RIFF’s Policy Aim: Environmental Protection and Sustainability

RIFF, Reykjavík International Film Festival aims to be at the forefront of increasing sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of culture festivals. In light of this RIFF has, in partnership with our sponsors, committed to reducing our eco-footprint and to making choices with the good of the environment in mind.


Among this year’s initiatives, in partnership with Hertz, scooter rental service Hopp and the city bus line Strætó bs, RIFF aims to reduce traffic related pollution by increasing the availability of eco-friendly transport to the festival’s venues. Printed materials will be provided by the eco-certified printer Ísafold and staff and guests will be provided with t-shirts made from 100% cotton. Trees will be planted to offset the carbon-footprint of each airline passenger to visit the festival. RIFF has joined together with six other film festivals to promote environmental protection. Festival events with this focus will accordingly be prioritized. 


Hertz will provide electric cars to transport guests from Keflavik Airport, while Hopp will not only provide our staff free access to scooters for travel between venues, but will also be waiving fees for all festival attendees traveling to Háskólabíó cinema on RIFF’s opening day, September 29th! Festival pass-holders will then be able to travel freely on all city buses for the duration of the festival thanks to the sponsorship of Strætó bs. 


“We encourage festival-attendees and all film lovers to think of the environment when making their travel plans, and to work with us in reducing RIFF’s eco-footprint. Festival Industry guests will also be traveling to the Heiðmörk conservation area to assist director Benedikt Erlingsson in the planting of the so-called Film Forest. The Film Forest was established with the express goal of reducing the carbon footprint of the film industry, and plans are to name a section of it the RIFF Forest,” says Hrönn Marinósdóttir, the festival director. 


RIFF has further decided to reduce the use of printed materials, such as programs and posters, to use recycled material and to rely primarily on virtual documents. Our program this year will be printed on eco-friendly paper by the Nordic Swan-licensed printer Ísafold. Compared to past years, fewer issues will be printed and on fewer pages. We would therefore like to remind you of the value of the program—please don’t pick one up only to toss it. Instead we encourage you to use it for the duration of the festival or to pass it on, helping us all to reduce our eco-footprint. The program will also be made available in electronic form, both on our website and in the new RIFF app


RIFF has joined up with six other film festivals in Europe, including the Thessaloniki Festival in Greece, and TIFF the Transilvania Festival in Romania, to further reduce the environmental impact of film festivals. RIFF will be hosting a workshop, planned for 2023, for the staff of these seven festivals. 


RIFF will be placing the spotlight on festival events which contribute to greater environmental awareness. Through the years RIFF has awarded prizes for eco-friendliness and for this year’s Industry Days segment we will be focusing on the impact of film making on society and how filmmakers can work with different groups to better and to expand the impact of their works. 


Countries of the North and the Arctic are the vanguard in the battle against climate change. Climate change has already had a catastrophic impact on the world, and led to significant social and financial issues across the globe. Documentaries can refine our understanding of these issues, place them in context and illustrate the complex and far-reaching consequences of our actions. Through the filmmaker’s lens, each story contributes to an international foundation of knowledge and awareness about the impact of climate change. RIFF 2022 showcases a collection of impactful documentaries on the environment and human rights. Our events this fall include a panel discussion on the contributions of filmmaking to environmental protection and the evolution of human rights, featuring specialized professionals in those fields, academics, activists and filmmakers.