As observed by two-time festival guest Leonard Maltin (the man who declared Casablanca “the best Hollywood movie of all time”), the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival presents these classic films like they were meant to be seen: “on the big screen.” The larger-than-life presentations are offered both in traditional movie theaters and outside, on a giant screen, under the stars next to the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine that moment … watching the Bogart classic “Key Largo,” in Key Largo, next to the waters Bogie navigated in the classic movie for which this island was named.
The festival also presents a variety of special events, including cocktail receptions featuring our Bogart’s Gin, round table discussions, a great display of family-owned memorabilia, expert film introductions, Saturday evening dancing and dining, and, finally, a closing brunch overlooking the breathtaking waters of the Florida Keys. In between catching a movie or attending an event, the true Bogart aficionados somehow find time to take a cruise on the original African Queen boat, which is docked in Key Largo.
The Humphrey Bogart Film Festival is not, however, just about the past … it is also about the present and the future.
Each year the festival is hosted by Stephen Bogart, son of Bogie and Bacall. In the first two years Stephen Bogart was joined by film historian Leonard Maltin. Last year, Stephen was joined by co-host Eddie Muller. Eddie, known internationally as the “Czar of Noir,” is an acclaimed novelist, biographer and film historian. He is the founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation, which rescues, restores, and exhibits at-risk examples of the genre. He is also a frequent guest on Turner Classic Movies. Eddie will be back to co-host again this year.
Billy Corben will return to once again host a workshop and serve as the master of ceremonies. He is a South Florida native and award-winning director best known for his riveting documentary “Cocaine Cowboys.”
In its inaugural year, the festival was honored by the presence of actor Jack Huston, best known for his role as Richard Harrow in the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” Jack is the grandson of John Huston, who was Bogie’s best friend and the director of some of Bogie’s greatest hits, including “The Maltese Falcon” (1941), “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948), Key Largo” (1948), and “The African Queen” (1951).
Year two special guests included Carly Pope and Olivia Thirlby. Carly co-starred in “This Last Lonely Place”, the award winning first film produced by Santana Films, which is the Humphrey Bogart Estate’s re-boot of Bogie’s Santana Productions. Olivia, who played Leah in the Oscar-winning film Juno, starred in “The White Orchid,” which is the second production of Santana Films.
In year three, we were joined by Monika Henreid, Rhys Coiro, and Xander Berkeley. Monika is the daughter of Paul Henreid, who of course played Victor Laszlo in Casablanca! Rhys and Xander starred in our first film, This Last Lonely Place. Rhys has been part of many great shows, but he is perhaps best known for portraying crazed director Billy Walsh in the hit HBO show “Entourage.” Xander, who has been in more great shows that we can count, currently stars in the AMC hit “The Walking Dead.”
This year, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of “The Maltese Falcon” and the 70th anniversary of “The Big Sleep.” Please join us and our soon-to-be-announced special guests as we watch great Bogart films, drink some Bogart’s Gin, and discuss our love of classic films in “America’s Caribbean:” Key Largo, Florida.
Learn more at the official Bogart Film Festival page.