Guests and honorees at festival will include Bela Tarr and Lone Scherfig.

The Reykjavik International Film Festival kicks off with Sigur Ros film Inni [pictured] as the opening selection. Inni, which had its world premiere in Venice, will have its Nordic premiere tonight.

Vincent Morisset’s Inni is the band’s second film following the 2007 documentary Heima (which also screened at RIFF). This one was shot during their live performances at London’s Alexandra Palace in November 2008.

Inni will screen at the concert hall NASA at Austurvollur square in the middle of Reykjavik, encouraging audience interaction with the film.

In other festival innovations, RIFF is now a festival partner of online industry platform Festival Scope.

The festival is also offering an exotic screening, at a secret location outside the city limits, as the Cinema in the Center of Earth (with partner Jameson) on Sept 29.

The festival has a new programme director for the 2011 edition — Giorgio Gosetti of Venice Days, who replaces Dimitri Eipides, who left RIFF to concentrate on his duties in Thessaloniki.

As usual, the New Visions competition will be for first and second features. Those films competiting for the Golden Puffin are:

  • Adalbert’s Dream, dir. Gabriel Achim (Romania)
  • Breathing, dir. Karl Markovics (Austria)
  • Fear of Falling, dir. Bartosz Konopka (Poland)
  • Follow Me, dir. Johannes Hammel (Austria)
  • Habibi, dir. Susan Youssef (Palestine, UAE, US, Netherlands)
  • Historias, dir. Julia Murat (Brazil, Argentina, France)
  • In the Open, dir. Hernán Belón (Argentina)
  • Li and the Poet, dir. Andrea Segre (Italy, France)
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene, dir. Sean Durkin (US)
  • Oslo, 31. August, dir. Joachim Trier (Norway)
  • Twilight Portrait, dir. Angelina Nikonova (Russia)
  • Volcano, dir. Rúnar Rúnarsson (Iceland)

The jury is comprised of actor Ulrich Thomsen (president), Italian critic Irene Bignardi, and Romanian film director and Transilvania International Film Festival president Tudor Giurgiu.

RIFF’s national focus will be on Romania, in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute London. Screenings are planned for The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu by Andrei Ujica, Outbound by Bogdan George Apetri, Loverboy by Catalin Mitulescu, Crulic by Anca Damian, Tuesday, After Christmas by Radu Muntean, and The Shukar Collective Project by Matei-Alexandru Mocanu.

Romanian filmmaker Adrian Sitaru (Best Intentions) will attend as the country’s Emerging Master. And there will be a photo exhibition from Alex Galmeanu.

The festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Bela Tarr, who will screen three of his films.  

Lone Scherfig will receive the Honorary Award for Creative Excellence, a new award for a female filmmaker, which is given in honour of former Iceland president Vigdis Finnbogadottir. Scherfig will also take part in a masterclass with Baltasar Kormakur.

UK filmmaker James Marsh will be a guest of the festival as well as attending public screenings and conversations. The festival will screen Marsh’s films Man On Wire, Wisconsin Death Trip and Project Nim.

Special Presentations will include We Need To Talk About Kevin, Le Havre, Pina, Wuthering Heights, Alps, Faust, and Michel Petrucciani.

The Open Seas programme of world cinema offers titles such as Play, Nader and Simin: A Separation, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, Superclasico, She Monkeys and more.

There will also be a programme of Icelandic Shorts and the Icelandic Panorama, showing features such as Baldvin Z’s Jitters, Gaukur Úlfarsson’s Gnarr, Olaf de Fleur & Guðni Pál l Sæmundsson’s Adequate Beings.

Other RIFF programmes are devoted to food films, youth films, midnight movies, nature documentaries, human rights documentaries, music documentaries, and Arabian Spring projects.

The eighth edition of the festival runs through Oct 2.