FILM IN REYKJAVÍK
Over the past few decades an extensive film industry possessing a full range of know-how and experience has been built in Reykjavik. A thriving and ever-growing film and commercial scene has produced a rich pool of professionals in all areas of film-making, production and event management. Reykjavík based film production companies have taken part in many large-scale film and commercial projects, combining their filmmaking professionalism with in-depth knowledge of Iceland’s unique geography and landscape.
Reykjavík has everything you need; high quality accommodation, a thriving culinary scene with many outstanding restaurants and a diverse cultural life, with a variety of interesting museums, theatres, galleries and sports facilities. Reykjavík boasts seventeen quality thermal pools, each with a number of wonderful hot tubs. Our thermal pools are not only a great source of natural therapy, but an important part of our culture and a tonic for body and mind after a long day of work.
Reykjavík is easily accessible, perfectly situated midway between the USA and Europe. It’s a mere three-hour flight from London and a five-hour flight from New York and from the airport there is only 40 minutes’ drive to Reykjavík. Flights to and from Iceland are frequent and reliable, with daily scheduled flights to all main European and US East Coast cities and more frequent flights to London, Copenhagen and other destinations.
Icelandic is one of the most difficult languages in the world. But don't worry, we all speak English! English is taught as a second language in Iceland and almost every Icelander speaks the language fluently. And more so, most Icelanders speak several other languages including Danish, German, and Spanish. So there is no need to bring a translator on to the set.
Reykjavík as a location
Reykjavík oﬀers myriad adventures and a paradise of possibilities. From Reykjavík’s colorful, quaint, iron-clad houses which are a source of endless fascination, functional neighborhoods of the modernists to world award winning contemporary architecture, many diﬀerent groups have inﬂuenced the decades shaping of the capital area into the vibrant, dynamic city it is today.
Kaleidoscopic townscapes, quirky street art, thriving music and festival scenes, a wild nightlife and a vibrant café culture make a city for all film occasions. With all the charm of a tiny village and the sophisticated buzz of a modern city, the world’s northernmost capital enjoys a truly unique blend of culture, art, nature and folklore.
Into to the wild in 30 minutes
In Reykjavík, nature is quite literally at your doorstep – you don’t have to go far to find unspoiled wilderness where the influence of man and civilization vanishes. With rugged volcanic moonscapes, the raging ocean, golden waterfalls, steaming sulfur mountains, stark highland interior and majestic glaciers and lagoons, Reykjavík is a winning film destination.
Icelandic nature has unique charm not easily found elsewhere in the world. The country’s sharply contrasting features include light summer nights and the Northern Lights dancing across the dark winter sky. The magic of these light summer nights isn’t just the beauty but also that quality of light.
Reykjavík holds world class actors, professional and competent film workers and production companies, which can accommodate all productions from small art house and documentaries to large international TV-series and films both within the city and out in the wild.
Reykjavík is a modern and technologically driven city. Equipment suppliers offer a vast selection of cameras, drones, light, cranes etc. with ambition to fit all your production needs from set-up to post-production. State of the art quality is always to be counted on. Reykjavík also boasts excellent telecommunications connectivity and one of the highest internet and mobile telephone penetration rates in the world.
During the summer, when the sun is the farthest away from the equator line, the hours of daylight in Reykjavík are among the longest in Europe with not less than 18 hours of daylight in June and July. The magic of these light summer nights isn’t just the quality of light but also the fact that filmmakers can make more of each day in shooting, enabling use of land- and townscapes during evening and night with fewer people around.
Remember to get your 25% refund
Reimbursements are offered for film and TV production costs incurred in Iceland. Producers can apply for reimbursements from the State Treasury of 25% of the costs incurred in the production of films and television programmes in Iceland.
As Iceland is a member of the EEA, films and television programs made in Iceland receive European content status and can thus be released in Europe without affecting any quotas on the release of non-European content material. Icelandic production can also receive grants offered by the EU and its member countries.
Sustainable Film Making
Being green is starting to play a major role in the global movie scene. Filming in Reykjavík supports the choice of sustainable production practices in the film industry. Reykjavík is surrounded by hot springs, which gives the city the means to cleanly and efficiently produce green electricity and provide geothermal heating for homes and businesses, a renewable energy source that limits carbon dioxide emissions. This brings Reykjavík to the forefront in sustainable energy usage which benefits companies and individuals wishing to produce films in an environmentally responsible manner.
Reykjavík City as a facilitator
Reykjavík city is aware of the economic and cultural importance of the film industry to the city, it is keen to cooperate effectively with filmmakers.
It is essential for filmmakers that applications for permits are handled efficiently. Visit Reykjavík acts as the first point of liaison for productions, within the City of Reykjavík. Providing advice, tailored to facilitate film productions, to help to establish quickly whether a permit is required and providing relevant contacts such as for parking, road closures, police personnel, street furniture removal in order for registrations and permits applications to be sufficient.
In addition a general guidelines have been devised to achieve a more workable situation for film makers, location managers and producers, as well as for local residents, businesses and visitors affected before, during and following any production.
Reykjavík Film Village
RVK Studios is located by the shores of the old industrial area of Gufunes, about 20 minutes’ drive away from the city center. RVK Studios offer a 34,444 ft² / 3,200 m² space comprising studios with highest point 52ft / 16m, dressing rooms, a make-up room, wardrobe room, casting suites, open-plan production spaces, private offices, meeting rooms, sun-decks, cafeteria, and parking space for tens of vehicles.
RVK Studios will in the nearby future be the heart of Reykjavík Film Village, a concept developed by Reykjavík City in collaboration with film director Baltasar Kormákur. The area is to be opened up as a creative village for local and international film companies alike, as well as music, design, storytelling, gaming and other creative industries, entrepreneurs, start-up companies and events.
Reykjavík Film Village is also an interesting project from the point of city planning. The village will soon have a residential area with 500 apartments for film workers and creators, along with hotels and other services. It is going to be a hub for young people to develop their talent and technical skills in flow with the high-tech workforce and expertise in film already established in the city.
Reykjavík Film Festivals
Icelander‘s love of movies is reflected in the great number of movie theatres and multiplex cinemas located in Reykjavík, featuring the latest blockbuster movies. In addition Reykjavík City supports Bíó Paradís Art Cinema House, screening the latest art-house releases, special genre films, repertory cinema, documentaries, shorts, animation, in addition to Icelandic films with English subtitles.
Reykjavík City also supports a number of annual film festivals. Stockfish Film Festival is the film industry’s festival in Iceland taking place in Reykjavík in February. The festival aims to create a platform to encourage collaboration between domestic and international film communities and gives the audience an opportunity to view the most up-and-coming art-house films in the world.
Reykjavík International Children’s Film Festival takes place in April. The festival opens the possibility for children, teenagers and their families to enjoy some high quality programming from all over the world. The festival aims to increase the diversity of films for children and enhance film literacy.
Reykjavík International Film Festival – RIFF, is one of the biggest and most diverse cultural events in Reykjavík, taking place in September. At RIFF, locals and tourists alike are able to enjoy the best and freshest of international film making, chat with directors about their works, attend panels and workshops, concerts and exhibitions.
THE EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS 2020 GO TO REYKJAVÍK
The European Film Awards – EFAs, will take place in Reykjavík in December 2020, in Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, together with various side events in connection with European film production. It is expected that around 1,400 guests will attend the award ceremony, which will also be broadcasted live throughout Europe. It is an important recognition of the Icelandic film industry and presents Reykjavík as an interesting filmmaking destination.
The EFAs were first presented in Berlin in 1988, in order to promote the European film industry. Held every second year in Berlin and travelling throughout Europe in the other years: London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Warsaw, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Malta, Riga, Wroclaw and, Seville and now Reykjavík.