The Northern Wave International Short Film Festival is retiring from the festival scene for now. The festival started 15 years ago when there were very few International Film Festivals in Iceland. The landscape has changed a lot with so many ambitious and well organised festivals all over the country now. This is the change we wanted to see when we started the festival so now is a good time for our festival to retire and make space for new energy.

In the past 15 years around 800 short films and music videos have been screened at the festival. We’ve had amazing honorary guests, from Oscar Winning Sound designer Mark Berger, to music video legend, Romain Garvas and legendary producer Gale Ann Hurd as well as a selection of our most talented local filmmakers.

We want to thank all the directors who had their films at the festival, all the musicians who played and showed their videos. Everyone who’s ever been on the jury, all the staff and volunteers and last but not least we want to thank the Culture Council of West of Iceland who are the reason this festival started in the first place.

The festival was celebrated for 7 years in Grundarfjörður and for 7 years at the wonderful Freezer in Rif . We want to send special thanks to Grundarfjörður and Snæfellsbær for hosting the festival.

The ideology of Northern Wave to nourish new and interesting voices continues, now with Northern Wave Productions, founded by festival director Dögg Mósesdóttir. More on Northern Wave Productions on

Best International short
Best Icelandic short
Best Icelandic music video


We open for all submissions in April on FilmFreeway.


The Northern Wave International short film festival is a juried competition, open to any independent or student filmmaker worldwide. Works will be considered for competition only if they are of a total running time of 35 minutes or less, and were completed after January 1, two years prior to the festival. The Festival committee reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project.
All selected short films are in competition and we accept all forms of short films, documentary, fiction and animation. Video art and experimental films are not part of the official competition and have a special exhibition room.
The festival has three award categories, foreign films, Icelandic films and Icelandic music videos.


The Northern Wave International Film Festival only accepts online preview copies of the film. We no longer accept dvd’s. We do make an exceptions for submissions from countries with poor internet connections. For further information contact us on
A completed entry form must be submitted with each project. Multiple submissions by the same director and/or Production Company are accepted, but a separate completed form must accompany each film.
All submitted promotional materials become the property of the The Northern Wave International Short Film Festival and its presenting organization. These materials cannot be returned. By submitting this material and signing the release form, you acknowledge The Northern Wave IFF right to copy any material for the festival’s non-commercial use only.


All awards are presented at the close of the second night program of public exhibitions, saturday night.
The awards are:
Best foreign film Best Icelandic film Best Icelandic music video

All short films screened as Official Selections are eligible for the awards.


By signing the entry form, the filmmaker gives the The Northern wave International Short Film Festival permission to use all submitted promotional materials, including but not limited to film stills, descriptions, director’s biography and film screening history in any and all forms of media for the express purpose of festival promotion and publicity. Please note: The Northern Wave International Short Film Festival may petition filmmakers to use clips from Official Selection Films for both television and Internet publicity. However, the festival, will limit footage to less than one minute, and will not authorize television broadcast of any footage without the direct consent of the filmmaker and/or producers.

Overall Rating
  • Giita Hammond

    Northern Wave is a great film festival in a beautiful location! My short-film View from the Sea was screened in the pool in Ólafsvík, it was the perfect location for it.

    November 2022
  • I was on this festival and I did not enjoy it. It was so little info about the films so I just go and see some films, and not see many good films. Then them show films in the swimming hall in Ólafsvik. There was the sun shining in through the window and you not see the film. I will never go on that festival again, but that place the freezer was good and I will love to be there some times again.

    November 2022
  • Farshid Ayoobinejad

    The special festival in Europe

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, that means a lot to us!