The Long Beach International Film Festival festivities are held at multiple venues, including on the beach itself.

The Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF) returns July 31 to Aug. 3 for the eighth year of independent full-length features, short films, al fresco food and beer tastings, and other festivities.

In addition to more than 50 films and an array of nightly special events, the four-day festival will also include red carpet premieres, gala celebrations, filmmaker receptions, filmmaker Q&As, celebrity appearances, industry seminars, beach concerts, a casino night, and more.

“It’s a wonderful treat for our community,” said LBIFF co-founder Craig Weintraub.

The slate of films on deck range from feature-length narratives, documentaries, short and animated movies open for all ages that will compete for a series of jury, festival honors and audience awards. 

The festival kicks off with a screening of Astronaut at the Regal Lynbrook 13 Theater at 5 p.m. July 31, followed by Taste on the Plaza featuring musical performances and more than 30 restaurants, wines, beers, and spirits on Long Beach Plaza celebrating filmmakers and artists. 

The second day marks the return of the popular third-annual Chefs & Shorts, a five-course locally sourced dinner-and-wine pairing inspired by short films and prepared by esteemed chefs. The films that inspired the culinary creations will be screening during the unique dining experience at the chic beachfront Allegria Hotel at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1. Tickets start at $149.99.

“Chefs & Shorts is a wonderful way to enjoy both film and food on the shores of Long Beach,” said Weintraub.  

For example, Chef Andrew Allotti of Grotta Di Fuoco in Long Beach will cook up spaghetti alla Chitarra, spicy garlic shrimp, sesame, chive crumbs inspired by the movie Pulled Strings directed by Vicki Chau-Ryan. Chef Guy Reuge of Mirabelle Restaurant in Stony Brook draws from In a Nutshell directed by Fabio Friedli in his dish, crisp branzino, cauliflower custard, slow roasted beets, candy striped beets, beet vinaigrette, chives scented oil.

Then on Aug. 2 will be the Shorts on the Beach portion of the festival in which short films will be screened on the shore-front. At 6 p.m. there will an accompanying free concert on the beach  featuring reggae-rock band Aqua Cherry, singer-songwriter Sammi Rae with reggaetón Artist Los Vegas, and Long Beach’s own DJ Chef.

“Each year the festival draws more and more local musical talent and I’m excited to showcase these rising stars in front of filmmakers and producers from all over the world,” said Rick Eberle, LBIFF’s live music director.

The festival will conclude on Aug. 3 with Casino Night at the Long Beach Hotel Ballroom to raise money for the Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

Tickets for the feature films as well as for Chefs and Shorts and Taste on the Beach, can be purchased at the LBIFF website, longbeachfilm.com, where moviegoers can also checkout showtimes and more info on what will be shown. 

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