Throughout the spring, starting with South by Southwest, just about every major national and regional film festival in the U.S. has been cancelled, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
One festival has decided to buck the trend, and go ahead. The catch is, those attending will have to stay in their cars. It may be the closest thing that’s ever happened in real life to the underwater film festival from Bojack Horseman.
The Lighthouse International Film Festival, which takes place each summer in and around Long Beach Island, N.J., on the Jersey Shore, will hold a five-day festival between June 16 and 20.
“The fest, which has risen to acclaim with its innovative, exciting programming, is the first film festival in the world to segue into a fully drive-in format, allowing its programming to be watched as it was always meant – on the big screen – while keeping the health and safety of its attendees its top priority,” the organizers said on their website.
The festival’s opening film is The Outpost, an Afghanistan war film based on the book by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, directed by Rod Lurie, and starring Scott Eastwood, Orlando Bloom, and Caleb Landry Jones.
There are also a couple of films with present-day relevance, including the documentary American Trial: The Eric Garner Story, and The Subject, a feature film starring Jason Biggs as a documentarian whose film accidentally catches an African-American teenager on tape.
The lineup also includes Feels Good Man, a documentary about Pepe the Frog and its creator’s fight to break its association with white supremacy, the surrogacy drama Milkwater, and the very New Jersey drama The Pine Barrens. The festival will close with The Last Shift, starring Richard Jenkins as a retiring fast-food worker.
Each film costs $45 per car, and the screenings will take place at a variety of venues in the Long Beach Island region. Also, a $50 “virtual pass,” allowing attendees to watch short films and two features from their couch, is also available.
Stay tuned on this site next week for coverage of the festival’s opening night.