Lighthouse International Film Festival on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, is much more than just a film festival. It's a vibrant cultural event that combines the experience of seeing quality films in dark screening rooms with enjoying beautiful sunny beaches and also includes engaging panels, invaluable networking events, tasty and plentiful food and drinks, and fun parties. LIFF was chosen as one of "The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2018 and 2020. Over the years, the festival has been covered by The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, Variety, NJ Star-Ledger, Rolling Stone Magazine, NBC 4 New York, and many more. The 16th annual edition of the Lighthouse International Film Festival will take place over one very fun long summer weekend between June 5-9, 2024.

We invite you to join us for the 15th anniversary of the Lighthouse International Film Festival and submit your narrative features, docs, shorts, TV/web episodic pilots, surf films, and (high school) student films. The selected films will participate in the festival's various competitions. The award winners will be decided by the festival jury and our audiences. Additionally, two cash prize awards will be granted: The Honey Levine Audience Choice Award for narrative and documentary features ($1,000 prize) and the Jennifer Snyder Bryceland Award – a $2,000 cash award for exceptional environmental/social issue documentaries.

Lighthouse International Film Festival accepts submissions in the following categories:

- Narrative Features – U.S. and International
- Documentary Features – U.S. and International
- Narrative Shorts (up to 45 minutes) – U.S. and International
- Documentary Shorts (up to 45 minutes) – U.S. and International
- TV and Web Series Pilots (up to 45 minutes in length) – U.S. and International
- Darkhouse Genre Films: Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Features & Shorts – U.S. and International
- Surf Films: Features and Shorts – U.S. and International
- High School Student Short Films

Write by the Beach retreat, now taking place in the fall, will accept submissions separately in a later date.

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

Every year, the festival offers jury awards in numerous categories. Jurors for these awards represent some of the most talented leaders in the industry, including the likes of Oscar-winning filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar ("American Factory") and Guy Nattiv ("Skin"); Oscar nominees Tomer Shushan, Jean de Meuron, Joan Stein Schimke, and Raphaela Neihausen; acclaimed filmmakers Ondi Timoner, Jack Sholder, Charlotte Regan ("Scrapper"), Keith Maitland ("Tower"), Sonia Kennebeck, Lynne Sachs; producers Meredith Kaulfers, Chester Algernal Gordon ("The Inspection"), Lee Broda ("Tesla"), and Jonathan Duffy ("Sorry To Bother You"); programmers Thom Powers (TIFF) and Meira Blaustein (Woodstock FF), Dan Sullivan (Lincoln Center); international critics Nathalie Chifflet and Wilfred Okiche as well as film scholars and industry executives.

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 $2,000 award is given to a filmmaker whose feature-length documentary displays artistic excellence, incorporates environmental and social themes (local, regional, or global), and inspires optimism in audiences. The award is offered by the family of Jennifer Snyder Bryceland.

The Honey Levine Audience Choice Award
LIFF offers an award for narrative and documentary features on the festival's program that are eligible for audience voting. The festival wishes to commemorate the legacy of Honey Levine, a local patron of the arts and a cinephile who is also the mother of LIFF board member Jerry Levine. The winning film will receive a $1,000 cash prize.



Completion Date:
- Entries must have their first showing on or after January 1st, 2023.

- Foreign language films must include English subtitles.


- Entries must be submitted via FilmFreeway's online platform with a working screener.

- Films selected for screening will be notified on or around May 1st, 2023.


- Paid Entry Fee.
- A working screener. (We welcome works in progress; however, trailers, reels, or anything other than a complete 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 premiere status is not a requirement for LIFF, this information is taken into consideration when making final programming decisions.

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

- Films produced and/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 our jury members to determine award winners; 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 images and/or biographical information of the filmmaker(s) 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 films, nor can LIFF guarantee travel, lodging, 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
  • Long Beach Island, NJ is a beautiful and perfect setting for a film festival, and Lighthouse outdid themselves with their selection of films, venues, parties, hospitality, and helpful, friendly volunteers. Not to mention having 18 miles of beach as your back yard and the filmmaker is all set to step away from the world for a few days and enjoy the gift of Paradise. This festival definitely has a beach bum vibe to it; the dress code being low key, especially if one is used to red carpets and dressing up. From the moment our documentary short, A PERFECT LOVE, was chosen, communication was ongoing; the committee working with the filmmaker every step of the way and welcoming us with open arms. My only regret was that the time wasn't long enough, but hopefully, with our next film, we'll be back enjoying this charming community once again.

    September 2023

    Was really excited to have my short selected for LIFF. Was a fantastic experience and the communication was quick and precise.

    August 2023
  • Cory Stonebrook

    Lighthouse was very communicative and they run a wonderful event. The level of work by the filmmakers selected is very high and everyone involved are extremely nice. We were very grateful to be included in the Darkhouse Shorts block and excited that this festival celebrates genre films.

    July 2023
  • Five Stars:
    We were so grateful to have our short film OVERDUE in this welcoming and beautifully run film festival. The location of Long Beach Island is just beautiful. Fantastic films, fun parties and networking, and lovely people who run the festivals. A shout out to the many volunteers who couldn't be more helpful. Particularly appreciated the attention to the short films and loved our location which was in a museum. Highly recommended. Thank you LIFF!

    July 2023
  • Travis Ross

    Great festival! Everyone involved was clearly very passionate about this festival. Met some great people that I know I'll have in my life from now on

    June 2023