The 12th edition of the Lighthouse International Film Festival on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, won’t be cancelled despite the ongoing challenges around the coronavirus lockdown.
Instead, organizers have opted to push the event back two weeks to new dates, June 16-20, and utilize drive-in theatres to fulfil its screenings.
Cinemas in the U.S. will remain dark for a while yet (at least until late June or July for the vast majority), but socially-distanced drive-ins are doing business, and more are springing up around the country.
The festival’s delay will allow the team to implement up-to-date safety measures so they can get the events running in accordance with public health guidelines. Clearly, none of its typical networking events or parties will run this year.
Organizers are, however, still promising a rich program of new movies. The line-up hasn’t been published yet, and there’s likely to be some gaps due to the lack of Tribeca or SXSW festivals this year, which normally provide titles after their world premieres. The fest will announce its full line-up later this month.
“While COVID-19 put our daily lives on hold, it also shut down the window to the alternative universe of imagination, creation, and art that is cinema. Lighthouse International Film Festival is here to reopen this window on the big screen, as part of LBI’s rejuvenation,” said LIFF executive director Amir Bogen. “While the drive-in option is being discussed in several festivals around the world, LIFF is willing to lead the way and make it happen for LBI’s amazing community and our fabulous filmmakers.”