After a year of viewing every new movie from a living room couch during the pandemic, movie lovers have a chance to celebrate big-screen cinema again at the Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF).
The LBIFF will celebrate its ninth anniversary this summer from July 27 to Aug. 1 with a lineup of independent and studio films from around the world. Genres range across the board, from feature-length narrative, to documentary, to shorts, and even animations, all competing for a series of jury awards. There will be 60 films screened over the course of the five-day festival and nightly special events for attendees.
“The festival will host numerous opportunities to connect with enthusiastic new audiences, fellow filmmakers, film industry professionals, non-profit organizations and the media in a beautiful oceanside locale of Long Beach,” LBIFF organizers said in a statement.
The festival includes activities for all types of moviegoers: red carpet premieres, gala celebrations, filmmaker receptions and Q&A’s, industry seminars, film-inspired chef dinners, and even musical performances. In a recent press release, organizers stated that they are “committed to providing an outstanding experience for both our filmmakers and our audiences.”
Among the movies making a big-screen debut at the festival is the locally produced documentary 86’D: How a Global Pandemic Rocked the World’s Culinary Capital, which explores the pandemic through the perspective of restaurants in New York City, some of the hardest-hit businesses at the start of 2020. The film follows several businesses in the city throughout the year of the pandemic as they struggle to stay afloat while keeping customers, and themselves, safe. Owners and workers both tell the story of the pandemic in real time and the lasting effects they believe it will have on the industry.
“In New York we’ve gone through so much. But as New Yorkers we always fight back,” concludes the trailer for the film, which can be seen at longbeachfilm.com.
86’D was both written and directed by six-time Emmy Award winner Rob Petrone, also known as the executive producer and host of the show Restaurant Hunter for the defunct Verizon Fios1 News. At the onset of the pandemic, Petrone used his culinary connections in New York to follow the story as it moved and developed in one of the most affected industries. The documentary that stemmed from this research is Petrone’s directorial debut and a fresh perspective on the effects of the pandemic in New York.
View showtimes and purchase tickets at the LBIFF website, longbeachfilm.com.
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