Milos Forman receives Lifetime Achievement Award; other winners include Together from Norway and The Girl from Sweden.
Xavier Dolan’s I Killed My Mother continued its festival success by taking the Golden Puffin award at the Reykjavik International Film Festival on Friday night. Montreal-based director Dolan’s debut film was the festival’s opening-night selection. The Cannes Directors Fortnight winner is about the stormy relationship between a teenage boy and his mother.
In a statement, Reykjavik’s jury said: “We chose this film not only because we were impressed by the main characters who are so expressive, never full of self-pity and who remain truthful all at the same time. The director is able to see his story in the wider context of human existence.”
The Golden Puffin, a “discovery” award, recognizes first or second films. Danish actress Iben Hjejle led this year’s all-female jury, which also included Austrian director Jessica Hausner; Icelandic actress Eva Osk Olafsdottir; Sochi Film Festival director Sitora Alieva and Icelandic editor Elisabet Ronaldsdottir.
The FIPRESCI award went to Swedish director Fredrik Ekdfelt’s debut feature The Girl (Flickan), about a 10-year-old girl who creates her own reality. The international critics on that jury were Lawrence Boyle, Tadeusz Szczepanski, and Nanna Frank Rasmussen.
In other prizes, the Church Of Iceland award, recognizing a film that deals with existential issues, went to Matias Armand Jordal’s Together (Sammen) from Norway.
The audience award, sponsored by Icelandic Express, went to local short film The Gentlemen (Herramenn) by Janus Bragi Jakobsson. That story is about male bonding aided by alcohol.
The Icelandic Red Cross Award for human rights went to Jean Marc Sainclair and Jean Crousillac’s Umoja: Where Men Are Forbidden, about a Kenyan village comprised of women.
The RIFF Environmental Award went to Brice Laine’s The Dancing Forest, about an African village that becomes self reliant.
Earlier this week, the festival presented its Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement to Czech-born director Milos Forman, who remarked that he was impressed by Iceland’s local film scene. “For a country of 300,000 people, 10 features every year is an enormous achievement for which I congratulate you,” Forman said at a reception.
Despite the economic crash, the festival reported that attendance figures through Friday have set a new record at 22,000. The festival continues through Sunday, but held its closing party Friday night to coincide with the opening of Nordisk Panorama being held in Reykjavik this year.
In addition to screenings, RIFF hosted a Talent Lab, a drive-in screening, a swimming-pool screening, screenings at local directors’ houses, musical events and a photography exhibit.
The 2010 RIFF is set for Sept. 23-Oct. 3.