Knife + Heart won the main prize at RIFF

 The Reykjavík International Film Awards for 2018 were awarded last night. The winners are as follows: 

  1. The Golden Egg/ Vesna by Nathalia Konchalovsky.
  1. International shorts: Special mention / Black Line by Mark Olexa, Francesca Scalisi.
  1. Best International short / Gulyabani by Gurcan Keltek.
  1. Best Icelandic short / Jörmundur by Maddie O´hara, Jack Bushell & Alex Herz.
  1. A different tomorrow/ América by Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside.
  1. New Visions: Special mention / Styx by Wolfgang Fischer.
  1. The main prize of the RIFF festival, The Golden Puffingoes to Knife + Heart by Yann Gonzalez. 


Firstly, the members of the jury would like to thank all the filmmakers that so generously shared their stories with us. It was both a privilege and a pleasure to watch eight film from ten different countries. Each of these films offered either a window into the realm of human emotions, personal relations, composite cultures, or a peak into the heart of the filmmaker himself – and in some cases, all the above. These films touch upon brave and complex themes, brave and complex characters, brave and complex issues. We might indeed live in a brave new world, but at the same time we also live in a complex one. Thus, sometimes - the most complex of issues, need the simplest means for them to become clear and transparent to us. And such is the case with the premise of the film, that we, the jury, unanimously agreed upon. Few things are more fragile and precious as the relationship between a parent and a child; regardless of their age. To dive into a theme of a broken family that seeks healing, in the form of a short film – is not only difficult – it ́s almost mad. Yet, the filmmaker manages to deliver a deeply complex personal story between a mother and daughter, and their journey from utter lack of connection, to a new beginning - in an effortless, humorous and credible way. We the jury, thus find it quite fitting, to hand the Golden Egg, to a story of a mother ́s love to her daughter. The Russian film Vesna, directed by Nathalia Konchalovksy, is not only a beautiful film, but also quite of a storytelling achievement, full of vivid characters, impressive performances and sophisticated filmmaking.



Our prize for the Best Icelandic short goes to a film we felt was a beautiful, reverent ode to an interesting subject: the jury is proud to award Jörmundur, directed by Jack Bushell and Nicole Stock.

In the International Shorts competition, the jury would like to first award aSpecial Mention to the film Black Line, directed by Francesca Salisi and Mark Olexa, who told a big story through subtle but powerful means.


In a diverse and a frequently revelatory shorts program, one film stood for our jury as a unanimous and signifiant accomplishment. For its formal daring, thematic scope, and sociohistorical insight, the jury awards theInternational Shorts top prizeto Gulyabani, by Gürcan Keltek.



Our jury from Riga, Reykjavík and New York all connected equally with this soulful story of family guilt, responsibility and most of all, love. We were truly impressed by this film from new directors set in a small town in Mexico. The Award for Best Documentary goes to... América.



For technically brilliant direction and an honest performance by Susanna Wolff, we give Honorable Mention to STYX by Wolfgang Fischer for his economical storytelling that illustrates the moral dilemma of Europe.


A playful homage to cinema and a celebration of queer subculture, director Yann Gonzalez defies labels using confidence, humor and a thrilling juxtaposition of love and loss. A juicy treat for all senses, the Golden Puffin is awarded to KNIFE + HEART.




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