LIFF 2022 Announces Its Narrative Features Competition Films
The 14th Annual Lighthouse International Film Festival is proud to announce its 2022 narrative features competition program, which includes inspiring, creative, and shocking films from the USA and around the world. The festival will take place for the 14th consecutive year on Long Beach Island (LBI), New Jersey, from June 2nd through June 5th, a long weekend that offers a host of exciting in-person events: film screenings, panels, networking events, and parties. In addition to its narrative features competition, LIFF will hold a documentary features competition, a short films competition, an episodic competition, a high school student films competition, surf film screenings, and our signature spotlight and headliner programs. The narrative features competition will bring to the big screen original stories from the brilliant minds of independent filmmakers who will be attending the festival, coming from across the US, Europe, and even Japan. Two of the competition films will celebrate their world premiere on LBI, with talent attending: Maybe Next Time by Sahm McGlynn is a beautifully shot, intimate ghost story starring Kika Magalhaes (The Eyes of My Mother) and Max Hoffman (Dustin Hoffman's son, Hook, Greenberg); and Menina Casilda by Spaniard filmmaker Eric Du Bellay is a surprisingly funny take on cinephiles and Hollywood classics involving a wild kidnapping plot during the COVID-19 pandemic in Madrid. Love, Life and Goldfish, by director Yukinori Makabe, is a romantic musical fairy tale that takes place in modern times in the Japanese countryside (East Coast premiere). A Pack of Sheep by Greek filmmaker Dimitris Kannellopoulos also takes place in the countryside, but tells a completely different and intense story about toxic masculinity and how good men can be pushed into senseless violence. Straighten Up and Fly Right by Kristen Abate & Steven Tanenbaum, winner of the Unstoppable Award at the Slamdance Film Festival, provides an intimate look into the love life of lonely disabled people in New York. Loneliness and longing for closeness between a father and a son are at the center of the gentle Planet b234 by Keelie Sheridan and Jorge Luna. Romantic intimacy in real life is the center of Clinton Cornwell's 12 Months, which follows a couple falling in and out of love over the course of a year. We Are Not Content! by Yuki Soga offers a unique creative take on the cliche of a struggling aspiring artist trying to make it in the film industry.
USA, 1 hour 32 minutes
Dir: Clinton Cornwell
A hyper-realistic diversion from the usual rom-com, 12 Months candidly portrays moments that are commonly experienced but rarely shown as it follows the story of Ellie and Clark, a millennial couple, navigating the peaks and valleys of a new relationship.
* Attending talent: director Clinton Cornwell, lead actors Elizabeth Hirsch-Tauber & Michael James Kelly, producer Kelly Brandt
Love, Life and Goldfish
Japan, 1 hour 32 minutes (East Coast Premiere)
Dir: Yukinori Makabe
When big city banker Makoto has an outburst at work, he is sent to work in a small village in the middle of nowhere as his punishment. Immediately, he falls in love with the woman who runs the local goldfish scooping store.
* Attending talent: director Yukinori Makabe
Maybe Next Time
USA, 1 hour 20 minutes (World Premiere)
Dir: Sahm McGlynn
A lonely woman turns the tables on the indulgent spirits that haunt her property.
* Attending talent: director Sahm McGlynn, producer Brenden Hubbard, and members of the cast
Spain, 1 hour 26 minutes (World Premiere)
Dir: Eric Du Bellay
During the strict lockdown in Madrid, Diego, a 35-year-old unemployed actor, kidnaps Sara, a 20-year-old law student. She will be his audience.
* Attending talent: director Eric Du Bellay and actor Alvaro De Paz
Pack of Sheep
Greece, 1 hour 50 minutes
Dir: Dimitris Kanellopoulos
Thanasis can’t pay off his debt to Stelios. When he finds out that Apostolis is in the same position, he asks him to join with him for making a better deal with Stelios. While Thanasis tries to put more players in the game, two young gangsters arrive in town to push over the debtors.
USA, 1 hour
Dir: Keelie Sheridan
Jorge, a father thousands of miles away from his son, creates an alternate world —planet b234— where he can cope with the anxiety, depression, and desperation of being separated from his child. Geographical barriers are no match for Jorge's fertile imagination, but it comes at the cost of his sanity and the very relationship he's fighting for.
* Attending talent: writer-director Keelie Sheridan, writer-actor Jorge Luna, exec producers Ian Weintraub and Esther Alvarez-Weintraub
Straighten Up & Fly Right
USA, 1 hour 30 minutes
Dir: Kristen Abate & Steven Tanenbaum
In a funk, Kristen, a physically disabled New York woman, walks dogs for a living but dreams of being a writer, and as her life unravels, she must make a choice to fall apart or straighten up.
We Are Not Content!
USA, 1 hour 23 minutes
Dir: Yuki Soga
When a wannabe filmmaker's move to Manhattan does little to boost his artistic career, he convinces an amateur puppeteer to assist him, despite his deteriorating finances and mental health.
* Attending talent: director Yuki Soga