Madeleine Olnek’s acclaimed Wild Nights With Emily, a rousing Emily Dickenson comedy starring Molly Shannon, will open this year’s tenth annual Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF), taking place June 7-10, 2018 on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.
“We knew immediately that we wanted to open our 2018 Festival with Wild Nights With Emily, it’s a special kind of comedy and a film that the LIFF audience will love,” says Lighthouse International Film Festival’s Eric Johnson. “Madeleine Olnek has consistently pushed the comedic envelope in her previous films and this film brings it all together, telling a terrific story with a ton of heart and laughs. It is punctuated by pitch-perfect turn from Molly Shannon and it all works in a sublime way. Kicking off the 2018 festival with Madeleine’s film allows us to present a superb piece of independent cinema to our audience while continuing to champion Madeleine as a director who embodies the independent film values that LIFF embraces.”
Wild Nights With Emily will open LIFF on June 7th at the Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies, NJ, with director Madeleine Olnek participating in a Q&A following the screening.
LIFF will again present both Documentary and Narrative Centerpiece Films, including Jeremy Workman’s The World Before Your Feet as Documentary Centerpiece. The film tells the story of Matt Green, a man who has dedicated more than six years to walking every block of every street in New York City – a journey of more than 8,000 miles, as he seeks out moments of understanding about his world and the people who live in it. Executive Produced by Jesse Eisenberg, the film initially looks at a single city and its residents but as it progresses it transforms into a reflection on our larger world and its endless possibilities. The World Before Your Feet will screen at the Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts and Sciences on June 9, with director Jeremy Workman and subject Matt Green taking part in a Q&A following the screening.
The Festival’s Narrative Centerpiece film is Madeline’s Madeline, the latest feature from dynamic director Josephine Decker. The acclaimed film received rave reviews out of its Sundance premiere and features a breathtaking debut of Helena Howard as a teenager who has become an integral part of a prestigious physical theater troupe. When the workshop’s ambitious director (Molly Parker) pushes the teenager to weave her rich interior world and troubled history with her mother (Miranda July) into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur. The resulting battle between imagination and appropriation rips out of the rehearsal space and through all three women’s lives. A stunning film, one of the year’s best, Madeline’s Madeline will screen on June 8 at the Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts and Sciences with Josephine Decker participating in a Q&A following the screening.
Closing the 2018 Festival will be Anote’s Ark, a documentary about the low-lying Pacific nation of Kiribati, which faces a daunting challenge: imminent annihilation from sea-level rise. As Anote Tong, Kiribati’s President, races to find a way to protect his nation’s people set against the backdrop of international climate negotiations and the fight to recognize climate displacement as an urgent human rights issue, Anote’s personal struggle to save his nation is intertwined with the extraordinary fate of Sermary, a young mother of six, who decides to migrate her family to New Zealand. At stake are the survival of Sermary’s family, the iKiribati people, and 4,000 years of iKiribati culture. In closing the 2018 Festival with the film, LIFF continues its dialogue on global climate change, particularly with regard to rising sea levels, an issue that is of particular sensitivity to LIFF’s audience following the devastation incurred on LBI following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Anote’s Ark will screen on June 10 at the Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts and Sciences.
The Lighthouse International Film Festival has announced the inclusion of Sundance and Rotterdam Audience Award Winner The Guilty, New Jersey-subject and Hot Docs award-winner 306 HOLLYWOOD and Sundance Special Jury Prize winner Crime + Punishment. Additionally, its Storytellers category will more than double in recognition of the increased importance of episodic content.
The Festival has also announced the selected writers for the third edition of its WRITE BY THE BEACH writers’ retreat program for female filmmakers and screenwriters. The 2018 writers that will participate in a week of writing on LBI prior to and encompassing the Festival are Sharon E. Cooper, Anne Hu and Rose Schimm. WRITE BY THE BEACH is a program designed to foster female writers’ creativity by providing a motivating environment for writing, professional mentorship and dynamic inspiration from participating Festival filmmakers – the Festival has 47 works with female directors in the 2018 lineup.
Additional filmmaking talent attending the festival’s 2018 edition include Xin Xu (director, A Yangtze Landscape), Carra Greenberg (producer, Daughters Of The Sexual Revolution), Onur Tukel (director, The Misogynists), Andrea Magnani (director, Easy), Alex Huston Fischer and Rachel Wolther (co-directors, Snowy Bing Bongs Across The North Star Combat Zone), Emmy Harrington (director, Two Little B*#ches) and Cath Gulick (director, The Fever and The Fret).
Inspired by the historic Barnegat Lighthouse, which has beckoned travelers to LBI since 1859, LIFF has emerged as New Jersey’s leading international film festival. The festival will feature award-winning films from countries around the world, as well as nightly parties and panel discussions.