(LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ) -- Long Beach Island has a rich history of inspiring artists and writers for decades, and Lighthouse International Film Festival is proud to continue this tradition with their annual Write by the Beach series. This special retreat offers a unique opportunity for selected screenwriters to unleash their creativity, connect with peers, and be inspired by the breathtaking beauty of LBI.
Each year, the Lighthouse International Film Festival receives hundreds of applications from talented filmmakers and screenwriters, and selects a few exceptional female screenwriters who have a proven track record of success. To be eligible, applicants must have served as the primary screenwriter on at least one produced short or feature film. This year they have selected Yiqing Zhao, Andrea Ashton, Lauren Pruitt and Shirin Mori for their retreat.
Zhao is an award-winning actor/filmmaker on a mission to tell cathartic stories of strong Asian women. FRAPP GAB, a short film she wrote, directed, and produced won TOP 5 and was screened at the 45th Asian American International Film Festival. She is currently developing her first feature, an LGBTQ coming-of-age rom-com called MADE IN HEAVEN.
Ashton is a writer/director that captures both the humor and pathos of what it is to be human in films, screenplays, and pilots that win awards, charm hearts, rack up tens of thousands of views, and get archives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She’s an optioned screenwriter who's been a second-rounder for both Sundance and Film Independent Labs and was one of only eight women selected for NYWIFT’s 2019 FS2P Lab.
Pruitt is a Colombian-American filmmaker/cinematographer who has shot and directed a variety of films over the past decade. Her work is rooted in finding commonalities in the midst of “otherness”. In 2018, Lauren spoke on the Kodak panel at SXSW and participated in the Austin Film Society’s Artist Intensive with Richard Linklater. Her latest short film QUEEN OF THE NIGHT is currently being developed into her first feature film of the same title.
Mori (she/they) grew up in a typical multigenerational, Iranian-Japanese San Francisco household where, as she went to sleep, she could overhear her grandmother praying to die. Shirin now has a normal sense of humor that they enjoy channeling into writing and directing horror movies.
"At the Lighthouse International Film Festival, we are proud to offer our Write by the Beach retreat and support the creativity and success of females in film. We understand the challenges faced by women in the film industry, and we are committed to supporting women storytellers. We believe that by providing opportunities for diverse voices to be heard, we can enrich our culture and society with fresh and compelling stories."