25th Reykjavik International Film Festival

Iceland, September 27 - October 7 2007

The jury

Angel Comas Puente (Spain), Annika Koppel (Estonia), Thorarinn Thorarinsson ()

Awarded films

The fourth edition of Reykjavik International Film Festival showed nearly 80 films from all over the world in the selection. The festival director Hrönn Marinosdottir said that the audience for this year’s festival was the biggest so far with about 20,000 attending.

The competition section, called New Vision, consisted of 15 films and was programmed by Dmitri Eipides from Greece. The Discovery of the Year award (now taking the form of a beautiful Golden Puffin) is reserved for young and unknown directors, who have completed their first or second film. The Golden Puffin went to Hungarian director Csaba Bollok for Iska’s Journey. The jury members were Hal Hartley, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson and Gréta Olafsdóttir.

The Open Sea section screened some already proven masterpieces. There were 14 documentaries in the program and a special program “Human Rights: Iraq” consisted of four documentaries. The Horizon program specialized on Spain and there was also, of course, the Icelandic Panorama which included, for example, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson’s The White Viking (Embla: The Valkyrie of the White Viking, 1991) (starring Marie Bonnevie) re-released after many years in an original directors cut.

The festival spotlight was on David Ondricek from the Czech Republic with his films Loners (2000), One Hand Can’t Clap (2003) and Grand Hotel (2006).

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s films were also in the program as 2007 is the 25th anniversary of his tragic death. German critic Hans Günther Pflaum hosted a lecture and actress Hanna Schygulla gave a wonderful concert. She also received the festival’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award for acting. Aki Kaurismäki was the recipient of the Creative Excellency Award and Peter Greenaway was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for directing. (Annika Koppel)

The FIPRESCI Award went to The Art of Crying (Kunsten at graede i kor) by Danish filmmaker Peter Schønau Fog. The film, argue our jurors, “takes place in Denmark around 1970 and tells the story of an 11 year old boy and his dysfunctional family and his ways of dealing with his father molesting his older sister. The director approaches the delicate subject in a quiet and clever way without ever trivializing the terrible effects of the father´s actions on his children.”

Reykjavík International Film Festival: www.riff.is