The biggest cinema experience of the year draws closer!

We are now nearing the opening of the annual RIFF – Reykjavik International Film Festival – which kicks off with pomp and grandeur on the 28th of September and lasts until the 08th of October. The festival, which has grown and thrived over the years, will be especially magnificent this year as it marks its twentieth anniversary.

Hugleikur designs this years Puffin

It is always an exciting anticipation when the unique spirit of RIFF takes over the city for those ten days, captivating Icelanders and foreign guests alike through the magic of international cinema. Over the past twenty years, the festival has firmly established itself as one of the largest cultural events of the year and one of Europe’s most notable film festivals.

As before, the program will be filled with intriguing and innovative films that showcase the best that international filmmaking has to offer. The program will be divided into several categories, including Open Seas, Documentaries, and A Different Tomorrow, along with the competition category, New Visions, which features eight films vying for the prestigious Golden Puffin Award for Best Film.

Of course, there will also be adventurous special events such as a poolside cinema, a cave cinema, or a home theater screening with renowned filmmakers.

Other new and exciting events related to the festival will be announced closer to the opening of the festival


Hugleikur and Hermigervill contribute to RIFF

Hermigervill RIFF musician 2023

RIFF has put great effort into revamping its appearance for the anniversary year, and the resurrection lies in the hands of the illustrator and artist Hugleikur Dagsson, who will design the graphics and visuals for RIFF.

“As much as I love RIFF, the main reason I said yes to this project is simply that I wanted to draw the puffin,” says Hugleikur, as the puffin has been the festival’s beloved mascot from the beginning and holds a special place in his heart.

“I love how this creature has evolved over the years through the hands of different artists. I’m thrilled to have the chance to doodle on it this year,” he adds.

Furthermore, the musician Sveinbjörn Thorarensen, better known as Hermigervill, has composed the festival’s theme, and his tunes will resonate throughout RIFF’s promotional materials.


RIFF through the years

Since its inception, the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF) has emphasized the promotion of diverse Icelandic and international cinema. Over the past 20 years, over 4,000 films have been screened, more than 1,500 industry professionals from the film industry have visited the country, and around 500 journalists have covered the festival. RIFF has always focused on groundbreaking filmmaking and has a special emphasis on emerging directors.

The festival has welcomed numerous renowned filmmakers as special guests, including Jim Jarmusch, Mike Leigh, Ruben Östlund, Milos Forman, Peter Greenway, Costa-Gavras, Hanna Schygulla, Béla Tarr, Aki Kaurismäki, Hal Hartley, Shirin Neshat, Susanne Bier, Atom Egoyan, Abbas Kiarostami, Dario Argento, Lone Scherfig, Marjane Satrapi, Aleksandr Sokurov, Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Deepa Mehta, Werner Herzog, Valeska GrisebachLaila Pakalnina, Sergei Loznitsa, Mads Mikkelsen, John Hawkes, Claire Denis, and Katja Adomeit