Drive-Ins 2020: Lighthouse International FF is World's First Drive-In Film Festival

Editor, U.S.; California (@m_galgana)
Drive-Ins 2020: Lighthouse International FF is World's First Drive-In Film Festival

[Still from the feature 1986.]

Well, it had to happen, and I'm glad it did: we've finally got the world's first film festival with all selected titles playing the only way they can in the public space right now --- the drive-in!

When you think of the Jersey Shore, your mind might conjure up the garish spectres of "gym, tanning, laundry" and loudmouthed fools, but an antidote to all of that trash culture exists.

One such example is the Lighthouse International Film Festival. This year, from June 16-20, they're bringing the festival safely to the movie-going public via old school drive-ins!

There's tons of interesting docs and features, as well as short film blocks, episodic programs, conversations with filmmakers, anniversary screenings, and more.

Check out the entire festival and drive-in locations at their site here. In the meantime, you can get a taste for what they're playing from the list of narrative features and docs below:


Her Name Was Jo

Joe Duca, 100 minutes, USA (World Premiere)

Ten-year old Jo spends her days along the Shenandoah River - fishing, scrapping for metal, surviving - with her best friend Selma. But, when her abusive junkie stepdad dies, Jo decides to dump the body, steal the car, and set off across the country (Selma in tow) in search of her real dad - the legendary Jonny Alvaraz, Last of the Southern Gentlemen and a once-popular folk singer now living in Los Angeles.


Morgan Ingari, 102 minutes, USA (Non-Virtual World Premiere)

Seeking direction and purpose, Milo (Molly Bernard) rashly decides to become a surrogate and egg donor for an older gay man she meets in a bar (Patrick Breen). However, as Milo becomes increasingly attached to him, she starts leveraging the pregnancy as a means of staying embedded in his life.

A Case of Blue

Dana H. Glazer, 80 minutes, USA (World Premiere)

Recently retired Richard Flicker (Stephen Schnetzer) attends a life-drawing class and encounters free-spirited Amelia (Annapurna Sriram), the spitting image of a long-lost love from decades ago. Grappling with a troubled home front, Richard flirts with the temptation of this second chance at romance.  


Lothar Herzog, 77 minutes, Germany (East Coast Premiere)

When Elena's father is arrested, she has to continue his illegal business. In order to make deals for him, she repeatedly has to drive into the 'forbidden zone' of Chernobyl - soon, her life seems more and more contaminated by a destructive force.

The Subject

Lanie Zipoy, 118 minutes, USA

A successful documentarian (Jason Biggs, American Pie) deals with the moral fallout from his last film, which caught the murder of an African American teenager on tape. Now, someone else is videotaping his every move, threatening his idyllic life.  


Feels Good Man

Arthur Jones, 92 minutes, USA (East Coast Premiere)

When indie comic character Pepe the Frog becomes an unwitting icon of hate, his creator fights to bring it back from the darkness of the far right movement. This Sundance documentary is about an unexpected cultural rift, but also tells the personal story of an individual thrust into a maelstrom. The film is a Frankenstein-meets-Alice in Wonderland journey of an artist battling to regain control of his vandalized creation, while along the way confronting a disturbing cast of characters (including Alex Jones and Richard Spencer) who have their own peculiar attachments to Pepe.

Higher Love

Hasan Oswald, 80 minutes, USA (New Jersey Premiere)

A blue-collar father tries to rescue his pregnant, heroin-addicted girlfriend from the dangerous streets of Camden, New Jersey. Once their son is born, a new journey begins for the fate of the baby and the family’s sobriety that may split them apart forever.

The Long Haul: The Story of The Buckaroos

Amy Enser, 84 minutes, USA (East Coast Premiere)

In the style of Magic Mike meets The Full Monty, seven “average Joes” defy traditional masculine stereotypes and put a comedic twist on the archetypal male revue. Meet the visionaries behind a Moulin Rouge-inspired cabaret club, Can Can, who depart from the flooded burlesque market to re-imagine the limited male revue staples such as Chippendales and Thunder from Down Under. The result is the Buckaroos - a theatrical cowboy western variety show featuring the “everyman”. 

No Fear No Favor

Mirra Bank, 65 minutes, USA

The film illuminates the wrenching choices faced by rural Africans who live where community meets wilderness—on the front lines of Africa’s poaching crisis. Filmed over several years in Zambia’s vast Kafue National Park, as well as in North Kenya and Namibia, the film follows local women and men who join the fight against the illegal wildlife trade through cooperative law enforcement and through community led conservation that sustains wildlife, returns profit to local communities, and generates new livelihoods.

Shoot to Marry

Steve Markle, 74 minutes, Canada

Heartbroken filmmaker Steve Markle heads to L.A. to shoot a doc about Kate, a gifted artist and crush from his past. Suddenly Steve realizes he’s found the perfect way to meet women: he’ll ask them to be in his documentary! Hopping from city to city, Steve shoots with dozens of intriguing women from an eccentric hat maker to a dominatrix to his third-grade crush. What unfolds is a hilarious and poignant real-life romantic comedy about a filmmaker intent on finding love.

About Lighthouse International Film Festival

Long Beach Island, New Jersey has sandy beaches, exciting surfing sites, and amazing local restaurants, but LIFF is much more than just a fun destination festival. We are proud to annually host notable world filmmakers and their incredible films. Since its founding in 2009, the festival continues to grow and gain recognition as a major cultural event for the East Coast. Every year, LIFF attracts filmmakers young and old, actors, editors, and fans – all of whom come to the island to see exciting new films and meet their creators. The LBI community welcomes the world with open arms, inviting everyone to enjoy the festival's special, one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

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