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RIFF Sixth edition

RIFF SIXTH EDITION has been celebrated in the middle of a post COVID situation, when creators, as most people in the world, have been in constant alert and reflecting on art, humanity, equality, urban madness, age, feminine perspectives and all sort of transcendental ideas in the environment of a health and social crises.

The festival received very interesting films. Hence the films that the jury chose to be part of the award have not only intensity in their metaphors and narratives, but also have a high level in terms of art completion and in composition as films that have certain relation with dance and art. Also some chosen films are more traditional feature or short films.

The official selection is a collection of films from all over the world, including four films from Norway, and consists of dance film, screendance, art film, short film, feature film and documentaries. 
The jury has selected 4 short films and 2 long films to be awarded and 2 other films to receive an Honorary Mention.


All awarded films are so different between them, then, RIFF AWARD 2021 is a good example of the diversity that RIFF has been including in the festival. We are so proud to announce this award, which contains 2 films made by norwegian creators. And we also have a winner chosen by the audience. 

The jury

Caroline Kløvrud (NO)

Caroline is an editor/videographer. She was born and raised in Eina, Norway; educated from The Norwegian Television School and she’s now working at The Oslo Company and Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.


Caroline’s genre speciality is documentary, but she also works with reality, fiction and music programs. She is a young and innovative film creator who believes film contains a magic element – the ability to transport the audience to another time and place: with that tool we can evoke emotions and change people's perceptions. 

Cecilie Lindeman Steen (NO)

Dancer. Educated from National Academy of Dance in Oslo (1985), followed by studies at Central School of Ballet in London (1986). Steen’s performance work stretches over 35 years, is mainly related to the independent dance field, except two years in Carte Blanche, participating in about hundred productions as well as singular performances, improvisations, events and concerts. The performance activity includes wide national, Nordic and European touring.


She’s collaborated with a wide range of choreographers and other artists. Of special importance, Cecilie has been in a close collaboration with choreographer Ina Christel Johannessen since 1984. For the past five years she’s worked in collaboration with Shanti Brahmachari, Kristina Gjems and Mia Habib.


Since 2015, Steen has worked adapting several choreographic and poetic scores by choreographer/author Janne-Camilla Lyster. (Cecilie photograph by Tale Hendnes.)

Ella Fiskum (NO) - RIFF Artistic  Director

Ella hails from Trondheim, Norway. She was educated at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, under Natalia Papina in St. Petersburg, and at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart.


After working extensively as a contemporary dancer, she founded Ella Fiskum Danz working both as a choreographer, dancer, director, and producer. With 30 years of experience, producing over 19 full length stage productions and 21 films, she has received international awards and toured the world.


In 2012 Fiskum relocated to a farm outside Oslo for the purpose of building up R.E.D. - an International Center for the Arts, which she is running. R.E.D. became a Regional Competence Center for Dance in 2018, and, since 2021, it’s funded by the government.


She received the Vestre Toten Culture Prize in 2019, OA in 2020, and a five year working Government Grant (2021-2025). Fiskum founded RIFF in 2015.

Yolanda M. Guadarrama (MX) - RIFF Curator

Yolanda M. Guadarrama. Mexican. Engineer, dancer, choreographer, audiovisual creator, coeditor of MOHO Magazine and Editorial. She is dedicated to the creation, exhibition and promotion of screendance, she made her first screendance in 1994.


Movimiento en Movimiento Director (2013-2022). She was Cofounder of Motion festival in Berlin, 2008. Curator for RIFF festival, Norway for 7 years. She was a Screendance judge at LIFF, UK, 2017.


Her work AILING ANIMAL obtained honorable mention in Agite y Sirva, 2015. POTATO EATERS obtained first place as an experimental short, Eurasia International Monthly Film Festival, 2018.


Her works have been exhibited in several international festivals. She is a member of RED IBEROAMERICANA DE VIDEODANZA-Screendance Iberoamerican Net (REDIV).


This is a very special story with such nice, colourful footage and very good rhythm. It might be seen as humoristic or poetic of just a bit delirious. The truth is that this film very ingeniously constructs a narrative that speaks about the lack of originality in all kinds of fashions in the current way of life, from family coexistence to the choices that children, adolescents and adults make to exercise their freedom to be original. The images, the shots, the references to the past and the present are selected with great detail and in a harmonic and pleasant cut. We applaud the result as a very artistic and thoughtful film, as it helps us to see our society in a different way.

Short Film Winner: The End of Originality

It’s a very strong film, with a surprising form, where two layers of film get to work together in a very condensed way. It manages to say something about humanity's inherent negative forces, and how we are driven or seduced by these forces within ourselves: the tension between the individual and the collective as humanity, and how they both fight against, being also part of human violence in history. This tension is visible through the individual's almost animated naked body, which shows certain aggressive and symbolic mass actions in its inner being-image, as well as the animal tension, represented by animals and insects taking over the body, that becomes a metaphor of our natural savage nature.

Short Film Winner: Contemplation of Catastrophe

Swans in stone is a film inspired by petroglyphs from Alta and the motif "Two Swans in Stone", taken from petroglyphs outside Belamorsk in the Republic of Karelia. This film manages to show great beauty through the combination of a fine-strong choreography and the cinematic composition.


A particularly prominent quality of the film is how it is able to create many layers of textures with landscapes, costumes, skin, rhythm of water and so on. All enhanced by the film's visual images in black and white. And these multifaceted layers are also amplified by surprising shifts of perspectives, between foreground and background, or between what is moving or being moved. It is a consistent dynamic and cinematic composition. Furthermore, the dimension of humanity as wanderers in the nature and in the world, gives an idea of the enormous difficulties that the human kind fronts when inhabiting our house: the planet Earth.

Short Film Winner: Swans in Stone

It’s an impressive film. It shows a composition where music and sound struggle powerfully alive together with images and choreography integrated into the filming, either as just sound, or also where the piano playing is filmed. The piece of music, the sound, the play and the tactility of the sound are both fine-tuned and strongly present and are a key element in the film. At the beginning this film provokes a dizzying sensation. Dante Sonata creates layers of staging, displaying the theatre in the theatre, and the way the theatre's conventions are both used and broken. The characters express themselves through a classical dance language and also through a more experimental body expression. The couple is driven by natural and animal forces, they deny and attract to each other. The strength of classical music, design language, layers of staging and choreography, all combined manage to set on a great Dance Film.

Short Film Winner: Dante Sonata

This feature film is so different to all films that we have see before. The photography, sound and edit is elaborated in a very good combination, and the fragments of typical dance films are superb and coherent with the whole feature film. The narrative is out of the real life, creating situations that build the environment of free-happy diversity in sexuality and family-friends relationships. It contains many layers and complexity to narrate a possible normal life of a woman who does her elections to stablish her personal preferences when becoming an adult. It is so impressive how the film knits all this fantastic imaginary-possible world. The director manages to mantain a very interesting film with narrative based in dance and imaginative situations, as sometimes the same character is represented by a woman and sometimes by a man. It finally is a matter of the construction of Identity of young people that get the elections when chosing various genders for their personalities.

Feature Film Winner: AVIVA

This is a very pleasant and touching documentary to follow. The story makes parallels and contrasts between youngsters and elders of the same family who are dedicated to dance. The director choses photographs and transitions of the whole editing very carefully, managing to do a complete art piece. The ingenious way the protagonist uses to bring back the memory of a woman that is losing her ability to remember things is very resourceful and attractive.

Documentary: Butterfly Dresses

This strong film contains a distinctive cinematic language. It consists of only four filmed scenes in a room, filmed from a fixed perspective. We are settled at the "leftovers" of a party. In a dim lighting we see misplaced bodies in a cluster. Bodies, movements and faces flow into each other. All eyes are turned away, closed to us, except for a woman's gaze, which we can glimpse. We probably "see" the film through her partially absent glance.

The beautiful dark rooms of the film Shivering Wall formally vibrate with many dark undertones and sensations, but all what is dimly present is masterly composed and choreographed. A metaphor? Maybe the loss of virginity of teenagers when they learn their way in the couple or multi-couple path of their life. It’s a meaningful instant of a maturing in life.

Honorary Mention: Shivering Wall

We are delighted to see how a woman has the whole dance memory that she lived in her body, as this documentary follows her life as a dancer from her early years, when she was an active performer with famous experimental and avant-gard choreographers during the development of Contemporary Dance of the late twentieth Century; also participating as a choreographer in multiple scenaries. The documentary does not show the choreographies themself, but shows the story that she makes of her experience as a witness of her own practice around dance and risk on art. This is a monument to dance, experiment and art.

Honorary Mention: TRIXIE

“I”, by Fabio Cataldo, Paride Caricato, Valentina Marrocco. Italy.

Audience Award Winner: I