(LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ) -- The 13th Annual Lighthouse International Film Festival's opening film this year will be Swan Song. Todd Stephens’ touching comedic drama will be shown on the big screen on Long Beach Island, NJ, following its virtual premiere at SXSW2021. The film will launch the festival, which will be held in person for four days, starting Thursday, June 3rd.
Swan Song follows retired hairdresser Pat Pitsenbarger who has given up on life from the confines of his small-town Sandusky, Ohio nursing home. But when Pat gets word that a former client's dying wish was for him to style her final hairdo, he sets out on an epic journey across the midwest town to confront the ghosts of his past—and collect the beauty supplies necessary for the job. The film is a comical and bittersweet journey about rediscovering oneself, and looking gorgeous while doing so.
SWAN SONG was created by Sandusky-born, New York-based director and screenwriter Todd Stephens, and stars Udo Kier (My Own Private Idaho, Melancholia, Grindhouse), Linda Evans (Dynasty), Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie, Legally Blonde), Michael Urie, Ira Hawkins, & Stephanie McVay. Producers: Todd Stephens, Eric Eisenbrey, Tim Kaltenecker, and Stephen Israel. The film will be released in cinemas on August 6, 2021 by Magnolia Pictures.
“I am honored to have my film chosen as the Opening Night selection for the fabulous Lighthouse Film Festival," said Todd Stephens. "For me, Swan Song is about rediscovering the joys of life, and I think this is the perfect occasion to laugh, cry, and dance together once again. It's been so long since we've all been together, and Lighthouse is beaming the way."
Amir Bogen, Executive Director of the Lighthouse International Film Festival added, "We couldn’t be more proud of our opening night film, Swan Song. Ten years ago, this bittersweet, intimate, and magnetizing drama would probably have been labeled as an LGBTQ film, for LGBTQ film festivals and an LGBTQ audience. But when you drop all the prejudice, the tendency to mark and tag and flag everything, you can clearly see the film for what it is: a celebration of humanity, full of kindness, openness, honesty, lightheartedness, humor, and optimism. After such a dark year, we at Lighthouse International Film Festival are ready to show our audience the light once again, in all shades and colors — so many of which are in Todd Stephens’ drama. And while it’s ironic to open a festival with a movie called Swan Song, we promise it’s only the beginning of an amazing live event with an exciting lineup of films, guests, and meetups.”
Long Beach Island, New Jersey has sandy beaches, exciting surfing spots, and amazing local restaurants, but Lighthouse International Film Festival is much more than just a fun destination festival. We are proud to annually host notable, world-renowned filmmakers and their incredible films. Since its founding in 2009, the festival continues to grow and gain recognition as a major cultural event on the East Coast. Every year, LIFF attracts filmmakers young and old, actors, editors, and fans — all of whom come to the island to see exciting new films and meet their creators. In 2020, LIFF was the first fully operational drive-in film festival with six screenings per day of new films, including many world premieres. The LBI community welcomes the world with open arms, inviting everyone to enjoy the festival's special, one-of-a-kind atmosphere.