About ILFF


The InLight Film Festival is aimed at promoting and supporting ethnographic documentary films on Indiana University’s campus. Documentary films have long been used as effective teaching aids and, at the same time, as tools for public debate on contemporary socio-political issues. Through this festival, we wish to create a bridge to facilitate dialogue between professionals in the field and the general public. By engaging professors and students from a wide range of disciplines in the planning and implementation of the festival, we are focused on creating a professional team with experience in ethnography, film production, and festival organizing. Furthermore, the festival aims at creating valuable resources for students who would like to use ethnographic film in their scholarly projects.


Civic Engagement and Education

  • To encourage dialogue of human rights, international events, and other aspects of global culture
  • To identify and create a loyal audience for ethnographic film on IU’s campus and within the Bloomington community
  • To bring professional filmmakers and professional anthropologists together and encourage public dialogue on relevant topics

Ethnographic, Documentary Filmmaking

  • To familiarize the broader audience with ethnographic/anthropological films and to provide established professionals with an opportunity to enjoy the genre in a professional setting
  • To further use the festival as a center for ethnographic film workshops for those interested in using film as part of their field research and professional work
  • To create a gateway between students who are looking for a way to pursue their love of film and professionals from the field.
  • To provide community members with an opportunity to see films created by students, professional anthropologists and professional filmmakers, at all levels of production—“work in progress”, premieres, acclaimed new documentaries—all valuable sources in the field that interested people have not been given the opportunity to view yet

Professional and Scholarly Networking

  • To establish a professional network for students who aim at using ethnographic film in their work
  • To create a close collaboration between key departments within the university and IU Cinema within the field of visual anthropology.
  • To increase IU Cinema’s portfolio with ethnographic documentary films, by committing to an event spread across several days.
  • To establish the InLight Film Festival as a tradition, in turn making IU and Bloomington a US hub for the ethnographic and human rights documentary genre.
  • To establish the festival on the worldwide ethnographic and human rights film festival circuit