Shirley Sui, winner of the Best Student Film under 18 Award gives her acceptance speech at the IIFC Awards Ceremony.
Photo by Tom Kluzak

With growing polish and confidence, the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema closed out a hugely successful eighth year stronger than ever. The awards ceremony was co-hosted by Oscar-nominated actress Anne Archer and IIFC Director Stephen Savage.

For the first time in festival history, the top awards went to documentaries. Cassie Jaye’s controversial examination of the Men’s Rights Movement, “The Red Pill,”  took the Chuck Washington Best of Festival trophy and Fran Strine’s in-depth homage to studio-backing musicians, “Hired Gun,” took Best Documentary and Audience Choice statues. “The Red Pill” also garnered awards in directing and producing. 

Feature film “Changeover” from Estes Tarver took top honors in its category and “Standpoint” from Idyllwild Arts Academy took home five statues, including Best Short Film and four honors in acting and production.

On the international scene, top honors went to films from India, Kosovo and the United Kingdom.

Audience draw was strongest for the premiere of Stephen Savage’s “Tucker’s War,” a Western drama TV pilot which played to two standing-room-only houses.

IIFC Executive Producer Trinity Houston said, “We received overwhelming response from our international filmmakers that this festival is, as was reported by the Hollywood Reporter a few years back, ‘The greatest little film festival on earth!’ We got the most compliments from attending filmmakers that we have ever had. They were charmed by the town, our staff and the warmth they felt from Idyllwild. We’re really focusing on independent filmmakers and helping them to hone their craft.

“I was also able to meet with more Idyllwild locals and felt more support from them. We look forward to building and expanding that relationship in the years to come.”

The full list of winners is now online here.