Lighthouse International Film Festival on Long Beach Island, NJ, is much more than just a film festival. It's a vibrant cultural event that combines it all: seeing quality films in dark screening rooms, enjoying sunny beaches outside, as well as panels, networking events, food, drinks, and parties. All of it throughout one long fun weekend between June 3-6, 2021.

After being somewhat of a hidden gem for a decade, Lighthouse International Film Festival made a splash in 2020 pivoting the way as the first drive-in real film festival in the world as reported in Deadline, Variety, NJ Star-Ledger and the Rolling Stone magazine. It was also chosen as one of "The 25 Coolest Film Festival in The World" by MovieMaker Magazine in both 2018 and 2020. We invite you to join us in the 13th edition of LIFF and submit your narrative features, docs, shorts and TV/web episodic. The selected films will participate in the festival's competition. The winners will be decided by the festival jury.

Lighthouse International Film Festival accepts submissions in the following categories:

- NARRATIVE features - US and international
- Feature-length DOCUMENTARIES - US and international
- Narrative and docs SHORTS (up to 30 minutes) - US and international
- Narrative and docs lONG-SHORTS (30-45 minutes) - US and international
- TV and Web series (between 3-20 minutes an episode)
- Surf films
- High School shorts

COVideo 2021
This year the festival will dedicate a special program "COVideo" for features, short films, TV projects and web-series that were produced during COVID19 time (2020-2021) and deal with the pandemic. The most significant global catastrophe of our generation impacted the film industry in a devastating way. We encourage filmmakers to create something positive out of the negative situation and LIFF 2021 will put a spotlight on relevant projects in all kinds of size, shapes, and genres. We do hope it's only a one-time thing.

Write By The Beach Program for Female Screenwriters
Submissions are also open for LIFF's "Write By The Beach" writers' retreat program. Three selected female filmmakers will spend a week in a beach house in the week leading up the 2021 Festival. Submissions are open to any female writer with at least one credit as a primary screenwriter on a produced short or feature film, with priority in selection given to those writers currently working on feature-length screenplays. LIFF may require additional information in making its selections.

The Lighthouse International Film Festival is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to showcasing diverse, dynamic storytelling, with a focus on unique voices and it blends the prestige of a carefully curated lineup of films with the intimacy of local arthouse screenings – screenings feature extended Q&As, while industry breakfasts and filmmaker access to all film screenings and events encourage networking and relationships-building. Whether at a screening, a panel discussion, a meeting over ice cream at the beach or just catching some waves at one of LBI’s terrific surfing spots, LIFF wants filmmakers and attendees to celebrate the myriad ways in which storytelling is exploding.

Every year, the festival offers jury awards to films in different categories. Jurors for these awards represent some of the most talented leaders in the industry, recently including the likes of Oscar-winning director Guy Nattiv ("Skin"), Oscar nominees Jean de Meuron and Raphaela Neihausen, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner, programmers Thom Powers (TIFF) and Meira Blaustein (Woodstock FF) as well as film scholars and industry executives. All official selections of LIFF, excluding Headlining Films, are eligible for Audience Awards.

The Jennifer Snyder Bryceland Filmmaker Award
In 2019, LIFF and Chicago Media Project joined together in offering The Jennifer Snyder Bryceland Filmmaker Award. The special prize recognizes documentary filmmakers whose projects embody the generous, thoughtful and positive energy demonstrated by beloved Long Beach Island resident Jennifer Snyder Bryceland in all aspects of her life.

The $3,500 award is given to a filmmaker whose feature-length documentary displays artistic excellence, incorporates environmental themes (local, regional or global) and inspires optimism in audiences.



Completion Date:
- Entries must have been completed on or after January 1, 2019.

- Foreign language films must be with English subtitles.


- Entries must be submitted via an online platform, with a working screener.

- Films selected for screening will be notified on or around May 10, 2021.

- Entry Fee paid
- A working screener. (We welcome works in progress, however trailers, reels, or anything other than a screener for the film will not be considered).


- The filmmaker has read and understood the rules and regulations and to the best of their knowledge, all statements are true. The filmmaker is duly authorized to submit this film to the Lighthouse International Film Festival.

- LIFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund of submission fees.

- Films must not have publicly screened in the greater Central New Jersey area prior to the festival (NYC and Philadelphia are not included in this area.) While world premieres are not requirements for LIFF, this information is taken into consideration when making final programming decisions.

- All accepted films may be screened more than once, and are scheduled at the discretion of the Lighthouse International Film Festival staff.

- Films produced or financed by a major motion picture studio are eligible for festival screenings but are not eligible for competitive awards. Films that have acquired distribution are eligible for festival screenings and awards at the discretion of the LIFF staff.

- Upon submission, the filmmaker consents to allowing their screener material to be shared in its entirety with appropriate LIFF staff, including programming staff, volunteer screeners, and other appropriate members of staff; shared with press outlets in efforts to secure press for the film; with final jury members; and with select individuals representing community partners who may be interested in supporting the film’s screening or taking part in a panel or q&a associated with the film.

-The festival is hereby also granted the right to utilize image(s) and/or biographical information of the filmmakers for promotional purposes. The festival reserves the right to fill in any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available and will not be responsible if incorrect information is entered.

- It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to secure authorization for any copyrighted material that may be used in the film. The filmmaker shall indemnify and hold harmless Lighthouse International Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

- LIFF does not pay screening fees for submitted film, nor it can guarantee travel or distribution for filmmakers.

- By submitting, the filmmaker expressly acknowledges and agrees to these terms in consideration for LIFF's consideration of their film, and they agree that they shall be bound by the terms of this agreement.

Overall Rating
  • L Zipoy

    What a fabulous festival. The staff is very dedicated to artists, and makes everyone feel a part of the festival. Even during a pandemic. This year's version was at the Drive-In. It was wild to see our film in that format, but very fun. The volunteers on site were terrific and made sure social distancing measures were in place. Long Beach Island is a quaint beach town, and I look forward to returning when we aren't in a global pandemic. Terrific communication too. I would apply to Lighthouse International Film Festival in another year. Well worth it.

    July 2020
  • In tough times ... The team delivered a great event!

    July 2020
  • William Wedig

    I absolutely LOVE Lighthouse for it's easy going vibes and friendly filmmaker atmosphere. One of my favorite festivals and Charlie and the entire team are rockstars and so welcoming to filmmakers. And you simply can't beat the location.

    October 2019
  • Shara Ashley Zeiger

    Lighthouse is one of my favorite festivals. They really put a lot of effort into making it a truly filmmaker focused fest. There were many events for the filmmakers to network at, the films they programmed were all really good, the location is beautiful, and the hospitality of everyone on the team was really impressive. I am so grateful to have screened there.

    August 2019
  • anthony breatnach

    Delighted to have our film THE MONTERREY EXPRESS selected for this festival. I was unable to attend. Communication was good. This festival is of high quality and worth entering.

    July 2019