Festival News

2019 Opening and Closing Night Films
The Lighthouse International Film Festival is proud to announce the opening film of its 11th edition: Skin - a US feature by Oscar-winning director Guy Nattiv. The closing film of LIFF 2019 will be Netflix's documentary American Factory by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar.

"We are overjoyed and excited to have Skin as the 2019 Lighthouse International Film Festival's opening film. Skin is an American feature that was made by an Israeli filmmaker who takes a deep look at the dark roots of racism in the USA. This thrilling drama premiered at Toronto Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI critics award, it was selected to Berlin Film Festival , and we are proud to screen it in Long Beach Island, as well," says Amir Bogen, the executive director of Lighthouse International Film Festival.

Skin is based on the true story of Bryon Widner, the former leader of a white supremacist group in Ohio who became an activist against hate groups. Jamie Bell offers up an intense, electrifying performance as a destitute young man, raised by racist skinheads (Bill Camp and Vera Farmiga) and notorious among white supremacists, who turns his back on hatred and violence to transform his life, with the help of a black activist (Mike Colter) and the woman he loves (Danielle Macdonald). The A24 film was produced by Nattiv and his wife Jamie Ray Newman, Oren Moverman, Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, and Dillon D. Jordan.

"Skin is a powerful film that peels the layers of racism and hate as it is being expressed on the skin and beneath it." says Bogen, "While adopting the point of view of the outsider, Guy Nattiv manages to dive deep into the intimate world of white supremacists through a fascinating character study of a young man torn between his isolated out-bringing of hatred and the way to redemption through love and family. While the story is nested in the heart of today's America, Nattiv expresses the full extent of his talent, sensitivity, and vision to provide a strikingly honest portrayal of racism as a universal human phenomena."

2019 Lighthouse International Film Festival in Long Beach Island, New Jersey (LBI) will open on Thursday, June 6th and will conclude on Saturday, June 9th, after a weekend packed with quality feature narratives, docs, shorts, and episodic content, accompanied by panels, networking events, and parties all set against the relaxing scenery of LBI and the Atlantic Ocean. The festival was founded by Charlie Prince in 2009 and, since then, has evolved not only as a leading film festival in New Jersey, but also as a cultural event. In 2018, MovieMaker Magazine named LIFF one of "The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in The World".

Nattiv, who was on the 2018 narrative features competition jury at Lighthouse International Film Festival, will return to LBI as an Oscar-winning director after winning last year's award for the Best Live-Action Short Film (also called Skin). "I am humbled and thrilled to open this year's Lighthouse International Film Festival with my first US feature film, Skin," says Nattiv. "True cinema runs through the veins of Charlie, Amir, and the entire passionate and devoted Lighthouse team. I can't wait to witness the new and excellent work of fellow filmmakers from all over the world."

The closing film of LIFF 2019 will American Factory by documentary filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, who present a timely story about blue collar workers in the Midwest. In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring two thousand American workers. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks, as high-tech China clashes with working-class America. This Netflix film premiered at Sundance Film Festival this year, where Bognar and Reichert won the directing award in the American Documentary Competition. Both will attend the festival this year, as well as LIFF alumnus, producer Jeff Reichert.

"We are thrilled and honored that American Factory will be the Closing Night film at this year's Lighthouse Film Festival," said Julia Reichert. "LBI is where I spent every summer of my youth. We lived in a trailer in Holgate and later on a boat in Beach Haven that my dad took out on fishing parties. The shore, the docks, the bay are all in my soul, and it will be very meaningful to return with our new film."

The 11th Lighthouse International Film Festival will take place this year over the first weekend of June (Thursday, 6/6 through Sunday 6/9) in Long Beach Island, NJ (LBI).

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The Jennifer Snyder Bryceland Filmmaker Award

The Lighthouse International Film Festival, the Lagralane Group, and the Chicago Media Project will join together this year in offering The Jennifer Snyder Bryceland Filmmaker Award.

This new special prize recognizes documentary filmmakers whose projects embody the generous, thoughtful and positive energy demonstrated by beloved Long Beach Island resident Jennifer Snyder Bryceland in all aspects of her life.

The $2,500 special prize will be given to a filmmaker whose feature-length documentary displays artistic excellence, incorporates environmental themes (local, regional or global) and inspires optimism in audiences.

The award's jury members, Paula Froehle (Co-Founder of CMP) and Matt Soraci (COO Lagralane Group, and Jen's cousin), will decide on the winner who will be announced during the awards ceremony of 2019 Lighthouse International Film Festival.

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