Reykjavik International Film Fest Review

I just returned from a wonderful trip to the Reykyavik International Film Festival which now ranks among one of my favorite film festivals on the circuit. Hronn Marinosdottir (Festival Director) and Marlenne Kelnreiter (Guest Coordinator) bend over backwards to make it a filmmaker friendly fest. The typical “hub” was replaced by dinners every night set up casually so that you could drop in any time, not be subjected to any speeches or presentations, and are small enough so that you could easily meet your fellow filmmakers. It was one of the best environments at a fest for making filmmaking friends. Besides the dinners they organized trips into Iceland, although I missed the daylong excursion to a glacier, I was able to partake in a trip to the Blue Lagoon with Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze), Sandi Dubowski (A Jihad for Love), David Kisnsella (Killing Girls). The screening venues were fine – to very good – although I think they were still nailing down their digital projection. We got a fair amount of press attention – more than I expected at this stage of our festival release – two interviews and two best of fest mentions. Finally – the festival set up one of the most effective panels on graffiti that I have been a part of, obtaining an official from the city government, Jakob Magnusson, to confront a decent sized group of angry graffiti writers (the city had just completed a summer long “buff” of all graffiti in the city.) Rarely if ever do city officials come to any of these panels – I think it helped that Jakob was an old friend of festival board member Sigurjon (Joni) Sighvatsson. My only regret is that I could only stay for 3 days – and it is a journey from Los Angeles – but it is surprisingly close to NY and Europe. I’d highly rec this fest to anyone!

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