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Lighthouse International Film Festival 2020: the drive-in is back in New Jersey!

As a consequence of the pandemic, the drive-in is making a stellar comeback to where it was born – New Jersey. Perhaps not many of you know that back in 1933 there was a Mr. Richard Hollingstead in Camden who patented drive-in movies and got rolling with the novelty that very June. Eighty-seven years later, Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF) has announced that it will hold its twelfth edition in drive-in mode at a variety of locations around Long Beach Island. The event will run from Tuesday, June 16th through Saturday, June 20th. Makeshift drive-in venues have been popping up all over NJ since Governor Phil Murphy announced, on May 13th, that they would be allowed. People in the state have been relying heavily on Internet entertainment, as proved by the success of Best NJ Online Casinos that has been providing some very welcome extra fun for weeks during the lockdown. Going out to see a movie, though, was something that people sorely missed. Hence the immediate success of the drive-in renaissance.

The Lighthouse International Festival is adding something extremely precious to the experience: new movies! One of the shortcomings of the makeshift drive-ins is that they serve a lot of old films, like Predators of the Lost Ark, or Grease. Ok, they are classics. Ok, they add that vintage aftertaste to the experience. Yet, it can easily cost you something in the range of 25-30 bucks per car and leave you wondering if it is good value for money. If that is your problem, head for Long Beach Island and get yourself some new stuff at LIFF. The sections in the program are: Centerpiece films, Spotlight films and Special Presentations. A series of Narrative and Documentary Feature selections has been added to the 2020 edition.

Tickets are for sale online for 30 movies in four different locations. You will face some dilemmas, when going through the program on LIFF’s website, to pick one out of a block of three movies screening at the same time, because they are all juicy, attractive, original offers. Among the Centerpiece Films, the most recent work of Oscar winners Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar stands out. Fresh from last March’s Academy Award for American Factory (LIFF 2019 closing film), Reichert and Bognar are presenting 9to5 as a World Premiere. The title is inspired by the name of a protest movent of America’s secretaries from the 1970s. Reacting to on-the-job abuse, they took to the streets and even inspired a movie by Jane Fonda and a song by Dolly Parton. Apart from this, the story of their fight was mostly untold, so Reichert and Bognar set out to make it right.

Lighthouse International Festival is the first in the world to screen all titles in a socially-distanced drive-in format. The goal being to offer patrons the true emotion of the big screen, after so many weeks of confinement at home. But if you cannot attend in person, despair not! There is a virtual section too, offering 80 shorts films, surf films, web series, TV formats, and a few features from around the world.


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