The Cinematic Griot Collective brings to you "IIFF 2021” an outdoor film screening under the stars in the Historical African American Community of Idlewild, Michigan. We are super excited to bring more creative energy to this rural community! Our event includes all day family activities to include: yoga lessons, meditation, belly dancing, filmmaking workshops and so much more!

The Idlewild International Film Festival showcases the works of WOMEN filmmakers from all walks of life telling vibrant and unique stories. The festival will take primarily outdoors on the picturesque Lindsey Park Festival grounds. The entire weekend will be filled with short films, tours of the Island, art, music, food, and fun!

The Idlewild International Film Festival features carefully curated films, documentaries and music videos. This festival will also include an art and photography exhibit.

Idlewild, once called the “Black Eden of Michigan”, is known for it's beautiful beaches, glistening lakes, and native wildlife. During the height of it's popularity, travelers from all over the country would go there to experience the exciting nightlife. Regularly featuring entertainers such as the legendary Lena Horne, Motown's The Four Tops and stage and screen star Della Reese.

After segregation ended, more entertainers of color were free to perform anywhere in the country and Idlewild became somewhat forgotten. Over the past two decades, there has been a renewed interest in Idlewild. Many new business and venues have sprung up in the Idlewild community and in 2019 we invite you to join us in making history (again) by attending the second Idlewild International Film Festival.

Our Mission:

The Cinematic Griot Collective is a network of filmmakers, artists, and creatives who create and showcase, inspiring and unique culturally relevant works. We aim to reach beyond the surface with non-linear perspectives and creations. Traveling throughout forgotten communities, we bring to the forefront people and places that are often overlooked, misrepresented and forgotten.


Best Series
Best Short Film
Best Feature Narrative
Spirit of Idlewild International Film Fest Award
Best Short/Micro Short
Best Student Film
Best Trailer
Best Music Video
Producers Award
Best Director
Best Performance
Best Production Design
Best Cinematography
Best Short Documentary
Best Feature Documentary
Most Trend Setting, Daring, and Out The Box
Best Foreign/International Film
Audience Choice Award

General Rules and Regulations:

All submissions must include at least ONE of the following; Female Director, Producer, Writer or, Director of Photography.

Entries limited to Short Narratives and Documentaries, Micro Short Narratives and Documentaries, Talk Shows, Webisodes, Cooking Shows, Trailers and Music Videos.

Women over 30 making their directorial debut are encouraged to submit!

Student Films are accepted.

Filmmakers retain all rights to their film/intellectual property.

All non-English speaking films must include English subtitles.

Agreement of Participation

By submitting to the Idlewild International Film Festival, I confirm that I have read and accepted the terms and regulations of IIFF.

I will provide the festival with any additional information required pursuant to these rules and regulations.

I authorize the IIFF to exhibit my film, and if selected, I confirm that an exhibition copy will be available in a required format for screening during the 2021 festival (August 20 through August 22rd).

I certify that I hold all necessary rights for the submission of this film/video to the IIFF and that all rights and clearances have been made.

This film is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation. I hold IIFF harmless from damage to, or loss of any or all materials en route to, from or otherwise at the festival. I assume all legal responsibilities therein.

By Agreeing to these terms, I transfer to IIFF the right to use excerpts of the submitted film, its stills, and trailers, for the purposes of publicity and marketing of the film at the 2021 festival, and for other uses related to the promotion of the Idlewild International Film festival.

I hereby agree to indemnify IIFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.

Overall Rating
  • Krisilyn frazier

    What an amazing experience! The entire staff was kind and supportive. Not only were there film festival events but there were also other community opportunities as well. What a great chance to camp under the beautiful Michigan stars, participate in yoga, go on a bus tour to learn about the historic black community of Idlewild and network with other artist and community leaders. To merge film, history, and nature into one event....unforgettable. Thank you Idlewild International Film Festival and I will see you next year.

    October 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank You Krisilyn! We are so happy we were able to provide a positive experience for you and look forward to seeing you next year!

  • Wonderful festival in beautiful Idlewild, Michigan! Consistent and reliable communication, friendly people and an overall amazing festival. Looking forward to next year!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank You Paisley! See you next year!

  • Yuhong Pang

    It's a great festival to be part of! I'm honored to screen our film in the community and appreciate the work that you have put in to make it an interesting and meaningful festival!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank You and good luck with your future endeavors!

  • Shannon Meilak

    What a great community festival. I was lucky enough to be selected for their first ever festival run and felt really welcomed and supported. Although I was not able to personally attend, it looks like the festival went well and it was great to see the art of film reach rural locations, especially such a historical location. I feel privileged to have been a part of it. Good luck with your future festivals - job well done!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank You Shannon!

  • Tonya Core

    The festival was much different than any other festival I've ever attended. It was the beautiful star-lit sky at night that made my film shine bright at the outdoor venue! Next year, I'll be more prepared and make sure I enjoy some water sports and other outdoor actives that beautiful Idlewild has to offer!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Can't wait to see you in 2020! Thank you for your support!