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  • Lighthouse International Film Festival

Lighthouse Announces 2022 Lineup: Headliners, Spotlight, & Darkhouse

After announcing its opening film, documentary competition, and narrative competition, the Lighthouse International Film Festival is very pleased to reveal the complete 2022 program. The lineup includes Sundance and SXSW titles as headliners and acclaimed international films in the Spotlight section. Lighthouse also puts its dark side on display in a new installment dedicated to genre, horror, sci-fi, and fantasy movies: DARKHOUSE. The festival will take place for the 14th consecutive year on Long Beach Island (LBI), New Jersey, from Thursday, June 2nd through Sunday, June 5th — a long weekend that offers exciting in-person events, including film screenings, panels, networking events, masterclasses, and parties with terrific food & drinks.


To Leslie Dir: Michael Morris, USA (East Coast Premiere) A West Texas single mother wins the lottery and squanders it just as fast, leaving behind a world of heartbreak. Years later, with her charm running out and nowhere to go, she fights to rebuild her life and find redemption. Andrea Riseborough is electrifying in an Oscar nomination deserving performance as she leads a gallery of brilliant actors like Mike Maron, Allison Janney, Stephen Root, Owen Teague, and Andre Royo. (Premiered at SXSW)


My Old School Dir: Jono McLeod, UK In 1993, 16-year-old Brandon Lee enrolled at Bearsden Academy, a secondary school in a well-to-do suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. What followed over the next two years became the stuff of legend. (Premiered at Sundance)


Breaking Dir: Abi Damaris Corbin, USA When Marine Veteran Brian Brown-Easley is denied support from Veterans Affairs, financially desperate and running out of options, he takes a bank and several of its employees hostage, setting the stage for a tense confrontation with the police. Starring John Boyega and the late Michael K. Williams in his last role. Based on the true story. (Premiered at Sundance) * previous title: "892"

892 (photo: Bleecker Street) Fire of Love Dir: Sara Dosa, USA/Canada The extraordinary love story of intrepid French scientists Katia and Maurice Krafft, who died just as explosively as they lived — capturing the most spectacular imagery ever recorded of their greatest passion: volcanoes. (Premiered at Sundance) Spin Me Round Dir: Jeff Baena, USA When the manager of an Italian restaurant chain wins the opportunity to attend the franchise's educational immersion program in Italy, what she thought would be a romantic getaway devolves into chaos and catastrophe. Starring Allison Brie (who is also the screenwriter), Aubrey Plaza, Alessandro Nivola, Molly Shannon, and others. (Premiered at SXSW)

Spin Me Round (photo: IFC Films) The Territory Dir: Alex Pritz, Brazil/Denmark/USA When a network of Brazilian farmers seize an area of protected Indigenous territory, a young native leader and his mentor must find new ways to fight back. (Premiered at Sundance)


A Love Song Dir: Max Walker-Silverman, USA At a campground in the rural West, a woman (Dale Dickey) waits alone for an old flame from her past (Academy Award-winner Wes Studi) to arrive, uncertain of his intentions while bashful about her own. (Premiered at Sundance) Bipolar Dir: Queena Li, China (East Coast Premiere) A young lady arrives in Lhasa alone for pilgrimage, but a "multicolored magical lobster" enshrined by other people has totally changed her plan. She made a decision to take the lobster home to a bay by a legendary lighthouse, and this set her and the lobster on the journey across half of China. Karmalink Dir: Jake Wachtel, USA/Cambodia In near-future Phnom Penh, a teenage boy teams up with a street-smart girl from his neighborhood to untangle the mystery of his past-life dreams. What begins as a hunt for a Buddhist treasure soon leads to greater discoveries that will either end in digital enlightenment or a total loss of identity. (Premiered at Venice) Le Prince Dir: Lisa Bierwirth, Germany (US Premiere) When curator Monika gets mixed up in a raid in Frankfurt's seedy Bahnhofsviertel district, she meets the Congolese businessman Joseph. This chance encounter turns into an intense love affair. But despite their love, mutual distrust grows, the consequences of which end up spiraling out of control.

Le Prince

Quicksand Dir: Margot Schaap, Netherlands (US Premiere) Quicksand is the story of an intriguing mother-daughter relationship and its repercussions for three generations of women. When Suze's colorful and extravagant mother Helena pays a surprise visit to inform her daughter that she's ill, Suze slowly relapses into severe compulsive behavior. * This screening is supported by Dutch Culture USA


Song of Salt Dir: Emma Baiada & Nicolas Snyder, USA (World Premiere) The Lighthouse International Film Festival is proud to host the world premiere of the stunning, visceral documentary Song of Salt. Set in an isolated mining town on the outskirts of Death Valley, the film is an immersive glimpse into the struggles and celebrations within a tight-knit community as its residents, suspended between the past and the future, face the present realities of an eroding economy.

Song of Salt


The new festival section for genre, horror, sci-fi, and fantastic films includes four features: Cyber Underground by Rudy Cimic (Canada) is a sci-fi paranoia thriller that follows a local group of hackers under attack by a serial killer. A Pure Place by Nikias Chryssos (Germany/Greece) tells a story of a bizarre cult that worships cleanliness and defies anything dirty. For Roger by Aaron Bartuska is a low-budget film that uses horror elements like found footage and a "cabin in the woods" scenario to delve into loss or loneliness. The Retaliators by Bridget Smith & Samuel Gonzalez Jr. follows a young priest on a revenge mission against his daughter's killer.

A Pure Place Darkhouse will also host screenings of short films headed by Nasty by Paul Chart (produced by LIFF board member Denise Grayson) and Maschera della Morte by Scott Bekisz (produced by LIFF exec director Rob Karol). Other films in the Darkhouse program are Devils (dir: Bret Miller), Double Lens Reflex (dir: Arman Meinecke), Face the Music (dir: Noah Lederman Greis), Forest Giants (dir: Augusta Mariano), Gary (Dir: Michael Rognlie), Hot Toddy (dir: Mary Sette), Launch at Paradise (dir: Carrie Ann Quinn), The Molok (dir: Sam Wilson), Night (dir: Frank Sun), Rosso (dir: Zach Staads), Shudder (dir: Rob Ride), Tim Travers & The Time Travelers Paradox (dir: Stimson Sneads), and Void (dir: Claire Marshall).


Dramatic Feature Competition: Cameroonian-American actor/director Ellie Foumbi, filmmaker Marty Davidson, and Palestinian actor/director Samar Qupty. Documentary Competition: filmmaker/distributor Ira Deutchman, producer/costume designer Chester Algernal Gordon, and producer Meredith Kaulfers. Shorts Competition: filmmaker Stephen David Brooks, producer Sola Fasehun, and Israeli editor Or Lee-Tal. Episodic Competition: filmmaker-educator Anna Feder, actor-director Mercedes Grower, and actor Tora Kim-Lake. High School Films Competition: producer Maya Brewster-Dorian. Jennifer Snyder Bryceland Award: producer Matthew Soraci.

FRIENDS of THE FEST A program dedicated to works by jurors and LIFF team members

The F Plus: Stories of Failed Asian Excellence – Cry Harder Dir: Warren Lam, USA Se Hoon and Ji Yeon Kim believe they personify perfection with their perfect marriage and perfect newborn who doesn’t cry. When the baby finally has a face to face, she unleashes an otherworldly cry and now won’t stop. Worse, grandma is coming for a visit, so now the couple will do just about anything to keep up their appearance of perfection. * Starring Tora Kim-Lake, Episodic Jury

Hush Dir: Samar Qupty, Palestine (World Premiere) When Nadine hears about her best friend's fear of an unwanted pregnancy, she takes the lead of the rescue. Together they embark on a frustrating confidential journey of getting pregnancy tested, in which ruining the good family name is looming in the air. * Directed by, written by, and starring Samar Qupty, Shorts Jury

Hush Lifeline Dir: Jason Delane Lee & Leah Cohen-Mays, USA When an adopted father of three receives news of his biological birth parents, he must choose whether or not to confront his unknown past — and its secrets. * Produced by Matthew Soraci, Jennifer Snyder Bryceland Award Jury Never Again Para Nadie Dir: Anna Feder, Dan Frank, & Justin Reifert, USA In the poorest city in Rhode Island, peaceful demonstrators tried to shut down a for-profit prison housing ICE detainees, only to be met with violence. Established by Jews, the organization Never Again Action seeks to put into practice the lessons of the Holocaust, including their support for undocumented and refugee neighbors, as they were once “strangers in a strange land” themselves. * Co-directed by Anna Feder, Episodic Jury


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