Idlewild International Film Festival Debuts This Weekend!

The inaugural Idlewild International Film Festival kicks off this weekend!

“I think that it’s important that we all tell our own stories,” explained film festival curator and filmmaker Tinisha Brugnone.

Decades ago, excitement, tourists, and beautiful northern Michigan nature filled the village of Idlewild.

While that beauty never faded, the lively crowds did.

Brugnone wants to change that.

She says, “I came to Idlewild, saw how beautiful it was in terms of nature, had a great time. I actually ended up shooting a short film while I was there.”

She continued, “It started off really, really small. I started a little Facebook page and the next thing I know people just started sharing it. Next thing I know, we’re here today.”

Bringing a carefully curated 39 films from all over the world to Idlewild.

“Idlewild is in Lake County, which as we know, is one of the poorest, if not the poorest counties in Michigan. There’s not a lot of exposure to different things like media arts, so this is one way we can expose some of the young people and also the retired people, and everyone who comes here to media arts and different things like that,” said Brugnone.

For people like Eric Lindsey, who grew up in the village, it’s a promising sign Idlewild is returning to its roots.

He said, “Just to bring life back, the rejuvenation, bringing life back to Idlewild.”

The festival will take place at the historic site of the old Paradise Club.

“It used to be thousands of people in this area at one time. So you can imagine just the attitude, the liveliness, the music. Just having a part of that come back, coming back slowly, but just the fact that it’s coming back is really exciting to me,” explained Lindsey.

Brugnone expects roughly 200 people to fill the space for a weekend of fun, culture, and the arts.

“Just come and enjoy. If you ever get an opportunity to just come and meet some of the people, I believe it’ll be a place you fall in love with pretty fast,” said Lindsey.

9&10 News is very proud to say our special report “The Forgotten Paradise” will be featured at the event Friday night.

Tickets at the gate start at $20.

Guests should bring their own chairs, blankets and bug spray to enjoy the outdoor film venue.

For more information, click here to go to the film festival’s website.