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FESTIVALS Iceland

Reykjavik in full swing

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Launched last Thursday with the premiere of the documentary Sigur Rós-Heima, on the world famous icelandic post-rock band, the fourth Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF) is set to become the country’s largest ever film event, according to organisers, if attendance stays as high for the second half of the festival as it has been for the first, to pass the 20,000 mark.

Over 80 films are screening in four venues across the Icelandic capital, including 15 in the competition programme New Visions, dedicated to first and second time filmmakers. Among the films running for the Golden Puffin and Discovery of the Year Award are The Band’s Visit [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Israel/France), The Art of Crying [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Denmark), Control [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(UK) and The Trap [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Hungary).

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Thirteen of the best films of the past year are screening in the Open Sea sections, including You, the Living [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pernilla Sandström
interview: Roy Andersson
film profile
]
(Sweden), the Romanian Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cristian Mungiu
interview: Oleg Mutu
film profile
]
(see Focus) and Temporary Release [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Denmark).

Spain is in the spotlight this year with four recent films: DarkBlueAlmostBlack [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, The Railroad Allstars by Chema Rodríguez, Me by Rafael Córtes, and Campillo Yes I Do</I> by Andrés Rubio.

Speaking on Spanish cinema, Icelandic star actor/filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur (Jar City [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), who is half Spanish himself, said: “Spanish films are not based in the social realism that other European nations have cherished. Their films are more abstract and in many ways more artistic. They allow themselves more freedom in narration, for example. The Spanish are not afraid to work with tradition – you will see Flamenco in many Spanish films. In this way they differentiate themselves. I’d like to see the Icelandic national dances in our films!”

Legendary German actress Hanna Schygulla is also in Reykjavik to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, and tomorrow, Czech actor David Ondricek will be giving a masterclass.

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