The Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF) was founded in 2008 by Charlie Prince, who currently works at The Weinstein Company as the Chief Legal Officer and EVP of Operations. The festival's executive director is Eric Johnson, a filmmaker and screenwriter with broad film festival experience. Over time, the festival has attracted an impressive array of filmmakers, film critics and film industry professionals who share a passion for film and strive to create a festival that is rewarding for everyone who loves film, and also attentive and respectful of its filmmaker participants. Each year, LIFF champions a selection of new, often unrecognized films from the US and around the world to compete in its competition and audience award categories, which screen alongside award-winning spotlight films from Sundance, Cannes, SXSW, Toronto and Tribeca. Last year's festival opened with "Cameraperson", which we're very proud to see is on the short list for the Academy Award for best documentary. Other screenings from 2016 include "Women Who Kill" and "The Last Laugh", and you can find the full lineup of the festival's past screenings on our website.

The festival takes place on Long Beach Island, NJ -- one of the East coast’s most popular surfing destinations, and a short ride from both New York City and Philadelphia. 2017 will be the 9th year of the festival!

Awards & Prizes

Our festival gives the Golden Lighthouse award as selected by that year's festival jury, as well as an audience award for best feature film and best short film. Festival juries are comprised of filmmakers and industry professionals, and is normally comprised primarily of filmmakers who participated in previous years of the festival.

Rules & Terms

To be eligible for entry, films must have been completed after January 1, 2016. Films shorter than 40 minutes will be eligible for our short film competition, and films over 40 minutes are eligible for our feature film competition.

3 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Michael Goldburg

    What a gem of a festival! Fantastic experience all around. Beautiful location on the beaches of Long Beach Island, NJ. One of the best hospitality experiences I've ever had at a festival. They really take care of their filmmakers! And the programming is top-notch and the venues are great local spots. And the parties are a lot of fun. Great panels too. Eric, Charlie, Christine, Chip, Charlotte and the whole staff are amazing! Filmmakers - If you haven't submitted, you should!

    September 2017
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    Kathy Meng

    LIFF truly made me and my actress who attended the festival feel the independent filmmaking spirit. Everything from the communication between the festival coordinators, events thrown on the island, the friendliness from each and every staff member to the well-organized transportation went above and beyond my expectations.

    Need to make another film just to attend LIFF again next year! :D

    June 2017
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    Graceann Dorse

    Not sure where to start praising LIFF! It's an amazing experience, and they clearly care about filmmakers and the work. All communication was clear and timely; and all of the staff, from the Exec Director to the volunteers, were accessible and welcoming. There were plenty of events and networking opportunities, and the other filmmakers were very friendly. But it wasn't just a great social gathering; LIFF has assembled a community of very accomplished artists and industry guests who are there to help each other, and I'm so grateful I got to be a part of it!

    June 2017