The seventh Reykjavik International Film Festival kicks off tonight with Cyrus by Jay and Mark Duplass.

Around 140 films from 29 countries will be screened in 11 days, and the Icelandic festival is hosting a five-day workshop devoted to independent film as well as presenting the fifth-annual Talent Lab.

Masterclasses and talks will welcome Laird Adamson from Magnolia Pictures; directors Amy Hardie and Athina Rachel Tsangari; The Match Factory’s Philipp Hoffmann; and Tribeca’s David Kwok.

Jim Jarmusch will receive this year’s Creative Excellence Award and the fest will show his films including Down by Law and The Limits of Control. He will also take part in an on-stage dialogue with Dagur Kari while visiting Reykjavik.

Elio Petri also receives a retrospective, with films including The 19th Victim and A Quiet Place in the Country. The fest will also screen a documentary about the filmmaker.

New Visions, for first or second films, includes selections such as Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg, Marian Crisan’s Morgen, Kitao Sakurai’s Aardvark, and Pia Marais’ At Ellen’s Age. These films will compete for the Golden Puffin; the jury includes TIFF’s Cameron Bailey, film-maker Valdis Oskarsdottir and journalist Laura Kern.

Special presentations include Venice hit Silent Souls by Aleksei Fedorchenko, Iraqi Oscar hopeful Son of Babylon, Goran Paskaljevic’s Serbia-Albania co-production Honeymoons, Reha Erdem’s Kosmos, and Todd Solondz’s Life During Wartime.

The Open Seas section has films from around the world including Winter’s Bone (US), A Somewhat Gentle Man (Norway), One Hundred Mornings (Ireland), How I Ended This Summer (Russia), and Icelandic projects Mamma Gogo by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, King’s Road by Valdis Oskarsdottir and December by Hilmar Oddsson.

Documentaries in Docs In Focus include The Tillman Story, Monica and David, The Edge of Dreaming, The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, and Finnish Oscar submission Steam of Life.

The sidebar World Changes, presenting films about contemporary issues, includes The Mermaid’s Tears: Oceans of Plastic, Oil Rocks: City Above The Sea, Earth Keepers and Toxic Playground.

RIFF is also introducing a new section about human rights stories, called Better World. Those films include When The Dragon Swallowed The Sun, Good Fortune, Kimjongilia, Last Train Home, The Arrivals, Petition – The Court of the Complainants, Shungu: The Resilience of a People, and Armadillo.

Another new section is Emerging Master, this year devoted to the work of Benedek Fliegauf – with screenings of Dealer, Forest and Womb.

The festival is also hosting a focus on Palestine and Afghanistan, with films such as Budrus, Gaza’s Winter and To Shoot An Elephant. The focus on Poland will feature Wonderful Summer, Splinters, Operation Danube and Venice; the Swedish focus will include The Ape, Family, The Anchorage, The Genius and the Boys and Bad Faith.

The music selection will include The Genius Within – The Inner Life of Glenn Gould; Where’s The Snow? (about Iceland Airwaves); and Pendulous Chances (about Ragnar Bjarnason).

Food on Film will showcase Soul Kitchen, Kings of Pastry, The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World, and The Hunt For The Nordic Taste.

The Youth films will include Eagle’s Hunter Son and Tricks, while Midnight Movies picks are Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Big Man Japan and Symbol.

The Icelandic Panorama will screen Stand-up Girls, Iceland Uganda, The Palace, The Last Ride, Undercurrent, and 16 shorts.

Hronn Marinosdottir is Reykjavik’s festival director, with Dimitri Eipides serving as programme director.