Lighthouse International Film Festival Announces Full 2017 Lineup



The Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF) has announced the complete lineup for its ninth annual event, which will take place June 8-11, 2017 on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The festival will open with Sam Voutas’ acclaimed KING OF PEKING, a rousing Beijing-set love letter to cinema that brought cheering audiences to their feet at Tribeca 2017.

“From the opening frames of KING OF PEKING, I knew that it was special and a film that the LIFF audience will love,” says Lighthouse International Film Festival’s Eric Johnson. “Sam Voutas has made a film that speaks to cinephiles in a unique way, filled with moments that show film’s ability to act as a universal bond, while also telling a terrific story with a ton of heart and laughs. It is punctuated by pitch-perfect turns from his actors and it all comes together to form a sublime way to kick off the 2017 festival. We are thrilled to champion the emergence of one of the most exciting young directors working today by opening with KING OF PEKING.”

KING OF PEKING will open LIFF on June 8th at Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences in Loveladies, NJ, with director Sam Voutas participating in a Q&A following the screening.

LIFF will again present both Documentary and Narrative Centerpiece Films, including Jonathan Olshefski’s QUEST as Documentary Centerpiece. A vérité portrait of a North Philadelphia family that was shot over the course of a decade, it tells the tale of Christopher “Quest” Rainey, along with his wife Christine (aka “Ma Quest”). They open the door to their home music studio, which serves as a creative sanctuary from the strife that grips their neighborhood. Over the years, the family evolves as everyday life brings a mix of joy and unexpected crisis. Set against the backdrop of a country now in turmoil, the film is a tender depiction of an American family whose journey is a profound testament to love, healing and hope. QUEST will screen at The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences on June 10th.

The Festival’s Narrative Centerpiece film is FITS AND STARTS, the feature directorial debut of Laura Terruso. The acclaimed comedy stars The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac as a struggling writer who has been toiling away at the same novel for years. His wife (Jennifer Greta Lee) is a hot young literary figure, who has just released a new masterpiece. When her publisher invites the couple to an artists’ salon at his home in Connecticut, the pair embark on a twisted journey, and David must face his demons and try to “not be weird” among the waspy salon guests and competitive art set in attendance. He encounters a dentist with publishing aspirations, a book critic full of condescending advice, a fellow writer who may know his wife a little too well, an old “friend” and a high powered bipolar literary agent who just might be able to help him… for a price. FITS AND STARTS will screen on June 9th at The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences, with Laura Terruso in attendance for a Q&A after the film.

Closing the 2017 Festival will be MISSING IN EUROPE, director Tamar Halpern’s tense new thriller about a cyber security expert visiting Serbia under the guise of attending a conference for work, but is really there to check in on her daughter, Karissa, who has been studying abroad. Their happy reunion is cut short when Karissa and her classmate Lara go clubbing and seemingly disappear into thin air. Sara is certain that her daughter has been abducted. Utilizing a host of hacking skills and following the clues Karissa is leaving behind, she starts to uncover a major sex trafficking ring. Even worse, it seems the local police force is in on it. With nobody to trust but herself, Sara uses every tool at her disposal to locate her daughter before she’s sold to the highest bidder and disappears forever. MISSING IN EUROPE will screen at The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences on June 11th, with director Tamar Halpern on hand for a Q&A afterward.

The Lighthouse International Film Festival is also proud to announce the inclusion of Sundance Jury Winner DINA, the World Premiere of New Jersey-lensed THE OYSTER FARMERS, the Ugandan Wakaliwood actioner BAD BLACK, and its first-ever VR content. Alongside Lighthouse’s thrilling first foray into episodic content – Onur Tukel’s highly-anticipated BLACK MAGIC FOR WHITE BOYS – the festival will also be bringing back its immensely successful “Write By the Beach”, last year’s debut writers’ retreat program for female filmmakers and screenwriters. Designed with a simple mission to foster female voices in independent film, the program will see the Festival bring four female filmmakers and screenwriters to Long Beach Island for a week leading up to and including the Festival, with no obligation except to put work into whatever project they are currently developing. The 2017 Write By The Beach recipient writers will be announced later in May.

Additional talent attending the festival’s 2017 edition include Angela Anderson and Corrine Gray Ruff (THE OYSTER FARMERS), Jody Lambert (BRAVE NEW JERSEY), Lara Stolman (SWIM TEAM), Michael Borowiec and Sam Marine (MAN UNDERGROUND), Michael Clayton (THE DUNNING MAN), Onur Tukel (BLACK MAGIC FOR WHITE BOYS), Rachel Shuman (ONE OCTOBER), Rotem Zissman-Cohen (actress, OUR FATHER), Sandra Luckow (THAT WAY MADNESS LIES), Victoria Negri (GOLD STAR), and Will Rogers (actor, A BAD IDEA GONE WRONG).

Inspired by the historic Barnegat Lighthouse, which has beckoned travelers to LBI since 1859, LIFF has emerged as New Jersey’s leading international film festival. The festival will feature award-winning films from countries around the world, as well as nightly parties and panel discussions.

For full schedule and ticket information on the 2017 festival, visit




  • King of Peking, Sam Voutas, China


  • Fits and Starts, Laura Terruso, USA


  • Quest, Jonathan Olshefski, USA


  • Missing in Europe, Tamar Halopern, USA


  • Bad Black, Nabwana I.G.G., Uganda
  • Dina, Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini, USA
  • Gaza Surf Club, Philip Gnadt and Mickey Yamine, Germany
  • Infinity Baby, Bob Byington, USA
  • The Journey, Nick Hamm, UK
  • Person to Person, Dustin Guy Defa, USA
  • The Road Movie, Dimitrii Kalashnikov, Belarus/Russia/Serbia/Bosnia & Herzegovina/Croatia


  • A Bad Idea Gone Wrong, Jason Headley, USA
  • Brave New Jersey, Jody Lambert, USA
  • The Dunning Man, Michael Clayton, USA
  • Gold Star, Victoria Negri, USA
  • Man Underground, Michael Borowiec and Sam Marine, USA
  • Memories of Summer, Adam Guzinski, Poland
  • Our Father, Meni Yaish, Israel
  • Woven, Nagwa Ibrahim and Salome Mulugeta. USA


  • The Crest, Mark Covino, USA
  • One October, Rachel Shuman, USA
  • The Oyster Farmers, Angela Anderson and Corinne Gray Ruff, USA
  • Santoalla, Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer, USA/Spain
  • Swim Team, Lara Stolman, USA
  • That Way Madness Lies, Sandra Luckow, USA


  • Black Magic for White Boys, Onur Tukel, USA


  • The Accord, R.C. Cone, USA/Iceland
  • Another Girl, Austin Kase, USA
  • The Bake Sale, Susan Skoog, USA
  • The Best and the Loneliest Days, Qianzhu Luo, USA
  • Break-In, Christopher Cox, USA
  • Bruce Loves You, Darin Quan, USA
  • C.I.T., Cara Consilvio, USA
  • Candice and Peter’s Smokin’ Hot Date, Leanne Bishop and Michael Mason, Canada
  • Catherine, Britt Raes, Belgium
  • The Collection, Adam Roffman, USA
  • Commercial Crabberman (A Livelyhood On The Barengat Bay), Andrew DiAngelis, USA
  • Le Creuset, Don Downie, USA
  • Deadbeat, Jesse R. Tendler, USA
  • Demonoid (1971), Alaric Rocha, USA
  • Do No Harm, Roseanne Liang, New Zealand
  • Dogs and Tacos, Steven Bachrach, USA
  • Don’t Think About It, Niv Klainer, USA
  • Election Night, Ryan Scafuro, USA/England
  • Epiphany V, Kevin Newbury, USA
  • La Folia, Adam Grannick, USA
  • For Marta, Isabel Ellison, USA
  • Fresh Blood, Richa Rudola, USA
  • Fry Day, Laura Moss, USA
  • Good Luck (in Farsi), Jessica Cummings, USA
  • Hilda, Kiira Benzing, USA
  • The Hobbyist, George Vatistas, USA
  • I’m Sticking With You, Eric Shahinian, USA
  • Innocent or Otherwise, Alex Forstenhausler, USA
  • Juliet Remembered, Tamzin Merchant, UK
  • Life and Sand, Simon Mendes, USA
  • Lone Signal, Jessi Erian Colon, USA
  • Nanny, Kathy Meng, USA
  • Night Shift, Marshall Tyler, USA
  • The Other End, Sudeep Kanwal, USA/India
  • The Other Side, Griselda San Martin, Spain
  • The Poet and the Professor, Ariel Kavoussi, USA
  • Prerequesite, Geoffrey Guerrero, USA
  • Refugee, Joyce Chen, Emily Chen, and Emily Moore, USA
  • Rikishi, Julien Menanteau, Germany
  • Rose’s Children, Josh Adwar and Jamie Dolan, USA
  • Says, David C. Lynch, Ireland
  • The Scarecrow, Phillip Rhys, USA
  • The Seven Men of Hanukkah, Daryl Lathon, USA
  • Shapers, Graham Willoughby, USA
  • Silver Lining, Joe Kolbow, USA
  • Siren Song: Women Singers of Pakistan, Fawzia Afzal-Khan, India/Pakistan
  • The Skull, Graceann Dorse, USA
  • The Spectrum, Sean MacLaughlin and Quinn MacLaughlin, USA
  • Spell Claire, Greg Emetaz, USA
  • Static, Kevin Hoyer, USA
  • Stitched, Heather Taylor, USA
  • Sure-Fire, Michael Goldburg, USA
  • Test of Courage, Rena Dumont, Germany
  • Twin Days, Alex Markman, USA
  • Wake, Kristen Kress Parness, USA


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