LONG BEACH ISLAND – The Lighthouse International Film Festival will be the first film festival to be held in a fully drive-in format, its organizers announced.
The event will run from Tuesday, June 16 through Saturday, June 20 in several locations.
The festival will be showing films “as they were meant to be seen – on the big screen – while keeping the health and safety of its attendees its top priority.”
“Like all responsible New Jersey businesses and non-profits LIFF has come to realize that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option, at this unique point in time, and that the Festival cannot be presented in its usual format this year,” said Spokesperson Christine Rooney. “Accordingly, LIFF has committed itself to the idea of presenting the 2020 Festival in a ‘drive-in’ only format, where we would eschew our typical indoor movie venues and move outdoors under the stars. The focus of this particular format, of course, will be public safety. It is our intention to promote our local restaurants by encouraging our attendees to order from local restaurants and encouraging safe shopping at local businesses. We have always been the kick-off event of the season and this year will be no different.”
She thanked Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove and Beach Haven and Beach Haven Mayor Nancy Davis for their help in lobbying Governor Phil Murphy to allow drive-in movies to operate.
“In short, the Festival would be re-configured to provide audiences with a well-deserved night at the movies that is completely in sync with New Jersey enforcing social distancing standards,” she said. “We have been staying at home for weeks now. People with autoimmune disorders, the elderly are at risk and need a night out. Moms and dads need a night out. Couples need a night out. Moreover, our proposed drive-in Festival will entail the direct involvement of several New Jersey and local vendors and service providers and will, as always, provide an economic “spark” for countless area hospitality, food and beverage, and retail businesses, just at a time when it will be really needed.”
There is a huge shortage of cultural and entertainment events due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and festival organizers hope to fill that void.
“While COVID-19 put our daily lives on hold, it also shut down the window to the alternative universe of imagination, creation, and art that is cinema. Lighthouse International Film Festival is here to reopen this window on the big screen, as part of LBIs rejuvenation,” says LIFF executive director Amir Bogen. “While the drive-in option is being discussed in several festivals around the world, LIFF is willing to lead the way and make it happen for LBI’s amazing community and our fabulous filmmakers.”
In years past, there had been receptions and in-person Q&As. Unfortunately, this year, those events will not be possible. However, they are working on virtual screenings and virtual access to the talent.
For more information, tickets, and descriptions of each movie, visit lighthousefilmfestival.org and follow them on Facebook.