Lighthouse International Film Festival in 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 6-9.

After being somewhat of a hidden gem for a decade, Lighthouse International Film Festival was chosen as one of "The 25 Coolest Film Festival in The World" by MovieMaker Magazine. We invite you to join us in the 11th 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:

- US narrative features
- International narrative features
- US documentaries
- International documentaries
- US shorts - narrative and docs (up to 40 mintes)
- International shorts - narrative and docs
- TV and Web series (between 3-20 minutes an episode)
- High School shorts
- Surf films

* LIFF also accepts VR submission to be displayed out of competition.

Write By The Beach Program
Lighthouse International Film Festival is also open for submissions for its "Write By The Beach" program, a writers’ retreat for female screenwriters and filmmakers. Taking advantage of the inspiration provided by the scenic backdrop of LBI, the selected female screenwriters and filmmakers will spend a week in a beach house in the week leading up the 2019 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, such as – but not limited to – writing samples, film or equivalent writing credits and a brief synopsis of the current writing project to be focused on during the residency.

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 nominees Jean de Meuron and Raphaela Neihausen, programmers Thom Powers (TIFF), Goran Topalovic (NY Asian FF) and acclaimed director Guy Nattiv ("Skin") and industry executives Adley Gartenstein, Andrew Mer, Liselle Feingold and Steve Scibelli. All official selections of LIFF, excluding Headlining Films, are eligible for Audience Awards.

The Jennifer Snyder Bryceland Filmmaker Award
This year, LIFF and Chicago Media Project will join together in offering The Jennifer Snyder Bryceland Filmmaker Award. A special prize that 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 $2,500 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, 2017.

- 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 April 30, 2018.

- 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, 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
  • Elizabeth Page

    LIFF is a terrific festival. It’s well organized, the community is invested and shows up at all the acreenings so you have full houses, the films are varied and interesting and the filmmakers are there for Q&As and events. Plus the organizers really take care of their filmmakers. There is a hospitality house on the beach with catered meals all day and events every night with food and plenty of time to chat so that you really get to know one another. Also the moderators for each screening really take the time to get to know the films and ask specific questions. Plus there’s the beach! Just a wonderful festival.

    June 2019
  • Danae Grandison

    Loved this festival! What a great festival and the team that supports it. Felt so welcomed and loved the selection of films in my block. Will be coming back again with my next film (when I make it).

    June 2019
  • Richa Rudola

    Lighthouse is a wonderful festival. The entire LBI island opens up to welcome you with their warm hospitality and support for independent filmmaking. The festival organizers are superb and know every filmmaker's work by heart. I was lucky to participate in their terrific Write By The Beach writing residency this time and loved the experience. Easily one of my favorite festivals and I would recommend this to all filmmakers, film-lovers and beach-bums. Thank you LIFF for a terrific time, can't wait to be back!

    June 2019
  • Mary McGloin

    Wow. I've been to a lot of festivals and this is easily one of the nicest and most enjoyable. The community Rally's around the festival, so everything is well attended, the selection of films was excellent, there was tons of opportunity to network, make new friends, and have a great time. Plus it's on the beach! And the hospitality is off the charts!! There's a filmmaker hospitality house on the beach where they had amazing food for us all day! Definitely top of my list! Only wish I could have been there the whole time!

    June 2019
  • Clayton Smith

    Lighthouse is an impressive festival with tons of community support, packed houses, vibrant and super social vibe and outrageous hospitality to the filmmakers. Highly recommended and will definitely be submitting again!

    June 2019