Idyllwild finishes huge, with biggest crowds in its nine year history.
Gabriel Byrne, feature dramas, and an epic WWII featurette take top awards.
Moving traditional January event schedule to March proves a good strategy.

Idyllwild, CA – Thursday March 15, 2018. California’s fastest growing film festival, The Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, concluded its 9th season on March 11th. With strong sponsorship from the Riverside County Film Commission, a sold-out awards presentation ceremony was co-hosted by renowned actors Erika Christensen, Wolfgang Bodison and Ellen Show regular and Make-A-Wish Foundation spokes-kid Violet Brielle Spataro. Top winners of the 2018 “Idys” included Gabriel Byrne, who snagged the Best Actor trophy for his role in the British drama “Lies We Tell”, while the feature film “Hard Surfaces” took home Best Of Festival Overall Honors. Other top prizes went to “Butterfly Caught” Festival Director’s Choice Award, “Early Morning” Festival Producer’s Choice, and the short-form war epic “Krieg” Best of Festival-Audience Choice. The Best Feature Film trophy went to the outdoor adventure drama “Hunting Lands”.

With projects from over 20 countries, the 2018 IIFC schedule drew filmmakers and crowds from around the globe, and will continue into its 10th year in 2019 with possible AMPAS accreditation and a strong respect and global visibility to rival some of the world’s biggest independent film events. Under the leadership of international award winning director-screenwriter Stephen Savage, and award winning film and music video producer Trinity Houston, the Idyllwild CinemaFest is living up to its reputation as “The Greatest Little Film Festival On Earth”, and carrying forth the accolade bestowed upon it by LA Weekly Magazine, which hailed the festival “A Mini-Sundance”. Only two hours or so east of Los Angeles, this tree lined mountain village in Riverside County known as Idyllwild is nicknamed the Crown Jewel of Riverside County. With its grand alpine landscapes and friendly people, it is the perfect spot for an event such as IIFC. Filmmakers from Hollywood and around the globe are invited to make the trek to the nearly 6000 foot elevation each year to showcase their work to audiences in every age group and from all walks of life. There is even a children’s film festival, headed up be IIFC artist liaison Andrea Charles, to round out this eclectic and trendy film fest. IIFC prides itself on being a festival for filmmakers; a sanctuary where up and coming movie directors, actors, and producers can present their work alongside the movers and shakers of Hollywood. Idyllwild supports its filmmakers with an understanding and respect few other festivals can manage.

You may view the 2018 schedule, as well as access the full festival program and the complete list of winners by visiting:

The IIFC schedule for 2019 will run from March 5 through March 10, with film submissions opening on May 1st, 2018.


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