27th Reykjavik International Film Festival

Iceland, September 17 - September 27 2009

The jury

Tadeusz Szczepanski (Poland), Laurence Boyce (UK), Nanna Frank Rasmussen (Denmark)

Awarded films

With its 6th edition, the Reykjavik International Film Festival has shown a willingness to provide audiences with a mix of new films that have been gaining reputations on the festival circuit (including Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner The Maid (La Nana) and the 2009 winner of Un Certain Regard Dogtooth (Kynodontas)), classic archive screenings (with Milos Forman attending screenings of Amadeus, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Fireman’s Ball as this year’s guest of honour) and a number of masterclasses and special events. There were also a number of midnight and cult movies (with Stingray Sam, Cory McAbee’s episodic sci-fi space Western musical, proving particularly popular) and a crossover with the Nordik Panorama, the industry showcase for new products from Nordic countries, which took place during the final weekend of the festival. Surprisingly, for a country whose film industry is garnering an impressive reputation with renowned directors such as Frederik Thor Fridriksson and Dagur Kari (which is even more remarkable when you consider how small the country is), the RIFF seemed to be rather reticent about championing new Icelandic cinema with it’s Icelandic panorama given short shrift in the programme. It’s a shame as the RIFF would be a perfect opportunity to launch and showcase many new talents from Icelandic cinema. Still, the RIFF managed to attract a young and enthusiastic audience who are eager to discover the work of those people whose films rarely make it to the country whilst the industry guests find an opportunity to catch up on those films that they may have missed out on whilst sampling the delights of what the country has to offer. With it’s reputation growing every year, the Reykjavik International Film Festival is becoming an important stop on the festival circuit. (Laurence Boyce, edited by Yael Shuv)