10th Reykjavík International Film Festival
Iceland, September 26 - October 6 2013
The 10th edition of Reykjavík International Film Festival (RIFF) took place this year from September 26th to October 6th 2013 (www.riff.is). The festival showed a wide range of drama and non-fiction films from over 40 countries. The festival highlights independent filmmaking from all over the world with an emphasis on up-and-coming filmmakers. RIFF encourages the interaction of film with other art forms by organizing concerts, photo exhibitions and more. The festival also manages the RIFF industry office complete with a video library, information and guest services, and co-organizes networking meetings and dinners for the attending professionals.
RIFF was founded in September 2004, by a small group of film professionals and film enthusiasts led by Festival Director Hrönn Marinósdóttir, with the goal of presenting new and progressive quality films, supporting innovation in filmmaking, networking between professionals from various parts of the world and fostering social and cultural dialogue.
The aim of Reykjavik International Film Festival is to become one the foremost film festivals in Europe, placing continued emphasis on presenting not only progressive, independent cinema and a wide range of documentaries touching on explosive subjects, but also a young and unusual Capital in a country bursting with energy and creativity. The geographic location makes RIFF a naturally ideal meeting point for filmmakers from either side of the Atlantic Ocean. “We want to see you in Reykjavík!”
The festival’s Grand Prix category, entitled New Visions, is limited to first and second works only. RIFF has thus carved out a significant niche for itself among film festivals in terms of presenting and promoting new talent. RIFF has also developed a program called Minus25, where the focus is on filmmakers and film enthusiasts under 25 years of age. The program consists of a Stop-motion Workshop for pre-school children, Short Film Workshop for children of Grade School age and from fall 2011 a Short Film Workshop for high-school children will also be organized. The goal of the Minus25 program is to activate the imagination and creativity of the younger generations, and engage cinema literacy of children in Iceland who have long been exposed to a rather monotonous cinema culture.
Networking is an important part of the festival’s activities, between young filmmakers and those with experience; between Icelandic (Nordic) cinema and international cinema; and between filmmakers and international studies of film and culture. RIFF also manages a market for films where new Icelandic film productions are presented to international industry professionals such as buyers and distributors. Location scouting is also provided during the festival and several collaborations have materialized from such meetings between Icelandic and foreign professionals.
Dialogue has from the beginning been a basic theme in each edition of RIFF. The festival has always seen it as a duty to initiate a dialogue with the community and between filmmakers and festival guests, between different cultural worlds, between different art forms, between film studies and filmmakers etc. The festival has always emphasized the screenings of documentaries, especially those that revolve around environmental themes and human rights issues. RIFF organizes panel talks, lectures and debates about various subjects concerning our society, culture and other contemporary affairs. We believe that by this means a valuable connection is forged with the community and knowledge is both absorbed and distributed. RIFF, in it’s own way, is a knowledge generation hub. (Rolf-Ruediger Hamacher)
Reykjavík International Film Festival: www.riff.is