Thursday, September 24, 2015

Here’s looking at Key Largo for a fun film fest

           If everyone in America threw a festival in honor of a film made in their city (or the story set in their city, more like it), we'd have festivals everywhere. And yet, a Humphrey Bogart festival in Key Largo works. I mean, really, a Humphrey Bogart festival in Key Largo!
            Who remembers Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall in the John Houston-directed film noir “Key Largo?” The story of a man finding a gangster running a friend's hotel who he confronts during a hurricane was set on Key Largo, the island south of Miami, and it’s here that film buffs can celebrate one of its stars in the third annual Humphrey Bogart Film Festival, Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 21-25, 2015.
            Although the annual event — formerly held in May — celebrates Bogart's life and films, this year's festival honors the life of his wife, Lauren Bacall. “Key Largo” was the fourth and final film that paired the married actors. Click here for the film trailer.
Returning to co-host events and film screenings is Bogart and Bacall's son, Stephen Bogart, to be joined by Eddie Muller, a novelist and film historian nicknamed “Czar of Noir” and special guest Monika Henreid, a documentary filmmaker and daughter of “Casablanca” star Paul Henreid, who played Victor Laszlo in the famed movie alongside Bogart.
Festival highlights include indoor and outdoor screenings of several Bogart classics as well as special events including the Costume or Casual Cocktail Reception, Bogart Block Party and Seaside Soirée. Throughout the weekend, fans can view Bogart memorabilia, find festival collectibles and book canal cruises on the fully restored African Queen, the original boat from Huston's 1951 film of the same name that starred Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. The African Queen is docked at the Holiday Inn Key Largo, mile marker 100.
All-access and single-event passes and merchandise can be purchased at
In addition, the 2015 festival has partnered with the faculty and graduate students of the University of Miami Department of Cinema & Interactive Media to host a student short film competition and festival. Student film submission categories include film noir, crime, thriller, comedy, documentary, action-adventure and more. The winning films are to be shown during the festival. There will also be workshops on “Filmmaking in South Florida” as well as “Floridian Noir Storytelling,” a practicum hosted by award-winning directors Billy Corben and Tom Musca.
            For event information and schedule, visit For a video teaser, click here. For Key Largo visitor information visit or call (800) 822-1088.

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