(LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ) -- The Lighthouse International Film Festival has announced its 2022 documentary competition program which includes inspiring, creative, and cutting-edge films from the USA and around the world. The Festival will take place on Long Beach Island, New Jersey (LBI) between June 2-5, a long weekend that offers exciting in-person events, film screenings, panel discussions, networking events, and parties. The Festival’s line-up will include dramatic features competition, shorts competition, episodics competition, high-school students' films competition, surf films screening, and spotlight and headliner features.
The documentary competition will bring to the big-screen eight compelling real-life stories. There is the fight for climate change as shown in Rich Felgate's Finite: The Climate of Change (United Kingdom) that will be having its USA premiere on LBI, to the gender-bending intimate portrait in Philipp Fussenegger's, I Am The Tigress (Austria). There is the fascinating scientific work in Sam Smartt's Luminous (USA), to the stylistically striking animation of Eternal Spring (Canada) by Jason Loftus, that reenacts the plot to hijack Chinese television by human right activists. Then there is the biography of Russian movie-star Oleg Vidov in Nadia Tass's OLEG (USA, narrated by Brian Cox). The free-spirited micro-budget Jacaranda (USA) by Austin Spies presents a glimpse of life during Covid19 in Los Angeles. Finally, included in the documentary competition, are the exciting action documentaries Exposure by Holly Morris (USA) which follows a delegation of middle-eastern and western women on a mission to reach the North Pole, as well as On The Edge by Rina Papish (Israel) which offers an intimate portrayal of a base jumper who became paralyzed after an accident as he tries to come to terms with his new life. LIFF has consistently sought out films that are daring, courageous, and which present a multicultural view of the world and the important issues facing us today.
Lighthouse International Film Festival is a much anticipated annual event in the tri-state area, attracting filmmakers, press and visitors to Long Beach Island for a 4-day cinematic experience. It is designed to be a cultural event that combines brand new outstanding features, documentaries, episodics, and shorts, from renowned festivals around the world with the fun chill atmosphere of LBI and its beaches, unique galleries and shops, outstanding restaurants, and beach bars. Long Beach Island is conveniently located close to New York and Philadelphia (just an hour and a half drive from both) and attracts filmmakers, press and cinephiles from the USA and beyond.
In recent years, the festival has hosted high-caliber guests and jurors from the indie film industry, including some of the leading filmmakers in the American independent film industry such as Oscar winners Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar (American Factory), Oscar winner Guy Nattiv (Skin), filmmakers Riley Stearns (The Art of Self Defense), Dash Shaw (Cryptozoo), Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz (The Peanut Butter Falcon), Alex Thompson and Kelly O'Sullivan (Saint Frances), two times Sundance winner Ondi Timoner (Dig, We Live in Public), Oscar nominee Tomer Shushan (White Eye), indie film producers Lizzie Shapiro (Shiva Baby), Jonathan Duffy (Sorry to Bother You), Scott Rosenfelt (Home Alone), and acclaimed documentary directors Lynne Sachs, Keith Maitland (Tower) and Sonia Kennebeck (Enemy of The State) along with other prestigious filmmakers.
Eternal Spring - Dir: Jason Loftus; Canada, 1 hour and 25 minutes. In March 2002, a state TV signal in China was hacked by members of the banned spiritual group Falun Gong. Their goal is to counter the government narrative about their practice. Combining present-day footage and 3D animation made with Daxiong’s comics art, the film retraces the event on its 20th anniversary, and brings to life an unprecedented story of defiance, harrowing eyewitness accounts of persecution, and an exhilarating tale of determination to speak up for political and religious freedoms, no matter the cost.
Exposure - Dir: Holly Morris; USA, 1 hour and 28 minutes. Against all odds and polar advice, a Muslim chaplain, a French biologist, a Qatari princess and eight other women from the Arab World and the West attempt to ski across the melting Arctic sea ice to the North Pole. Director Holly Morris and her crew capture the struggle of these boundary-breaking adventurers who, led by veteran polar explorer Felicity Aston, navigate everything from frostbite and polar bear threats, to sexism and self-doubt in an intimate story of resilience, survival and global citizenry.
Finite: The Climate of Change - Dir: Rich Felgate; United Kingdom, 1 hour and 38 minutes (US Premiere). Concerned citizens in Germany step forward to save an ancient forest from one of Europe’s biggest coal mines. They form an unlikely alliance with a frustrated community in rural northeast England who are forced into action to protect their homes from a new mine.
Click here to view a trailer on the film's website.
Jacaranada - Dir: Austin Spies; USA, 2 hours. Jacaranda captures the very brief yearly bloom of a special purple tree in Los Angeles, presented alongside the experience of three different individuals, during the summer of 2020 and the early days of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Shot by a one-person crew, blending elements of documentary and narrative filmmaking.
I Am The Tigress - Dir: Philipp Fussenegger; Austria/Germany, 1 hour and 20 minutes (US Premiere). An observational style documentary that aims to visually capture the internal and external journey of our protagonist, Tischa “The Tigress” Thomas, during the last year of her career as a female bodybuilder. The film shows her switching from one stage to the next—whether as dominatrix, bodybuilder, grandmother, or girlfriend. In the portrayal of Trisha, opposites merge; moments of capitulation and victory, everyday life and state of emergency blend. The tigress prowls through extremes.
Luminous - Dir: Sam Smartt; USA, 1 hour and 35 minutes (East Coast Premiere). An astronomer stumbles upon a strange star, launching a journey of scientific discovery that leads his unlikely team into the international spotlight. In production since 2014, LUMINOUS follows Larry Molnar's five-year journey to test his unprecedented prediction, knowing that its success or failure will unfold squarely in the international spotlight.
Oleg - Dir: Nadia Tass; USA, 1 hour and 37 minutes. 'Oleg' is a feature-length doc which tells the life story of Oleg Vidov, one of the most famous Soviet film stars. Despite the fame, Oleg was unwilling to live under the oppressive, totalitarian Soviet state and in 1985, planned a bold escape to freedom in the west.
On The Edge - Dir: Rina Papish; Israel, 54 minutes (East Coast Premiere). The extraordinary story of Avner, for whom the sky was a playground. After an accident, he found himself on the ground in search of new meaning in his life.
For more information on the film, click here.
The 14th Annual Lighthouse International Film Festival on Long Beach Island NJ (LBI) takes place June 2-5, 2022. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.lighthousefilmfestival.org
The festival's unique approaches to dealing with the pandemic drew the attention of the press and film buffs from around the world, with LIFF 2020 and 2021 being featured by numerous national and regional media outlets, including CNN, NBC-TV (Rolling Stone magazine, and Variety magazine. The 2020 Lighthouse International Film Festival was the first drive-in film festival to screen new films under the stars. LIFF screened two features for 5 nights, at 3 locations on LBI. Other film festivals faced the challenges of 2020 and 2021 by either cancelling their event or going virtual. Only LIFF went big and bold!