Film Festival Fanfare

May 08, 2019

To the Editor:

The long and short of it, for me, is the annual Lighthouse International Film Festival is the best event on LBI every year.

Lots of others from around the world seem to think so as well, which is why last year it was named one of the “coolest film festivals” on the planet by MovieMaker magazine.

For this 11th festival, June 6-9, the long, the short and the cool all come together with Shorty Long and the Jersey Horns playing at the premiere of “To Make a Long Story Short,” a film by locals Sal Del Giudice and Jeff Sternberger on Richard “Shorty Long” Tisch and his band that has rocked the Jersey Shore for more than a decade and is pretty much LBI’s summer house band.

The film’s premiere and Shorty’s performance will be on Friday, June 7 at Bird and Betty’s, the former Ketch in Beach Haven. I’ve been told by LIFF organizers there will be a limited number of advanced general admission tickets for non-fest goers.

Shorty and the Horns will close out the night after an earlier event at the Beach Haven Tuna and Marlin Club. It is where we locals, festival visitors, filmmakers and the actors can all just chill out and mingle. Both venues are new ones for the festival, as is the brand-new Hotel LBI, which will host Saturday night’s soiree. I’m looking forward to getting a peek at this place in full swing.

I think it is great that LIFF gives a platform to my filmmaker friends like Angela Andersen, Corrine G. Ruff, Jon Coen, Dave Kaltenbach and the Oak Leaf Media team to showcase to the world what the locals can do.

It also is a great way for us to show off LBI to the film world and movie buffs. I’ve seen films in the past, including some festival Grand Prize winners, that were filmed entirely here or had scenes shot on LBI.

At the recent festival kick-off party at the LBI Foundation in Loveladies, Amir Bogen, LIFF’s executive director, told us of some of the other featured films including the Netflix-produced “American Factory,” a documentary of a Chinese billionaire trying to jumpstart a closed Ohio auto plant.

Bogen also mentioned Oscar-winning filmmaker Guy Nattiv will be screening the full-length film based loosely on his Oscar short “SKIN,” about a white nationalist who turns his back on his past.

After 10 years of covering and volunteering for the festival, I thought I’d seen it all. But this year along comes “Well Groomed,” a glimpse into the highly competitive world of creative dog grooming. Who knew? From the clip I saw, this is like Miss America meets Honey Boo-Boo on meth, only with poodles.

This year’s festival includes more than 100 films at several venues, plus plenty of chances to meet and mingle with the filmmakers and the actors and actresses. For more details on VIP packages, sponsorship, housing and volunteer opportunities and a full schedule soon to follow go to lighthousefilmfestival.org.

Steve Moran


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