The Idyllwild International Festival Of Cinema is dedicated to showcasing emerging talent in both studio and independent film. Our goal is to provide a forum where emerging filmmakers can connect with industry professionals to advance and promote their work in motion pictures.

The Idy Awards (Idyllwild Film Awards) have become one of California's most prestigious film festival prizes. For 2020 IIFC will hand out Idys in the following categories:

Best Actor (Feature, Short/Featurette)
Best Actress (Feature, Short/Featurette)
Best Supporting Actor (Feature)
Best Supporting Actress (Feature)
Best Ensemble Cast (Feature, Short/Featurette)
Best Director (Feature, Short, Featurette)
Best Director (Documentary)
Best Screenplay (Feature, Short, Featurette)
The Roger Taylor Awards for Best Original Score (Feature, Short, Featurette)
Juan Ruiz Anchia Best Cinematography Awards (Feature, Short, Featurette)
Best Documentary (Overall)
Best Feature Film
Best Foreign Feature Film
Best Featurette
Best Foreign Featurette
Best Short Film
Best Foreign Short Film
Golden Era Humanitarian Film Awards (x2)
The Mary Austin Women In Independent Film Awards (Directing, Producing, Screenwriting )
The Mary Austin Screenplay Competition ($500 Prize)
New Media Award (Music Videos, Web Series, Informative)
Audience Choice Award
The Summerhawk Native Film Award
Vimeo Best Animation Trophy
Festival Producer's Choice Award
Festival Director's Choice Award
Best of Festival Award

Awards categories are subject to change depending on the number of selected films in a particular genre. The organizers of the festival reserve the right to place a film in a category other than that in which it is submitted.


Terms & Conditions

IIFC is open to U.S. and Foreign films in the following 13 categories:
Feature Films (over 60min)
Featurettes (15min-60min)
Short Films (under 15min)
Documentary - Features (over 60min)
Documentary - Featurettes (15min-60min)
Documentary - Shorts (Under 15min)
Student Films - under age 18 (Under 15 min)
Student Films - age 18-23 (All lengths)
Foreign - Features (over 60min)
Foreign - Featurettes (15min-60min)
Foreign - Shorts (Under 15min)
Animations (All lengths)
New Media: Web Series -2 episodes no longer than 14 mins total, Music Video, Informative Shorts.
Humanitarian Films (All Lengths)

Entry Requirements and Rules:
1. To be eligible, an entry must have been completed in 2018 or 2019.
*All film entries must be submitted through FilmFreeway to be considered for selection.
2. Fully completed entry form submitted through FilmFreeway with current contact information.
3. Entry Fees must be paid before your project will be considered. You must submit your film to the correct category (please see category guidelines) and pay the submission fees for that category.
4. All entries and supporting materials for all deadlines must arrive on or before December 21, 2019.
5. Non-English language produced films must be dubbed in English or contain English subtitles.
6. All entry fees are non-refundable.
7. Student Films must include your high school (or lower grade) or college or Film School in the appropriate section of your entry on FilmFreeway.
8. Selected film entries will be notified no later than January 1, 2020 via FilmFreeway and posting on our website.
9. All entrants grant IIFC the right to use an excerpt from the accepted films (not exceeding 3 minutes) for promotional purposes in any and all media, including the festival website.

**Films which have been broadcast on TV or cable, or have had a theatrical or streaming release prior to IIFC 2020 opening day, are not eligible for competition but may be considered for screening during the festival at the discretion of the festival director.


• Films may only be submitted digitally through FilmFreeway. Link and Password to fully finished, full resolution project must be provided at the time of submission. Links and passwords must remain active until March 15, 2020. ( Please visit the HELP section of FilmFreeway for instructions on how to upload your film.) If you have received notification of acceptance into our festival, you will need to authorize IIFC to download your submission.

• We do not accept unfinished works. What you submit is what will be screened if accepted.

• All Submissions must include a full resolution digital poster one sheet .jpg as well as 2 productions stills from the film.

• Deadline fees will be strictly observed. ALL FEES MUST BE PAID before your project will be considered.

• The online submission form must be completed in full when submitting through FilmFreeway. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that your online entry form and required entry materials are properly submitted. IIFC reserves the right to disqualify any submission if improperly submitted.

• Your completed entry and selection automatically allows IIFC full rights and licensing to utilize your project’s title, cast and crew info, screen grabs, artwork, etc., for promotional uses worldwide.

• Student film entries must include full information of filmmaker’s educational institute at the time of project’s completion, a copy of Student's Educational ID and enrollment verification showing attendance at Institution at time of projects completion

Nominations and Awards:

• Unless IIFC is instructed otherwise, all film entries will be considered for nomination.

• Each project accepted into IIFC will be required to provide a clip from the film. The clip must appear in the finished film and be no longer than 2 minutes in length. The clip must be the same resolution as the submitted film. These clips may be used during the Awards Ceremony for the films with nominations.

• Directors/Producers must submit a scene clip for each Actor/Actress they wish to have nominated. The clip must appear in the finished film and be no longer than 1 Minute in length. The clip must be the same resolution as the submitted film.

• Award winners will be selected from the highest rated films that went through a panel of judges, including film industry professionals. Winners agree to participate in the publicity for the Festival as well as other promotional events, including the website. The determination of the winners is final.


• Filmmakers attending the festival are responsible for travel, lodging, and all other expenses.
Filmmakers accepted into the IIFC will be entitled to the following:
• Two Filmmaker Badges granting access to
 All films, panels, and seminars apart from fundraising events
 Entrance to parties
 Entrance to all Industry Networking Events, Etc.
 You will have the opportunity to purchase discounted passes and tickets in advance for additional filmmakers, crew, and actors attending the festival with your film.

The number(s), date(s), time(s), and location(s) of the screenings of films are at the discretion of the Festival.

Participation in the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema implies understanding and acceptance of all terms included in this application. By submitting your entry, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to the General Rules, and to the Terms and Conditions listed.

IIFC retains the right to shift any accepted project into a categorie(s) other than that which the project was originally submitted.

Overall Rating
  • Gene Blalock

    Always a great time at this festival! We hope to be back next season!

    April 2019
  • This was the 10th fest for my short film. This was the only fest that felt like I was being "up sold". The screening date provided was midweek. That's ok, But if I wanted a better slot with more exposure (who wouldn't) it would cost extra. An early Saturday slot was cheaper than an evening Saturday spot. My film received 10 nominations. That's great. But lots of films received a fair amount of noms. That translates to more people buying tickets for the awards ceremony. If you wanted early (best) seating at the ceremony, you could buy a classic car shuttle to a red carpet. I received 2 awards. So this isn't just sour apples. It just felt like a fest that if your film got into, you could buy your way to some clout & elbow rubbing. Which is not horrible IF the clout & elbow rubbing are with people who can help with you career.

    April 2019
    Response from festival:

    Hi Erik. You won 2 awards but still seem unsatisfied. We are not sure how to reconcile that, but we do hope you understand that many filmmakers are quite excited to know that for just a few dollars they can have control over when and where they screen, giving them the chance to promote to audiences beforehand and be showcased at an hour and date that suits their promotional plan. This program has been a huge success for IIFC, and we are sorry it didn't work for you, But again, two awards. Congratulations. Well done.

  • Once you get "on the hill" you know this is a darling of a festival. Great film lineup, avid community support, informative panels and entertaining parties to make connections with other filmmakers. And then the red carpet treatment for the awards ceremony. Would go back even if we didn't have a film screening. Thanks to Steven Savage and Andrea Charles for a wonderful weekend in Idyllwild.

    March 2019
  • The Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema was a very pleasant surprise. The Rustic is an excellent venue for screenings. It is a fully modernized room with surround sound, the best big screen projection of my work so far and super comfy sofa-like seats. But this greatest little festival on Earth has outgrown it's size and new plans are surely coming their way to expand due to it's popularity and increasing attendance of both filmmakers and audiences. It was possible to watch a ton of movies, many of which had more than one screenings. There were regular parties arranged for all filmmakers and excellent networking opportunities. This time, I decided to meet the makers for each movie I watched, before watching the movie. This worked great giving me a chance to have a little knowledge about the makers yet keep the surprise about the movie, which is always my preference. My feature received the Best Director Feature Film Award and the Producer's Choice Award at The Hemet Historic Theater. The ceremony was impressive. Yes, it was an awards ceremony, but it was also a show with a perfect balance of award deliveries and a very fitting musical live act that did not play too little or two much. The room itself provided space enough to house over 400 seated people. So far the best awards ceremony I have attended, as a whole. Finally, but probably most importantly, the staff rests on two pillars made of Stephen Savage, Founder and Festival Director and Trinity Huston, Executive Producer. Both well established and knowledgeable professionals within the industry who obviously know what they are doing. It is also very relevant to mention Andrea Charles's welcoming support. She is the filmmaker liaison and the one person you will connect with from the outside while the rest of the team are putting it all together from the inside. But ALL the people working for the festival were super nice. And then there is the location in the mountains. Beautiful scenery. I have made new local friends in an artist community with it's own cool film festival that includes good selections, good networking, good entertainment, great organization and it just celebrated it's 10th birthday. I can only wish to get back in with my next movie. Highly, highly recommended! <3

    March 2019
  • Jason Honeycutt

    I love how this festival has grown over the years and I've been lucky to have connected with my last three films, getting acceptances. Where to begin? When I walked in this year, to the commotion of the first welcome party, I was immediately recognized by Andrea (who somehow figures everything out for the filmmakers; schedules, screeners, etc.) and says my name, big hug. Then I came around the corner and Trinity was there (runs the festivals with Stephen)... big hug, again remembers me. I've been to, now, over 100 festivals and not once was this happened where I've repeated films. Here? It's a family. And it's amazing to see some of the other filmmakers from years past and getting to meet the new ones. The festival has grown so much, too... where in the past, the screenings weren't as full but my film played to a packed house. What I love about the festival is the town of Idyllwild... and on top of it, the people from the town come to support the films. To me, that's the mark of a great festival, where you generate public interest, instead of a handful of filmmakers in an empty theater watching each other's films (like almost every big city festival, especially in LA). Also, my films have somehow won awards every year... the first winning 'Screenwriting,' the second getting 'Best Supporting Actor', and this year was 'Best Supporting Actress' and the one I've honestly really wanted for years; 'Cinematography.' This is KEY... why? Because, for me at least, it's launched my films into other festivals, opening doors. A week after Idyllwild, the film won "Best Film" at another festival and got into a number more festivals based on these wins, I assume. I know not everyone can win something but, for me, it's done wonders for the trajectory of my films. Idyllwild will ALWAYS be a festival where I submit.

    March 2019