Moodysson’s We Are The Best! wins audience award at Icelandic festival’s 10th anniversary.

Uberto Pasolini’s Still Life was awarded the Reykjavik International Film Festival’s top prize, The Golden Puffin, on Sunday night (Oct 6).

Screening in RIFF’s 12-film New Visions competition for first and second films, Still Life also won the festival’s FIPRESCI Prize. Director Pasolini was in attendance to accept the award during the closing ceremony at the Icelandic capital’s historic Gamla Bio theatre.

The competition jury, which consisted of Wide Management founder Loïc Magneron, author and political activist Luciana Castellina and former Icelandic president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, said in a statement that it had unanimously agreed to give the first prize to Still Life “for its artistic quality, but also for the sensitivity and touching human message the director succeeds to underline”.

Two films in New Visions were also given special mentions by the jury: Alexandros Avranas’ Miss Violence and Yuval Adler’s Bethlehem.

Daniel Dencik’s Expedition To The End Of The World was given the RIFF Environmental Award, while Ritesh Batra won The Church Of Iceland Award for The Lunchbox. Whale Valley won Best Icelandic Short and an award for the best sound in an Icelandic short, while Stephen Barton’s Sketch was given a special mention in the short category.

The RIFF Golden Egg Award for young talent was given to Muriel D’Ansembourg’s Good Night, which was nominated for a BAFTA earlier this year. An honorary mention in the category was given to Yoel by Noa Yaffe.

Lukas Moodysson won the RIFF audience award for We Are The Best!

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2013, RIFF attracted a range of film-makers to Iceland with Lukas Moodysson, James Gray and Laurent Cantet among attendees. The festival opened on September 26 with This Is Sanlitun by Icelandic-Irish director Robert Douglas and closed with the Nordic premiered of Palme d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Colour.

The festival also held a focus on Greece, with Miss Violence director Avranas, September director Penny Panayotopoulou and J.A.C.E. — Just Another Confused Elephant director Menelaos Karamaghiolis among the film-makers in attendance. “Greece has many good young directors,” festival director Hronn Marinosdottir told Screen. “Maybe you can compare it to Romania a few years ago, and there are Greek films at all the major festivals.”

RIFF also held a focus on climate change, screening a range of documentaries and bringing together scientists and film-makers in the Earth 101 forum. “It is a meeting place for scientists and filmmakers so we hope that the outcome will be good films about this serious subject,” Marinosdottir said.

The festival reported that ticket sales were up on last year, with screenings taking place at the city’s Haskolabio multiplex and at two smaller sites.

A decade on from its launch, Marinosdottir explained that RIFF has “been growing more than everybody expected and I think there are many possibilities in developing the festival,” pointing to the potential of further developing the event’s Industry Days as a meeting place between Europe and America and other continents.

During this year’s festival the Icelandic Film Centre held an event to introduce upcoming work from local directors like
Gudrún Ragnarsdóttir, Dagur Kári and Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson as well as TV series like Trapped, which starts shooting in January with Baltasar Kormakur among the directors. The Icelandic Film Centre event also screened Ragnar Bragason’s Metalhead and Benedikt Erlingsson’s Of Horses And Men.