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With a special video from Sabrina Gordon, producer, and an introduction from Michael Tuckman, Programmer, KWFF.

I was asked this week to recall the most impactful film we've ever programmed at KWFF, which is basically like being asked to pick your favorite child . . . if you have litters the size of a lemming. Impactful is pretty much the main criteria for films to be programmed at KWFF. But given the events of the last two weeks, the film I can't get off my mind is QUEST, a documentary spanning 8 years—from Obama's election to Trump's inauguration—following the daily struggles and successes of the Raineys, an African-American family in North Philadelphia.

This week, we were honored to have the film's producer, Sabrina Gordon, share her thoughts on the film and the resonance it has today.

Michael Tuckman
Director, Programming
Key West Film Festival


Featuring a Special Message from Los Angeles Times Critic: Justin Chang

June 5, 2020

Dido wrote a song almost 10 years ago about whether love can be celebrated when oppression stifles so many. It’s called No Freedom. At a time when we need to love one another more than any in modern history, the George Floyd tragedy makes Dido’s question even more relevant. How can there be love without freedom?

To see much progress made toward repainting the ugly faces of racism and then have something this callous happen is . . . unthinkable.

KWFF wants to remind you that BLACK LIVES MATTER. And we have a responsibility to do everything we can to help remind our members and patrons that we need to bond together in solidarity to make them ACTUALLY matter.

Over the years, we have tried to play a role in featuring films that shed light on injustice and help create meaningful conversation about actionable change.

In 2019, we featured the Oscar nominated film, JUST MERCY. The film stars Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan in a horrible miscarriage of justice. Outlets are streaming this movie for free right now and you can access it on most major platforms or by using the link here.

In 2018, we had the honor of Justin Chang, Chief Film Critic for the Los Angeles Times, presenting Barry Jenkins’ IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK with Emily Yoshida from Vulture. The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards, which included a win for Best Supporting Actress for Regina King. It is…for better or worse…about facing racism every day.  Justin was kind of enough to include the message above about how the film resonates even more with the recent tragedies inflicted upon African Americans.

So few of us really know what it’s like to face racism once – much less every day. The best shot we will have is for a filmmaker to help us see it through the eyes of a character in a film like IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK.

If you’ve seen it, it’s worth seeing again. If you haven’t, you’re in for an incredible treat. I would like to leave you with one request though as a take away.

When you finish the film, please consider making a commitment to take one specific action (no matter how small.) Outrage doesn’t bring change. Action does. Believe you can make a difference and show that BLACK LIVES MATTER.


A. Brooke Christian
Founder and Chairman



The Key West Film Festival—where passion meets paradise—is an annual celebration of contemporary cinema in a historically rich, artistically vibrant, and culturally diverse island community.

KWFF strives to showcase the best of Florida filmmaking talent, while highlighting visiting filmmakers and industry leaders through discussions and workshops, with access to some of the biggest names in the film business. The festival also looks to support the next generation of local student filmmakers with scholarships and other key awards.

The festival’s Critics’ Focus program, enhanced with the juried Critics’ Prize, together with the Costume Design Focus, marks the Key West Film Festival as a vital stop on the awards season’s fall festival circuit, with programs designed to support film criticism and craft while giving audiences greater context and perspective through public conversations guided by expert voices. Key publications represented in KWFF Critics’ Focus program and Critics’ Prize at the festival include: Los Angeles Times,, Rolling Stone, Indiewire, Vanity Fair, Washington Post, TimeOut NY, Roger Ebert, and more.

Past guests have included: Burt Reynolds, John Waters, Mariel Hemingway, Harmony Korine, Marisa Tomei, Paul Haggis, Alan Cumming, Sebastian Junger, Tom Berenger, Paul Verhoeven, Billy Corben, Terry George, Corey Glover, Steven Bauer, Anson Mount, Celia Weston, Angus MacLachlan, Judy Blume, Ondi Timoner, Bob Wisdom, Val Lauren, Anne O’Shea, Lois Smith, Mark Bridges and many more.

2019 Key West Film Festival Sponsors

Official Providers help sustain festival operations through a broad range of in-kind goods and services. Their support is a key factor in keeping expenses at a minimum and directing more funds to the Festival’s core programs. We are grateful for their support.

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