards. His crossroads trilogy of Short films received around 100 international film awards. THE LAST FARM was nominated for an Oscar in 2006, 2 BIRDS t was nominated for Palme d´Or in Cannes 2008, and the European film awards the same year.
Shorts On Tour
Armadila | Gorana Jovanović
Sanja is a tough 13-year-old girl who doesn’t like to show her emotions to anyone, least of all to her crush Darko, but when she starts to suspect that something has happened to her troublesome but beloved dog Krle, it will become ever so hard to keep her feelings under control.
Zonder Meer | Meltse Van Coillie
A campsite in the summer holidays, aimless days spent in the shade of trees. Sunlight is glittering on the lake, but nobody is allowed to swim here. A boy has disappeared and may have drowned. Five-year-old Lucie is trying to understand what is going on around her. How long can you hold your breath?
In Flow of Words | Eliane Esther Bots
IN FLOW OF WORDS follows the narratives of three interpreters of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. They interpreted shocking testimonies from witnesses, victims and perpetrators, without ever allowing their own emotions, feelings and personal histories to be present. Contrary to their position at the tribunal, this film places their voices and experiences center stage.
Memories | Kristin Johannessen
Years after recovering from her sickness in delusional thoughts and OCD, Kristin Johannessen finds her old digital cameras while clearing out her childhood room. In this personal documentary we get to follow Kristin Johannessen as she looks back on her mental illness. In conversations with her parents, memories of loneliness, fear and odd thoughts are woven together.
Displaced | Samir Karahoda
In post-war Kosovo, driven by the ambition of keeping their beloved sport alive, two local players wander from one obscure location to another carrying with them the only possession of the club: their tables.
Stories with Impact
October 7 | 10:00 - 11:30 | Ráðhús
Recent years have seen an upsurge in „impact films“: films with the aim to foster positive social and environmental change through storytelling and filmmaking. Impact films strive to make a lasting impression by bringing about concrete change: whether the goal is to change minds, behaviours or structures, social documentaries have the power to be highly influential. For this panel we are joined by four filmmakers whose films, although on a variety of topics, all have one thing in common: to engage its audience with pressing social issues. We will discuss the ways filmmakers can strategise impact and stimulate change through filmmaking.
Moderated by: Jessica Edwards
Access with accreditation or festival pass. Or request an invitation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Edwards is an impact strategist & executive producer with expertise bridging the worlds of film, television and non-profits. With a deep curiosity in the change-making properties of culture and storytelling, she is currently undertaking a Clore Fellowship in cultural leadership. Until very recently, she was the Director of Impact & Partnerships at Doc Society, helping to establish the Climate Story Fund, supporting and enabling a slate of over 25 projects maximise their creative and impact potential. Building on a 15 year background in producing documentaries and factual television, Jessica has also led strategic communications projects for prominent NGOs. Integrating this breadth of experience enabled her return to narrative storytelling with an invigorated perspective on its potential as the impact strategist on award winning films such as Unrest, He Named Me Malala and Ida’s Diary. She joined Doc Society in 2016 and led a number of key projects and strategic partnerships.
Born in St Petersburg, Russia, Lena Karbe is a Germany-based filmmaker. Having studied film internationally (École normale supérieure, University of Oxford and University of Television and Film in Munich), she founded her own production company KARBE FILM GmbH in 2018 with the focus on documentaries for national and international audiences, based in Munich. The mission of Karbe Film’s documentaries is to foster new perspectives and amplify voices and opinions outside the status quo. She has produced several feature films before starting to write and direct. Documentary series CHINESE DREAM that she co-directed with Tristan Coloma was shown at more than 30 festivals worldwide and was published on ARTE in Spring 2020. BLACK MAMBAS, her feature film debut as a writer/director, premiered at CPHox in Copenhagen in March 2022, where it won the F:ACT Award. BLACK MAMBAS is currently on the festival circuit.
Black Mambas is screening as part of A Different Tomorrow.
A Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and four-time Canadian Screen Award nominee, Jason Loftus’ work spans documentary, VR, games, and animation. His feature directorial debut, the documentary Ask No Questions, premiered at Slamdance in 2020. His follow-up film, Eternal Spring (長春), premiered in March 2022 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, winning both the “Peter Wintonick” Fischer Audience Award and the Greek Parliament’s Human Values Award. It then won both major audience prizes at Hot Docs and a dozen festival prizes through spring 2022. In August, Eternal Spring (長春) was named Canada’s entry for the Best International Film at the 2023 Oscars—the first animation, documentary, and Mandarin-language film to receive this honour.
Eternal Spring is screening as part of A Different Tomorrow.
Sylvie Van Brabant is a major Quebec director and producer. She has written and directed some of Quebec’s most notable documentaries, which primarily address critical social issues. She champions social, political, and artistic works that are relevant, eloquent, and poetic. She dares to tackle controversial issues and bring audiences films that explore deep cultural and social values. She has coproduced and directed several feature films with the National Film Board of Canada, including Earth Keepers: A Survival Guide for a Planet in Peril, produced with Peter Wintonick (Best Environmental Documentary, RIFF, 2010). Van Brabant is also an accomplished producer with over 40 documentaries under her belt, many of which have created change in Quebec society through their powerful social impact. She is the producer behind master documentarian Serge Giguère (Hot Docs Focus On, 2006, winner of the Governor General Award in Visual and Media Arts, 2008, winner of the highest award in cinema from the government of Quebec, The Albert Tessier Award, 2021).
Sylvie’s latest project When Sprakkars Rise Up is part of the Work In Progress selection.
Susanne Regina Meures is a German/Swiss filmmaker, well known for making films about rebels and pioneers who dare to stand up against systemic political and social repression. She holds a Master in Photography and History of Art from The Courtauld Institute in London. She also holds a Master in Film from Zurich University of the Arts. With RAVING IRAN (2016) her first feature-length documentary, Susanne Regina Meures launched an international festival and box-office success. The film is a portrait about two Iranian Djs who rebel against the regime and escape. The documentary was screened at over 130 film festivals worldwide (including Berlinale, Hot Docs, IDFA…), won numerous awards and became a box office success. In 2020, SAUDI RUNAWAY premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film documents the escape of a young Saudi woman, using her own cell phone footage. At the European premiere at Berlinale, the film won the Audience Award. National Geographic / Disney Ltd acquired the world rights to the film. SAUDI RUNAWAY was nominated for the European Film Award and won the EUFA 2020. GIRL GANG is Susanne Regina Meures third feature-length documentary, which premiered in competition at CPHox and Hot Docs in 2022 and is now showing at festivals around the globe. The film is an intimate portrait about a 14-year-old influencer and her family and takes us backstage of the claustrophobic social media world. Susanne Regina Meures is a member of the Swiss Film Academy, the German Film Academy and the European Film Academy.
Girl Gang is screening as part of A Different Tomorrow.
Backlash: What The F Is Going On?!
October 7 | 13:30 - 15:00 | Ráðhús
2022 has been quite the ride so far. As we emerge from the pandemic, old and new issues scream for our attention. Some dream of a utopia: after the collective tragedy of Covid-19, a heightened consciousness leads the way to a better future. But how can we move forwards if we seem to be going backwards?
This panel focuses on the uncanny backlashes experienced recently in our community: the climate change neglect, the aggression towards the queer, the withdrawal of women’s reproductive rights, the continuing stigma around mental health issues and the shrinking space for civil society. Our speakers explore the connections between these phenomenons and ponder on what the future may hold.
Moderated by: Bogi Ágústsson
Bogi Ágústsson was born 6th of April 1952. He is married with three children and four grandchildren. He matriculated from Reykjavik Junior College (the oldest junior college in Iceland) to the University of Iceland. He studied History and Icelandic at the University of Iceland 1972-1977. He has been a reporter for RÚV-Television from January 1977. He was awarded the Edda Award for Best Television Personality in 2014, annually by the Icelandic Film and Television Academy.
Ambassador Lucie Samcová – Hall Allen represents the European Union (EU) in Iceland since 2020. In this capacity, she works on many of the challenges which will be discussed by the panel – such as climate change, security, human rights and democracy – and will provide an insight into how the EU is addressing them, including through its cooperation with Iceland. As a diplomat, Ambassador Samcová – Hall Allen has over seventeen years of experience in foreign policy having previously served at the EU Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva where she covered a broad multilateral agenda including migration, human rights, humanitarian and economic matters. In Brussels, she worked on the EU’s external migration policy; on EU-Turkey relations; advised the Chair of the EU Political and Security Committee; and helped conduct accession negotiations between the EU and several candidate countries. Since her appointment, her aim is to strengthen the already deep, friendly and wide-ranging relationship between the EU and Iceland and to foster co-operation in areas of mutual interest.
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson served as President of Iceland for twenty years, 1996-2016; elected five times in nationwide elections. Previously, he was Minister of Finance, Member of Parliament, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the first Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he was the President of Parliamentarians for Global Action, an international organization of legislators. He now serves as Chairman of the Arctic Circle, which he founded in 2013 with various Arctic partners. The Arctic Circle Assembly held in Iceland every October has become the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attended by more than 2000 participants from 60 countries. The Arctic Circle also organizes specialized Forums in other countries; so far, in Asia, Europe, and North America. For decades, President Grímsson has been an active participant in the global climate dialogue and during his Presidency and in recent years initiated and promoted clean energy projects in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the United States, and the Americas; especially using Icelandic achievements and technologies as a model. Cooperation with Sinopec has led to the largest geothermal projects in the world, building clean energy urban heating systems in a multitude of Chinese cities. He was the Chairman of a commission established by IRENA on the new geopolitics emerging from global renewable energy transformation. Grímsson served on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Energy for All, created by the United Nations and the World Bank. In addition to devoting his post-presidential efforts to the three areas of climate, the Arctic and clean energy, Grímsson is also involved in international cooperation on the oceans and the evolution of sustainable use of marine resources. President Grímsson has received many international awards, including the Nehru Award for International Understanding, presented to him by the President of India.
Dr. Eirikur Bergmann is Professor of Politics at Bifrost University in Iceland. Author of twelve academic books and numerous journal articles he writes mainly on Nationalism, Populism, Conspiracy Theories, European Integration, Icelandic Politics and on Participatory Democracy. Bergmann is also author of three novels published in Icelandic.
Héðinn Unnsteinsson is currently working as senior policy analyst in the Prime Minister’s (PM) office in Iceland focusing on, among other things, macro policy analysis and coordination of governmental policies and plans. Héðinn holds an M.Sc in International Policy Analysis from the University of Bath (2003). Héðinn started work within mental health in 1994. Héðinn was an entrepreneur in mental health promotion and user’s and careers empowerment and social inclusion in Iceland from ’94-‘01. Héðinn worked as a technical officer for the mental health programme of the World Health Organization at the European office in Copenhagen from 2003-2007, before entering the Icelandic ministry of health in 2007. Héðinn started work in the PM´s office in 2010. Héðinn took a two year leave and worked for a private consultancy company before reenterning the PM’ office again. Héðinn has lead coordinative work within the Icelandic ministries on policies and plans. Héðinn has been in numerous committees on governance, coordination of polices and plans, rural polices, mental health etc., as well as ministerial committees, f.exp. on public health. Over the last 25 years Héðinn has given over 900 talks on mental and public health worldwide.
My name is Ingileif Friðriksdóttir and I’m the CEO of the production company and creative agency Ketchup Productions. I’m also the founder of the LGBT+ educational platform Hinseginleikinn. Me and my wife have been going around the country for the past 6 years to do lectures in schools about the beauty of diversity. We also published a children’s book, Vertu þú (Be you), did a TV show and a podcast.
Sóley Tómasdóttir is a gender and diversity expert from Iceland, living in the Netherlands, who has been a leading change agent in Icelandic society for decades. She joined the political party the Women’s Alliance at the age of 11, was one of the founding members of the Feminist Association of Iceland in 2003 and has been involved in various formal and informal alliances focusing on gender equality and human rights. She served as a city councillor in Reykjavík for ten years, mainly focusing on gender and diversity. In that role she initiated many projects leading to awareness, safety and empowerment of girls, women and marginalised groups. Sóley quit traditional politics in 2016 and moved to the Netherlands where she obtained her MSc in Pedagogy, Gender and Diversity in 2018, focusing on change agents in the academic settings. Since then, she has been running Just Consulting, serving diverse organizations with training and advice on diversity and inclusion, both in Iceland and the Netherlands. Sóley bases her expertise on her personal experience a radical youth, adult conventional politics, and academic training.
Thorgerdur María Þorbjarnardóttir was chair of The Icelandic Youth Environmentalist Association and is now on the board of Landvernd, the Icelandic Environmental Association. She is raised in Egilstaðir and from a young age she has been passionate about nature and natural science. She studied geology at the University of Iceland and has a MPhil in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge. In her academic work she has acquired knowledge about nature and then combined it with her interest in communication and governance to advocate for nature. In primary school she experienced the construction of the biggest hydro power plant in Europe close to her hometown in Kárahnjúkar. Now she works and travels through the eastern highlands of Iceland during summers and passes the damn and reservoir frequently. She hopes she will never again have to see such destruction. Her aim is to do as much as she can to protect biological and geological diversity.
Sigríður Dögg Auðunsdóttir is the president of The Union of Icelandic Journalists and an award-winning journalist. She works as a presenter of Kastljós, the flagship current affairs news programme on the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RUV. She has a background in print journalism, specialising in in-depth current affairs stories and politics. Formerly she served as editor-in-chief of a weekly newspaper and as the deputy news editor at the largest newspaper in Iceland.
September 30 | 13:30 - 14:30 | Mál og Menning
Come and meet the filmmakers of RIFF’s opening film Vera!
Vera lives in the shadow of her famous father. Tired of her superficial life and relationships, she drifts through Roman high society. When she injures a child in a traffic accident in the suburbs, she forms an intense relationship with an eight-year-old boy and his father. But soon she must realize that also in this world she is only an instrument for others.
Hrönn Marinósdóttir is Founder and Festival Director of the annual Reykjavík International Film Festival (RIFF). Previously a journalist in Iceland and news correspondant from Berlin.
Gives lectures on cinema and film related subjects.
Born in Bolzano in 1971, Tizza Covi lived in Paris and Berlin before studying photography in Vienna. Rainer Frimmel, born in Vienna in 1971, also studied photography in Vienna. Since 1996 they work together on films, theatre, photography. In 2002 they founded their own film production company Vento Film. They received numerous awards for their documentaries THAT`S ALL, BABOOSKA, NOTES FROM THE UNDERWORLD. Their first fiction film LA PIVELLINA (2009) premiered at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes where it was awarded with the Europa Cinemas Label. The film was screened worldwide at over 170 film festivals, received over 30 awards and was Austria’s official submission to the Foreign Oscar. Their second feature film THE SHINE OF DAY (2012) received the Silver Leopard for best actor in Locarno and the Max Ophüls Prize in Saarbrücken. MISTER UNIVERSO (2016) also premiered in Locarno where it received the Fipresci Award. Their newest film VERA (2022) premiered in Venice Int. Film Festival. Like all their films it was realized with non professional actors and shot on Super 16mm film.
Vera Gemma made her debut as an actress and theatrical author in the early 90s. In the next decade, she acts in several films, working with directors such as Dario Argento and Paolo Virzì. Besides acting in many TV shows, Vera also cooperates with the electronic music group Psycohaven and writes two books. In 2013, she directs and produces a documentary about the life of her father Giuliano Gemma, Italian actor and stuntman. In 2022, she is the protagonist of the film Vera, directed by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel and premiered at Venice Film Festival, where she received the Best Actress Award of the Orizzonti section.
Guests of Honour
September 30 | 15:00 - 16:30 | Mál og Menning
Each year RIFF is honoured to welcome several Guests of Honour: established film professionals whose vision and creative excellency distinguish them from their peers. RIFF’s past honorary guests have included Mia Hansen-love, Joachim Trier, Debby Harry, Claire Denis, Sergei Loznitsa, Jonas Mekas, Laila Pakalnina, Werner Herzog, Olivier Assayas, Deepa Mehta, Darren Aronofsky, David Cronenberg, Margarethe von Trotta, Mike Leigh, Jim Jarmusch, Milos Forman, Peter Greenaway, Costa-Gavras, Hanna Schygulla, Béla Tarr, Aki Kaurismäki, Hal Hartley, Shirin Neshat, Susanne Bier, Atom Egoyan, Abbas Kiarostami, Dario Argento, Lukas Moodysson and numerous other names from the international film scene.
This year we are proud to host Albert Serra and Alexandre Philippe in Reykjavik. Join us for a special masterclass by these two cinematic visionaries!
Moderated by Nikkita Hamar Patterson
Nikkita Hamar Patterson is an Icelandic-American doctoral student at the University of Iceland. Her background includes a BFA in Film and Video from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia (USA) and an MA in Literature, Culture and Media from UoI. Her research focuses on the politics of taste, the dynamics between high/low art, extreme cinema and the work of Gaspar Noé. Nikkita teaches in both English and film studies at the University of Iceland and has moderated for RIFF since 2016.
Born in Banyoles in 1975, Albert Serra is a Catalan artist and director. Having studied philosophy and literature, he wrote plays and produced different video works. He gained an international recognition with his first long feature, Honor of the Knights, a free adaptation of Don Quijote played by non- professional actors from his village. The film was presented at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2006. For his second film, Birdsong, Serra took inspiration in a traditional Catalan Christmas song, El cant dels ocells, and worked with the same group of people to tell the story of the Three Wise Men following their guiding star to find Jesus. In 2013, the Centre Pompidou in Paris gave him a carte blanche for a correspondence with the Argentinian director Lisandro Alonso. The same year he received the Golden Leopard in Locarno for his new film Story of my Death, inspired by Casanova’s memoirs. The Death of Louis XIV starring Jean-Pierre Léaud as the Sun King, was presented in the Official Selection of Cannes Film Festival 2016. Liberté, starring Helmut Berger, Marc Susini, Baptiste Pinteaux, is the cinematic recreation of his 2018 Berlin Volksbühne play of the same name, which won the Special Jury award at the 2019 Un Certain Regard selection in Cannes. 2022 he returns to Cannes in the Official Selection in Competition with Pacifiction.
Alexandre O. Philippe holds a Masters in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is Creative Director at Exhibit A Pictures. Most of his films take on the role of unpacking the most influential works of master filmmakers, and dissecting seminal screen moments. Selected works include Lynch/Oz (Tribeca ’22), Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist (Venice ’19, Sundance ‘20), Memory: The Origins of Alien (Sundance ’19), 78/52 (Sundance ’17), Doc of the Dead (SXSW’14), and The People vs. George Lucas (SXSW ‘10). Alexandre is currently in post production on a film about William Shatner, to be released next Spring.
Masterclass with Mauro Herce and Daniela Cajías
October 5 | 14:00 - 15:00 | Ráðhús
RIFF is proud to host the SPANISH WAVES, this year’s focus country. Besides our extensive selection of Spanish films, the Industry Days are also infused with Hispanic flair. Join us for a special masterclass with two cinematographers and learn how they see the world through their cameras!
Moderated by: Carolina Salas
This masterclass is supported by ICAA.
| Tickets | Free with accreditation or festival pass.
Carolina Salas is a film producer and cultural manager who works internationally, primarily in Iceland and Spain. Her work as a film producer or co-producer includes the feature film Everything in the End by Mylissa Fitzsimmons, the doc Home Again by Dögg Mósesdóttir, the short films The Goodness of Life, Mr. Murphy, LjósÖld, Islandia, Storm Room, The Silence of the Fish and a variety of commercial and service jobs. She is currently developing two feature documentaries Women, Bread and Dreams-Gaunt Rouge Films & Salas Stúdíó, Iceland and El Internacional-Prima&Vera Productions, Spain. She had a variety of roles within film festivals in Iceland such as Stockfish IFF, the Northern Wave IFF and the Reykjavík International Film Festival as Industry manager. Carolina has also developed and coordinated over the last 10 years several training initiatives for women in Iceland in collaboration with partners from all the Nordic regions.
Born in Barcelona in 1976, Mauro Herce graduated in Engineering (Polytechnics of Catalonia) and Fine Arts (University of Barcelona), before he enrolled at the San Antonio de los Baños (Cuba) and Louis Lumière (France) Film Schools. Since then he has worked mainly as director of photography on films such as: O QUE ARDE (Oliver Laxe, 2019) – Work for which he obtains a Goya, a Gaudí and a Mestre Mateo for best photography- LONGA NOITE (Eloy Enciso, 2019) , POUR LE RÉCONFORT (Vincent Macaigne, 2017), MIMOSAS (Oliver Laxe, 2016), EL MAR NOS MIRA NOS DE LEJOS (Manuel Muñoz, 2017) or ARRAIANOS (Eloy Enciso, 2012), among others. In 2015 he debuted as a director with the feature film DEAD SLOW AHEAD awarded with the special jury prize in the „Cineasti del Presente“ section of the Locarno festival and the Feroz award for best documentary of 2016, among many other awards and selections in renowned festivals. In 2019, he made the short film LONELY RIVERS also selected at Locarno and with which he obtained the first prize in the official section of Gijón 2019, among other awards and selections at festivals. STRANGE FRUIT will be his second feature film as director, in which he will also be director of photography and screenwriter.
Daniela Cajias is a Bolivian cinematographer. In 2021 she became the first woman in the 35-year history of the Goya Awards to win the award for best cinematography, for her work on the film Las Niñas de Pilar Palomero.12 In 2017 she was the first director of Bolivian photography to win an international award. Her awards include: Best Photography Award at the Costa Rica International Film Festival for The Eternal Night of the Twelve Moons (2013) Award for best photography at the International Festival of Guadalajara, Mexico for Las dos Irenes (2017) Goya Award for Best Cinematography 2021 for Las Niñas (2020). Her latest movie is Alcarras, this years winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlinale Film Festival.
October 6 | 14:00 - 15:30 | Ráðhús
Are you working on or dreaming of making your first feature film? This is the masterclass for you. This is your chance to ask all your questions to those that have gone through the process from A to Z. What goes into directing a feature film? How do you bring your ideas to life? How do you develop your story to captivate audiences? How do you collaborate with a scriptwriter? How do you assemble a crew? How do you go about casting your protagonists? Where do you find funding for your film? What goes into a release strategy? How do you get your film distributed? These filmmakers are ready to spill the tea!
Moderated by: Þorsteinn Sturla Gunnarsson
| Tickets | Free with accreditation or festival pass.
Þorsteinn Sturla Gunnarsson decided at a very early age to become a filmmaker. His first film ARE WE ROLLING? Started out as a high school project, but was later bought by an icelandic streaming service. He graduated from the Icelandic Film School screenwriting and directing branch in 2021 with his graduation film VOID which won the school award Bjarkinn for best film, and has since started making the festival rounds. He is currently a part of a writers room developing a tv series, as well as writing his first feature film.
David Wagner was born in 1982 and grew up near Vienna. He spent the early 2000s making short films with friends before entering the film industry in 2003, learning how professional films are produced by working in several different roles on film sets. In 2006 he participated in a summer film course at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts before completing a masters degree in directing at the Hamburg Media School (2014-2016). Wagner’s short films have been shown at many respected international short film festivals including the Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis and the Tel Aviv Student Film Festival and have received numerous awards. His first feature film screenplay „Eismayer“ was awarded the Script Talent Award in 2019. David’s feature film debut Eismayer will have its world premiere at Venice International Film Critics’ Week in September 2022.
Rúnar Rúnarsson had his debut feature film at the Director’s Fortnights in Cannes 2011 with VOLCANO, which was nominated for the Camera d’Or. The film screamed at a large number of festivals and collected 17 international awards. His sophomore feature SPARROWS started its impressive festival run by winning Concha Ora, Main Award at the San Sebastian film festival. Since then, collecting 20 international awards. His 3rd feature film, ECHO, had a World Premiere in Locarno 2019 and was selected for Cannes Artelier and honored with six international awards. His crossroads trilogy of Short films received around 100 international film awards. THE LAST FARM was nominated for an Oscar in 2006, 2 BIRDS t was nominated for Palme d´Or in Cannes 2008, and the European film awards the same year
Rossy de Palma
October 8 | 15:00 - 16:30 | Háskolabío
RIFF welcomes Rossy de Palma as Honorary Guest of the Spanish Waves program. Join us for a talk with the multidisciplinary Spanish icon where she reflects on her career and shares her views on the role of women in cinema. Rossy will be joined by Icelandic actress Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, know for her leading role in Woman at War.
| Tickets | Free with accreditation or festival pass.
„a woman can not be a woman without being a feminist. But beyond the feminism we have grown up with and that is now cracking at the seams, I see the crucial importance, the beauty and the incredible strength of sorority. It is in this sorority, in the time spent with women we love and admire, that we draw our richness, our singularity and a balanced view on things and on ourselves.“
Rossy de Palma was born on 16 September 1965 in Palma, Mallorca. Eighteen years old she moved to Madrid where she performed with the pop band Peor Imposible or The Worst Possible. In 1986 she was working at a rockabilly-bar when she met Pedro Almodóvar – an incident that marked the beginning of a fruitful and long cooperation. Since then de Palma has acted in many of his films, for example: Law of Desire (1987), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), Broken Embraces (2009) and his latest film Parallel Mothers (2021). Luckily the two of them met because since then the world has enjoyed Palma’s unique charisma and talents in the many fields of art. She has worked with directors such as Álex de la Iglesia, Robert Altman, Mike Figgis, Laure Charpentier, Terry Gilliam, and Mehdi Charef, and as a singer and fashion model, for Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler to name a few.
Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night
October 9 | 13:00 - 14.30 | Háskólabió
After 10 days of films and events RIFF will screen its closing film, Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night, on October 8. Join us the next day for an extended talk with the director and cast members.
The village is brimming with stories and if you listen closely it might tell you a few. Perhaps the one about the prominent businessman who starts dreaming in Latin and sacrifices a promising career for astronomy and old books, or the one about the delicate boy who carves moorland birds and dreams of being an artist, or maybe the one of the open air sexual affair that has explosive consequences, or the one about the big rock that can break the finely woven thread between life and death.
Moderated by: Þórunn Lárusdóttir
| Tickets | Free with accreditation or festival pass.
Thorunn Lárusdóttir is a director, actress, singer, writer and producer with over two decades of experience. She was contracted as one of the leading actresses of the National Theatre of Iceland for twelve years, where she portrayed countless roles, both leading and supporting, dramatic, musical and comical. She has also worked with all other major theatre companies in Iceland as well as many smaller theatre companies and has been nominated for „Gríman,“ The Icelandic Theatre Awards. Her tv/film work is also significant but her most renowned role is Milla (lead) in tv series “All the Colours of the Ocean are Cold.” Thorunn has recently taken a turn in her career and focused more on film, directing, producing and writing. Her filmwork includes the feature film Adventureland, The Arrow (in pre-production) feature film Shattered Fragments, several short films, cartoons and commercials. Thorunn is also a singer and has extensive experience as a live performer as well as a performer in the studio. Her work as a vocal artist includes several gold records, voice overs for commercials and cartoons.
Elfar Adalsteins is an Icelandic director, screenwriter and producer. He studied filmmaking at MetFilm School and screenwriting at Royal Holloway. As well as developing homegrown projects through his production company Berserk Films, Elfar has collaborated on producing a diversified slate of international indie films such as ‘Mamma Gógó’ and ‘What Maisie Knew’. His short film Sailcloth, starring late renowned actor John Hurt, received several international accolades and was shortlisted for the 2012 Academy Awards Oscars and BAFTA as well as winning Best Icelandic Short at RIFF and Eddan, The Icelandic Film Awards. Elfar’s feature film directorial debut, End of Sentence, a father-and-son road movie starring John Hawkes, Logan Lerman and Sarah Bolger, was released in 2019 to critical acclaim. End of Sentence was the opening film of RIFF 2019 and was distributed around the world. In his latest release, ‘Summerlight & Then Comes the Night’, Elfar directs an all Icelandic ensemble cast from his screenplay adaptation of Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s eponymous celebrated novel.
Sveinn Olafur Gunnarsson (1976) was born and raised in Reykjavik, Iceland. Sveinn was educated at the Icelandic Art Academy, graduating with a BFA degree in acting in 2006. He had previously studied philosophy at the University of Iceland. Sveinn works equally on stage and in cinema and has acted in films – international and Icelandic, TV-series and theatre productions as well as writing and directing.
Svandis Dora Einarsdottir graduated as an actress from The Icelandic Art Academy in 2010. She has starred on a number of TV series, such as Trapped III which was just released on Netflix, Fractures , The Lava Field, The Mayor, Promises, Ordinary People and in the award winning short Playing with Balls. She has also taken part in many theatre projects in the National Theater of Iceland and with independent theatre groups. Svandís Dóra role in the feature film In Front of Others, got her a nomination for the Best Supporting Actress at the Icelandic Film Awards Edda, and the Icelandic comedy classic Harrý & Heimir – Morð eru til alls fyrst. Other films appearances include the award winning film Of Horses and Men, Love on Iceland (Hallmark USA), Polite People, City State and Faust by Aleksander Sukorov. Four movies with Svandís Dóra are in production and soon to be released: Summerlight .. And Then Comes the Night, Northern Comfort, April Skies (Canada) and All eyes on me (Canada). Svandis is scheduled to start shooting her next project in October where she will play the female lead in an upcoming TV series Backfire. Svandís Dóra has also done a lot of voice over and is currently the ongoing character, Valka, for the hit international video came Assassin´s Creed Valhalla.