News Column

Biggest film festival in New Jersey heads to Long Beach Island

May 29, 2013

YellowBrix

May 29--The Fifth Annual Lighthouse International Film Festival will bring award-winning films, documentaries, and shorts from Sundance, Cannes, South by Southwest and Tribeca to Long Beach Island from June 6-9.

The festival opens Thursday, June 6, with a special showing at Surflight Theatre, Beach and Engleside avenues, Beach Haven. The screening at Surflight also will feature a tribute to Long Beach Island's first responders, who are invited to attend at no charge. First responders may also pick up their ALL ACCESS pass Thursday evening. The pass allows them to attend any event in the entire festival at no charge.

Among the many fine movies to be shown at locations all over Long Beach Island will be a collection of surfing movies, documentaries, full length feature films, short films and a collection of films made by high school students.

Special this year will be several films related to superstorm Sandy and other storms that have devastated the Jersey Shore.

Locations include The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, 120 Long Beach Blvd., Loveladies; The Surf City Firehouse, 713 Long Beach Blvd., Surf City; The Long Beach Island Historical Museum, on the northeast corner of Engleside and Beach avenues, Surflight Theatre, across the street, and the Island Baptist Church at 215 Third St. in Beach Haven.

Tickets to the various showings and events are sold individually; however, an All Access Pass for $125 includes all the films and events. Tickets will be sold at the various venues or at the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce building or Things A'Drift in Ship Bottom, or get them online at www.lighthousefilmfestival.org.

Shored Up tells the vivid and timely tale of coastal development in the United States.

Set in Long Beach Island and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Shored Up is a look at what happens when we ignore the realities of geology in our drive to inhabit and profit from our coastlines. Filmed over three years and culminating with the impact of Hurricane Sandy, Shored Up foresees the consequences of our innate desire to live on the edge. As the film explores the political conflicts and personal stakes of communities along the shore in the years leading up to Sandy, it becomes an eerie foretelling of the storm's devastation and a witness to its dramatic aftermath.

Shored Up will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at Surflight Theatre. A short film by local filmmaker Jimmy Ward also will be shown.

FRIDAY

From award-winning filmmaker Leslie Neale comes Unlikely Friends.

Narrated by actor Mike Farrell, it tells the stories of victims of brutal crimes who, through forgiveness, unexpectedly become friends with those who hurt them. Finding a criminal justice system that has left them empty and unsupported, these victims forgive out of a deep need to heal themselves, which in turn has a surprising effect on criminals. These relationships, so unfathomable for most of us, open our thinking to new possibilities of how to transform a system ensconced in punishment and retribution to one of restorative justice that is based in humanity. Unlikely Friends will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, at the Island Baptist Church in Beach Haven.

Part psychological thriller and part provocative character study, A Teacher explores the unraveling of a young high school teacher, Diana (Lindsay Burdge), after she begins an affair with one of her teenage students, Eric (Will Brittain). What starts as a seemingly innocent fling becomes increasingly complex as the beautiful and confident Diana gets fully consumed by her emotions, crossing boundaries and acting out in progressively startling ways. To be shown at 6:45 p.m. Friday, June 7, at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

Therese Desqueyroux: Audrey Tautou ("Amelie'') stars as a provincial housewife in 1920s France, whose suffocating marriage to a boorish landowner inspires her to a daring bid for freedom. To be shown Friday, June 7, at 8 p.m. in Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven.

Here & Now was shot in one day. More than 25 filmmakers and surfers worked in unison to document the world of surfing in a single 24-hour period: May 2, 2012. From world champs like Kelly Slater and Stephanie Gilmore to free spirits like Dave Rastovich, Ozzy Wright and Alex Knost, this project brings together shapers, photographers, legends, beginners, third world, first world and surf world. Some scored big. Others couldn't find a ripple. It's all part of the surfing experience. From contests to camping, hanging at home or hitting the road, veteran surf filmmaker Taylor Steele pulls together an epic, international cast to prove the best place to be is here and now. To be shown at 8:15 p.m. Friday, June 7, in the Long Beach Island Historical Museum, Beach Haven.

Bending Colours tells the story of Jordy Smith, one of surfing's most interesting characters, in his yearlong journey from teenage prodigy to the superhighway of performance surfing. Friday, June 7, at 8:15 p.m. at the Long Beach Island Historical Museum, Beach Haven.

Intimate, raw and at times funny, Somewhere Slow features a searing and complex portrait of Anna Thompson, a 40-year-old skin care rep, coasting through an unfulfilled marriage and an estranged relationship with her family. When Anna gets mixed up in a deadly convenience store robbery, she makes a split-second decision and walks out of her life and into the unknown. On her travels, she meets Travis, a teenage drifter on his own journey of self-discovery. To be shown at 8:45 p.m. Friday, June 7, in the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

In Discoverdale, a fly-on-the-wall film crew follow comedy rock band "Dead Cat Bounce" on a quest across Europe to reunite lead singer Jim with his long lost father, who he believes is the legendary rock singer and Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale. Following the Whitesnake Forevermore tour across Europe, they've got no money and no idea what they're doing -- just blind faith that one day soon Jim will be sharing a jacuzzi in a 5-star hotel with the Dad of his dreams ... and hopefully some hot Asian chicks. To be shown at 11 p.m. Friday, June 7, at the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

Friday wraps up with a party from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. at The Dutchman's Brauhaus, located on the outgoing Causeway.

SATURDAY

A collection of short films made by high school students will be shown at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 9, in the Island Baptist Church, Beach Haven. They include:

Blink of an Eye (by Emily Simonsen and Marisa Marano); Dead Obsession: a Mockumentary of a Walking Dead Addict (by Greg Contaldi and Taylor Pierce); Dybbuk (by Matt Sutton); Fun (by Lauren Cirko); Hope for LBI (by Jimmy Ward); Joy (by Emily Simonsen); Let it Out (by Lauren Cirko and Alyssa Prue); The Life Cycle of Shoes (by Justin Williams); The Life of Brian Smithman (by Tom Varughese and Brian Smithman); The Magical Chase (by Zack Hatzenbeller and Julia Thomas); New Schedule Report (by Liz Morris); RGB (by Benjamin Fall); Saving Energy (by Andrew Herbert); Seatbelt PSA (by Randy Frankenfield); Super Banana (by Sara Pasquarello); Trading Paint (by Garrett Scheliga) and Vision (by Melanie Rosenthal).

Napkins: The seven janitors working the graveyard shift at Stephens College must fight to keep their livelihoods once it is discovered that faculty and staff are not satisfied with their work and request their termination. 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8, at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

Beyond Belief: A once-renowned magician who loses his wife, his mistress, and his rabbit tries to make his troubles disappear in this offbeat dark comedy... But it will take more than magic to turn his pitiful life around. Saturday, June 8, 11:30 a.m. at the Surf City Volunteer Firehouse. Also to be shown with this film are Working Stiff, Possum, The Quiet Cult and Keeper of the Mountains, a portrait of Elizabeth Hawley and her unlikely key role in the Golden Age of Himalayan mountaineering and her defiance of the traditional gender roles of her day.

The First Aggregate: A struggling Mongolian stuntman returns to the big city after suffering a serious head injury but soon finds himself thrust back into the fray when presented with an opportunity to become a serious actor. Saturday, June 8, at 1 p.m. in the Long Beach Island Historical Museum, Beach Haven.

Without Shepherds: Six bold people struggle against Pakistan's current crisis and try to build a different tomorrow: a cricket star starts a progressive political party, a female journalist goes behind Taliban lines, an ex-mujahid seeking redemption, a trucker crossing dangerous territory to feed his family, a supermodel pushing feminism through fashion, and a subversive Sufi rocker using music to heal. Filmed by a team of American and Pakistani filmmakers over two years. 1 p.m. Saturday in the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

SHORTS: Best of Both Worlds: Struggling to find a normal woman, Charlie meets Michelle and questions if he can accept the "Best of Both Worlds" when she reveals an uncommon side of herself. Also, The Earthquake (11 minutes). In a cramped Brooklyn apartment nine days after the earthquake in Haiti, a pregnant refugee fears she's carrying a stillborn baby while Haitian children play a dangerous game in the next room. Other shorts include Six Letter Word, Scattered, En Passant and A Portrait of the Sandwich Artist as a Young Man. At 1:45 p.m. Saturday in the Surf City Firehouse.

Butterfly Stories is a magical trip to the world of butterfly people all over the world. Centered on a witty road trip with a cowboy named Wandering Star on the butterfly trail from Chicago to the highlands of Mexico as he searches for inspiration following the spectacular monarch migration. The film intermingles his story with several other vignettes of butterfly folks searching for their own transformations, including a young artist from Ecuador who has fallen in love with the unseen beauty of moths, a couple of silkworm-breeders and a moth hunter in the Thai jungle, a Swiss hippie girl living in her own cocoon and a German guy who just hates butterflies. This world premiere will be shown at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in the Island Baptist Church, Beach Haven.

You Will Be A Man: Theodore is a 20-year-old boy on the verge of adulthood. His encounter with Leo, a lonely 10-year-old child who becomes his best friend, enables him to grow up and face his responsibilities. Saturday, June 8, at 3:15 p.m. in the Long Beach Island Museum, Beach Haven.

Remote Area Medical: A debate over healthcare has been raging nationwide, but what's been lost in the discussion are the American citizens who live day after day, year after year without solutions for their most basic needs. Remote Area Medical documents the annual three-day "pop-up" medical clinic organized by the nonprofit Remote Area Medical in Bristol, Tenn.'s NASCAR speedway. Instead of a film about policy,

Remote Area Medical is about people, about a proud Appalachian community banding together to try and provide some relief for friends and neighbors who are simply out of options. 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

Children of the Wind: The Bonaire windsurfers, a group of native kids under the mentorship of the remarkable Elvis Martinus, founder of the Bonaire Aquaspeed windsurfing club, overcame insuperable odds to dominate and revolutionize an inherently elitist sport. When Tonky, Tati, and Kiri, three kids who refused to be defined by the limits of their circumstance, decide to attend windsurfing's North American Championship in Florida, they embark on an incredible journey that will take them far from their small island. 3:45 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in the Island Baptist Church, Beach Haven.

A Hijacking is a tense thriller that premiered at the Venice Film Festival. It tells the story of the cargo ship MV Rozen as it heads for harbor when it is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. Among the men on board is the ship's cook Mikkel (Pilou Asb k), who along with the rest of the seamen are taken hostage in a cynical game of life and death. With the demand for a ransom of millions of dollars, a psychological drama unfolds between the CEO of the shipping company (S ren Malling) and the Somali pirates. 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in the Surf City Firehouse.

Hunter: Gavin is a lonely, 21-year-old compulsive reader living in the East Village with his roommate Farah. The film opens in the days preceding Gavin's twenty-second birthday. Gavin decides to invite Amy, one of his good friends, to stay with him for the weekend after her boyfriend spontaneously breaks up with her. Later, after spending a night out, Gavin and Amy return to his apartment to find a young man passed out in front of their door. Unsure of what to do, they decide to take him in. Over the next couple of days each character's life unfolds, exposing insecurities, lies and unfulfilled desires. 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in the Long Beach Island Historical Museum.

In Beach Pillows, when his long-term relationship falls into question, once-promising writer Morgan Midwood (Geoffrey Arend, "Body of Proof'') sees his life descend into chaos. Turning to his ne'er-do-well best friend Nick (Mad Men's Vincent Kartheiser) for support, the two embark on a whirlwind journey, taking on their issues with women, a rogue drug dealer, family and one revolutionary piece of furnishing. This will be a world premiere on Saturday, June 8, at 5:45 p.m. at the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

Furever is a feature-length documentary that explores the dimensions of grief people experience over the loss of a pet. It examines the sociological evolution of pets in the U.S. today, particularly their position in a family unit, and how this evolution is affecting those in the veterinary profession and death care industry. With interviews from grieving pet owners, veterinarians, psychologists, sociologists, religious scholars, neuroscientists, and the many professionals who preserve a pet's body for their devastated clientele, or re-purpose a pet's cremains in unique ways (taxidermy, cloning, mummification, freeze-drying, and many more), Furever confronts contemporary trends, perspectives, and relevant cultural assumptions regarding attachment, religion, ritual, grief, and death, and studies the bonds that form between humans and animals, both psychological and physiological. 6 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at the Island Baptist Church. Also showing with it is Fury's Wrath, a short film that details the three major storms that recently caused devastation on the East Coast -- Hurricane Irene, the "Frankenstorm" of 2011 and Superstorm Sandy, told from the point of view of the mayor of Woodland Park, and another film, Pulling Teeth.

The fourth feature film from 20-year-old director Emily Hagins, Grow Up Tony Phillips is a fantastical comedy about a Halloween super-enthusiast. But when Tony's friends decide that they're too cool for Halloween now that they're high school seniors, Tony starts to wonder if he's hopelessly behind the curve ... or way, way ahead of it. A hit at the SXSW film festival, Grow Up, Tony Phillips is a truly charming coming-of-age story perfectly handled by a director who can relate to her subjects. 6:15 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at the Surf City Firehouse.

Women Aren't Funny: New Jersey-based female comedian Bonnie McFarlane and her husband (fellow comedian Rich Vos) set out to determine once and for all if women are funny. Featuring cameos and interviews with Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Lisa Lampanelli, Joan Rivers and more of the biggest names in comedy, the film is a hilarious ride of personal and professional discovery to be shown Saturday, June 8, at 7:45 p.m., in the Long Beach Island Historical Museum, along with Heartbreak Pills: When a relationship ends in sorrow, the only cure might be a little, magic pill. Saturday, June 8, at 7:45 p.m. at the Long Beach Island Historical Museum, Beach Haven.

Bending Steel is an intimate journey exploring the lost art of the old-time strongman and one man's struggle to overcome limitations of body and mind. The filmmakers follow Chris Schoeck as he attempts to become a professional strongman, from training in his small basement storage unit to his very first performance on the big stage at New York's historic Coney Island. The film bears witness to a socially awkward man coming out of his shell, and what results is the inspiring and touching story of Chris' search for fulfillment and happiness, two things which have always seemed just out of reach. 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

Of By For: A journey across America's Route 66 finds a country united in disappointment with the status quo in Washington. Citizens from all walks of life discuss money in politics, divisive campaign tactics, broken promises and the helpless feeling that as the election nears, they must choose between the lesser of two evils. Of By For features in-depth analysis and candid conversations with some of the country's most notable politicians, campaign consultants and psychologists. Uncovering the powerful interests that corrode our political system and divide the people, Of By For finds that hope for real change still exists -- we've just been looking in all the wrong places. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in the Surf City Firehouse.

East Coast Rising: The tale of Hurricane Sandy seen through the eyes of those on the front line: the surf community. Local surfers and shore residents walk us through a devastation and destruction never seen on the Northeast coast while calling surf communities around the world to stand together, adapt, rebuild and to RISE. To be shown with other short films, including

Kook Paradise -- one part social commentary, one part comedy and one heaping spoonful of reality. Kook Paradise is filmed on location at Ditch Plains Beach highlighting the surf culture in and out of the water. It is shot in the style of the surfing films from the 1960s, bringing levity and humor. 9:45 p.m. Saturday, June 8 in the LBI Historical Museum, Beach Haven. Also to be shown with this film is RAW The Movie, a new vision in surf film making, combining surfing, the art of cinematography, and a mindful use of editing that synchronizes vision and audio. The film showcases a diverse range of the world's best surfers.

A party from 9:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. will take place at the Dutchman's Brauhaus in the outgoing Causeway.

SUNDAY

Rewind This: Home video changed the world. The cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape was enormous. This film traces the ripples of that impact by examining the myriad aspects of society that were altered by the creation of videotape. 11:30 Sunday, June 9, in the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

Who controls the future of your food?

GMO OMG explores the systematic corporate takeover and potential loss of humanity's most precious and ancient inheritance -- seeds. Director Jeremy Seifert investigates how the loss of seed diversity and corresponding laboratory-assisted genetic alteration of food affects his young children, the health of our planet, and freedom of choice everywhere.

GMO OMG follows one family's struggle to live and eat without participating in an unhealthy, unjust, and destructive food system. The encroaching darkness of unknown health and environmental risks, chemical toxins, and food monopoly meets with the light of a growing global movement to take back what we have lost. Has the global food system been irrevocably hijacked? Is there still time to reclaim its purity, protect biodiver- sity and save ourselves? Sunday, June 9, at 11:30 a.m. in the Long Beach Island Historical Museum, Beach Haven.

Bursting the Bubble: A young man, drifting in the wake of a romantic relationship, finds himself faced with the question: can we resist the impermanence of life by relying on an almost chronic sense of nostalgia? 11:30 a.m. Sunday, June 9, at the Surf City Volunteer Firehouse.

Double Header: A wise-cracking, death-obsessed senior drags his reluctant son to back-to-back funerals, forcing them to confront old issues and allowing them to breathe life back into their relationship. Also to be shown Sunday, June 9, at 11:30 a.m. in the Surf City Firehouse.

Black Metal: After a career spent mining his music from the shadows, the actions of one fan create a chain reaction for the lead singer of a black metal band. 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the Long Beach Island Historical Museum in Beach Haven.

Cans of Hope: On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 8 earthquake struck northern Japan. Coastal towns were engulfed in the huge tsunami that followed. Short films to be shown with this one include Connected, in which a group of strangers break through their isolated imaginary bubbles; John Wayne's Bed; L.A. Aboriginal; Revolver; and Menhaden: The Most Important Fish in the Bay. Sunday, June 9, at 1:45 p.m. in the Surf City Firehouse.

Also, The Earthquake (11 minutes). In a cramped Brooklyn apartment nine days after the earthquake in Haiti, a pregnant refugee fears she's carrying a stillborn while Haitian children play a dangerous game in the next room. Also playing with this will be Best of Both Worlds, Six Letter Word, Scattered, En Passant and A Portrait of the Sandwich Artist as a Young Man. At 1:45 p.m. Saturday in the Surf City Firehouse.

In Aqui Alla, Pedro returns home to his native Mexican mountain village after several years of labor as a migrant worker in the U.S. His savings have earned him a trip home with the hopes of providing for his family and becoming a musician. Upon his return, he faces a familiar but distant wife and teenage daughters who may as well be strangers. This striking film won the Critics Week award for Best Film at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Part of Borders on Film showcase. Sunday, June 9, at 2 p.m. at the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's story "The Ebb Tide," Waves is a modern film noir telling the story of three men who pilot a sailboat across the Mediterranean Sea in search of a desert island where they believe they can find an old dealer to rob. Sunday, June 9, at 3:45 p.m. in the Surf City Firehouse.

The closing film of the festival is Mother of George (winner of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival's Cinematography Award), a gripping drama about a woman willing to do anything and risk everything for her marriage. A story that intimately shows the Nigerian immigrant experience through the eyes of bride-to-be Adenike and her struggle to adjust and fulfill the expectations of a woman facing growing demands from family, friends and her new husband. It will be shown at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9, in the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences.

The Closing Party and Awards Ceremony will run from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the Dutchman's Brauhaus. The awards ceremony will begin at approximately 7 p.m.

___

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