Northern Lights - Fantastic Film Festival is a short film festival based in Akureyri in the North East region of Iceland. The festival selects and showcases around 40 international fantasy films, horror, and sci-fi included. The festival also hosts many other fantasy-related events in close cooperation with various parties in the region.

The goal is to bring something fantastic to the cinema for all age groups of fantasy film lovers in the beautiful Icelandic North!

The festival’s mission is to promote education with panels and subsequently workshops that encourage and support filmmakers to let Icelandic folkloric heritage inspire their films. The festival invites and rewards a guest of honor for their contribution to fantasy films and/or the use of folktale heritage in their works. That person can be of any nationality.

Keywords: Fantastic films, intimate people, colorful sky, inspiring experience, and a lot of fun!

The award for the Best Fantastic Short is 1000 EUR and *1.000.000 ISK in equipment rental from KUKL, Iceland's premier film equipment rental house.
*Can not be transferred or sold to a different party.

The festival is only open to international short films of the fantasy genre, including adventure, fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. They can be both live-action or animated fiction, as well as documentaries. The festival is all about encouraging the inspiration from folklore and things that go beyond everyday realism, magic realism included.

Maximum length: 25 minutes.

You may submit multiple entries but each must be accompanied by a submission form and entry fee.

Screening requirements for films selected for the exhibition:
Kind: MPEG-4 movie
High Bitrate ( Minimum 20 Mbps )
Dimensions: 1080x1920 / 1998x1080 / 2048x858
Burned-in subtitle - English ( If not in English spoken language )

Entry fees are non-refundable and must be in U.S. dollars. We reserve the right to disqualify any submission if eligibility requirements are unmet.

Films that have had public or festival screenings in Iceland are ineligible, this includes theatrical, TV, VOD, or internet play. *All Icelandic films that have not been shown on TV, VOD, or internet play in Iceland are eligible.

Overall Rating
  • A young, different festival with personality. It was a real honor to be part of the official selection.

    February 2024
  • Julien Allen

    Lovely festival - great promotion, curation and communication from the team too.

    December 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Julien! It was fantastic to include your film in our program!