Friday, May 19, 2017


Festival opens ninth year with KING OF PEKING, screens a stunning 27 features and 55 short films, premieres episodic content and VR component

May 18, 2017 (Long Beach Island, NJ) — The Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF) has announced the complete lineup for its ninth annual event, which will take place June 8-11, 2017 on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The festival will open with Sam Voutas’ acclaimed KING OF PEKING, a rousing Beijing-set love letter to cinema that brought cheering audiences to their feet at Tribeca 2017.

“From the opening frames of KING OF PEKING, I knew that it was special and a film that the LIFF audience will love,” says Lighthouse International Film Festival’s Eric Johnson. “Sam Voutas has made a film that speaks to cinephiles in a unique way, filled with moments that show film’s ability to act as a universal bond, while also telling a terrific story with a ton of heart and laughs. It is punctuated by pitch-perfect turns from his actors and it all comes together to form a sublime way to kick off the 2017 festival. We are thrilled to champion the emergence of one of the most exciting young directors working today by opening with KING OF PEKING.”

KING OF PEKING will open LIFF on June 8th at Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences in Loveladies, NJ, with director Sam Voutas participating in a Q&A following the screening.

LIFF will again present both Documentary and Narrative Centerpiece Films, including Jonathan Olshefski’s QUEST as Documentary Centerpiece. A vérité portrait of a North Philadelphia family that was shot over the course of a decade, it tells the tale of Christopher “Quest” Rainey, along with his wife Christine (aka “Ma Quest”). They open the door to their home music studio, which serves as a creative sanctuary from the strife that grips their neighborhood. Over the years, the family evolves as everyday life brings a mix of joy and unexpected crisis. Set against the backdrop of a country now in turmoil, the film is a tender depiction of an American family whose journey is a profound testament to love, healing and hope. QUEST will screen at The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences on June 10th.

The Festival’s Narrative Centerpiece film is FITS AND STARTS, the feature directorial debut of Laura Terruso. The acclaimed comedy stars The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac as a struggling writer who has been toiling away at the same novel for years. His wife (Jennifer Greta Lee) is a hot young literary figure, who has just released a new masterpiece. When her publisher invites the couple to an artists’ salon at his home in Connecticut, the pair embark on a twisted journey, and David must face his demons and try to “not be weird” among the waspy salon guests and competitive art set in attendance. He encounters a dentist with publishing aspirations, a book critic full of condescending advice, a fellow writer who may know his wife a little too well, an old “friend” and a high powered bipolar literary agent who just might be able to help him... for a price. FITS AND STARTS will screen on June 9th at The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences, with Laura Terruso in attendance for a Q&A after the film.

Closing the 2017 Festival will be MISSING IN EUROPE, director Tamar Halpern’s tense new thriller about a cyber security expert visiting Serbia under the guise of attending a conference for work, but is really there to check in on her daughter, Karissa, who has been studying abroad. Their happy reunion is cut short when Karissa and her classmate Lara go clubbing and seemingly disappear into thin air. Sara is certain that her daughter has been abducted. Utilizing a host of hacking skills and following the clues Karissa is leaving behind, she starts to uncover a major sex trafficking ring. Even worse, it seems the local police force is in on it. With nobody to trust but herself, Sara uses every tool at her disposal to locate her daughter before she’s sold to the highest bidder and disappears forever. MISSING IN EUROPE will screen at The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences on June 11th, with director Tamar Halpern on hand for a Q&A afterward.

The Lighthouse International Film Festival is also proud to announce the inclusion of Sundance Jury Winner DINA, the World Premiere of New Jersey-lensed THE OYSTER FARMERS, the Ugandan Wakaliwood actioner BAD BLACK, and its first-ever VR content. Alongside Lighthouse’s thrilling first foray into episodic content - Onur Tukel’s highly-anticipated BLACK MAGIC FOR WHITE BOYS - the festival will also be bringing back its immensely successful “Write By the Beach”, last year’s debut writers’ retreat program for female filmmakers and screenwriters. Designed with a simple mission to foster female voices in independent film, the program will see the Festival bring four female filmmakers and screenwriters to Long Beach Island for a week leading up to and including the Festival, with no obligation except to put work into whatever project they are currently developing. The 2017 Write By The Beach recipient writers will be announced later in May.

Additional talent attending the festival’s 2017 edition include Angela Anderson and Corrine Gray Ruff (THE OYSTER FARMERS), Jody Lambert (BRAVE NEW JERSEY), Lara Stolman (SWIM TEAM), Michael Borowiec and Sam Marine (MAN UNDERGROUND), Michael Clayton (THE DUNNING MAN), Onur Tukel (BLACK MAGIC FOR WHITE BOYS), Rachel Shuman (ONE OCTOBER), Rotem Zissman-Cohen (actress, OUR FATHER), Sandra Luckow (THAT WAY MADNESS LIES), Victoria Negri (GOLD STAR), and Will Rogers (actor, A BAD IDEA GONE WRONG).

Inspired by the historic Barnegat Lighthouse, which has beckoned travelers to LBI since 1859, LIFF has emerged as New Jersey’s leading international film festival. The festival will feature award-winning films from countries around the world, as well as nightly parties and panel discussions.

For full schedule and ticket information on the 2017 festival, visit

King of Peking, Sam Voutas, China

Fits and Starts, Laura Terruso, USA

Quest, Jonathan Olshefski, USA

Missing in Europe, Tamar Halopern, USA


Bad Black, Nabwana I.G.G., Uganda
Dina, Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini, USA
Gaza Surf Club, Philip Gnadt and Mickey Yamine, Germany
Infinity Baby, Bob Byington, USA
The Journey, Nick Hamm, UK
Person to Person, Dustin Guy Defa, USA
The Road Movie, Dimitrii Kalashnikov, Belarus/Russia/Serbia/Bosnia & Herzegovina/Croatia

A Bad Idea Gone Wrong, Jason Headley, USA
Brave New Jersey, Jody Lambert, USA
The Dunning Man, Michael Clayton, USA
Gold Star, Victoria Negri, USA
Man Underground, Michael Borowiec and Sam Marine, USA
Memories of Summer, Adam Guzinski, Poland
Our Father, Meni Yaish, Israel
Woven, Nagwa Ibrahim and Salome Mulugeta. USA

The Crest, Mark Covino, USA
One October, Rachel Shuman, USA
The Oyster Farmers, Angela Anderson and Corinne Gray Ruff, USA
Santoalla, Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer, USA/Spain
Swim Team, Lara Stolman, USA
That Way Madness Lies, Sandra Luckow, USA

Black Magic for White Boys, Onur Tukel, USA

The Accord, R.C. Cone, USA/Iceland
Another Girl, Austin Kase, USA
The Bake Sale, Susan Skoog, USA
The Best and the Loneliest Days, Qianzhu Luo, USA
Break-In, Christopher Cox, USA
Bruce Loves You, Darin Quan, USA
C.I.T., Cara Consilvio, USA
Candice and Peter’s Smokin’ Hot Date, Leanne Bishop and Michael Mason, Canada
Catherine, Britt Raes, Belgium
The Collection, Adam Roffman, USA
Commercial Crabberman (A Livelyhood On The Barengat Bay), Andrew DiAngelis, USA
Le Creuset, Don Downie, USA
Deadbeat, Jesse R. Tendler, USA
Demonoid (1971), Alaric Rocha, USA
Do No Harm, Roseanne Liang, New Zealand
Dogs and Tacos, Steven Bachrach, USA
Don’t Think About It, Niv Klainer, USA
Election Night, Ryan Scafuro, USA/England
Epiphany V, Kevin Newbury, USA
La Folia, Adam Grannick, USA
For Marta, Isabel Ellison, USA
Fresh Blood, Richa Rudola, USA
Fry Day, Laura Moss, USA
Good Luck (in Farsi), Jessica Cummings, USA
Hilda, Kiira Benzing, USA
The Hobbyist, George Vatistas, USA
I’m Sticking With You, Eric Shahinian, USA
Innocent or Otherwise, Alex Forstenhausler, USA
Juliet Remembered, Tamzin Merchant, UK
Life and Sand, Simon Mendes, USA
Lone Signal, Jessi Erian Colon, USA
Nanny, Kathy Meng, USA
Night Shift, Marshall Tyler, USA
The Other End, Sudeep Kanwal, USA/India
The Other Side, Griselda San Martin, Spain
The Poet and the Professor, Ariel Kavoussi, USA
Prerequesite, Geoffrey Guerrero, USA
Refugee, Joyce Chen, Emily Chen, and Emily Moore, USA
Rikishi, Julien Menanteau, Germany
Rose’s Children, Josh Adwar and Jamie Dolan, USA
Says, David C. Lynch, Ireland
The Scarecrow, Phillip Rhys, USA
The Seven Men of Hanukkah, Daryl Lathon, USA
Shapers, Graham Willoughby, USA
Silver Lining, Joe Kolbow, USA
Siren Song: Women Singers of Pakistan, Fawzia Afzal-Khan, India/Pakistan
The Skull, Graceann Dorse, USA
The Spectrum, Sean MacLaughlin and Quinn MacLaughlin, USA
Spell Claire, Greg Emetaz, USA
Static, Kevin Hoyer, USA
Stitched, Heather Taylor, USA
Sure-Fire, Michael Goldburg, USA
Test of Courage, Rena Dumont, Germany
Twin Days, Alex Markman, USA
Wake, Kristen Kress Parness, USA

The Lighthouse International Film Festival was founded in 2008 by a collection of filmmakers, film critics and film industry professionals who share a passion for film and wanted to create an event aimed first and foremost at film enthusiasts. Taking place on Long Beach Island, NJ -- one of the East Coast's most popular surfing destinations -- the festival celebrates three days of new, exciting and challenging films in honor of Long Beach Island's historic Barnegat Lighthouse

Our Mission and Objective

The Lighthouse International Film Festival is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to showcasing new and innovative films and fostering the next generation of filmmakers. The festival offers four days of films, panels, Q&A's, networking, parties and surfing, and draws some of the industry's top film critics, producers and distributors. The festival also seeks to serve the community by presenting unique programs that inspire, engage and challenge a diverse audience through the art of film.

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