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Curtains Up, Curtains Down: LIFF's Opening and Closing Night Films 2023

The Lighthouse International Film Festival is proud to announce their 2023 Opening and Closing Night films.

The festival's buzzy opening night film is the East Coast Premiere of Brittany Snow's PARACHUTE, which won the Best First Feature Award at SXSW 2023 and stars Courtney Eaton, Thomas Mann, Kid Cudi, Francesca Reale, Gina Rodriguez, Joel McHale, and Dave Bautista. Closing Night celebrates the World Premiere of Isabel Ellison and Ryan Guiterman's LOUD & LONGING, a stunning, powerful dissection of trauma and longing starring Max Carpenter, Danny Kornfeld, Ryan Czerwonko, and Isabel Ellison. The Lighthouse International Film Festival celebrates its 15th edition this June 7th through the 11th in Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

Parachute (dir. Brittany Snow)

USA, 97 minutes // East Coast Premiere

In her inspiring directorial debut, actress Brittany Snow, who is known for her playful performances in Pitch Perfect and Hairspray, brings to the screen an intimate dramatic account of two young people struggling with emotional challenges and finding comfort in each other’s strengths and deficiencies.

Inspired by a whirlwind true story of unconventional romance, Riley, played by Courtney Eaton (Mad Max Fury Road, Yellowjackets), is determined to overcome her issues with body image, food, and love, but soon falls for another addiction: her friend Ethan.

Eaton impresses in her highly nuanced role, which garnered her the "Best Performance Award" at SXSW. Her chemistry with co-lead Thomas Mann, with his quiet charisma, is exceptional and charges this film with both optimism and disappointment. The two leads are surrounded by an amazing supporting cast of Kid Cudi, Francesca Reale, Gina Rodriguez, Joel McHale, and Dave Bautista, all led by the sensitivity and honesty of Snow (winner of “Best First Feature Award” at SXSW) and producer Lizzie Shapiro (LIFF favorite Shiva Baby and LIFF 2020 juror).



Loud & Longing (dirs. Isabel Ellison and Ryan Guiterman)

USA, 94 minutes // World Premiere

Lucy and Lucien are two childhood friends who share a deeply troubled past and struggle to maintain their sanity and sobriety as they cut their teeth in the New York City arts and theater scene. As their breakout moment arrives, both are forced to grapple with a legacy of childhood trauma, addiction, and loss. They must rely on their chosen family of artists and sex workers to help bring them through their dark night of the soul.

Main cast: Isabel Ellison, Sam Encarnación, Franco González, Ell Peck, David J. Cork and Max Carpenter.


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