The mission of the Key West Film Festival is to showcase films that capture Key West’s essence: Creativity, Diversity, Sustainability, and Beauty.

Key West enjoys a rich tradition of inspiring residents and visitors alike to approach everything they do with a free and unbridled spirit. We celebrate all things creative as the highest expression of the human soul.

Past guests have included: Marisa Tomei, Alan Cumming, Sebastian Junger, John Waters, Paul Haggis, Terry George, Steven Bauer, Burt Reynolds, Anson Mount, Celia Weston, Mariel Hemingway, Angus MacLachlan, Judy Blume, Bob Wisdom, Val Lauren, Anne O'Shea and many more!

We strive to not only showcase the best of Florida filmmakers but also include visiting filmmakers in some incredible workshops with access to some of the largest names in the industry. Invited filmmakers in the past have taken free workshops in Commercial Directing, Music Video Directing, Screenwriting with Oscar Nominated Writer, Film Critics Panels with Eric Kohn from Indiewire, Crowd-Funding with the director at Indiegogo, Film Distribution with Magnolia Pictures and much more!

We are trying to not only showcase films but help filmmakers in creating their next work. Last year we gave out $10,000 in scholarships to Florida filmmakers with director Brett Ratner!!

Come be part of the Key West experience!

Best Florida Short ($1500 Grand jury Prize Award & Audience Award)
Best World Narrative Short (Audience Award)
Best Documentary Short (Audience Award)
Best Experimental / Animated Short (Audience Award)
Best Florida Feature Narrative (Audience Award)

-All short films must be under 20 minutes in duration.

-Exhibition format for all films must be Blu-Ray, QuickTime or H.264.

-All Florida Shorts in Competition must be directed/produced by a filmmaker who currently resides in Florida or shot at least 50% of the film in the state of Florida.
-World premiere must have occurred no earlier than January 1, 2016.

-Florida Feature Narratives must be under 125 minutes in duration.
-All Florida Feature Narratives must be directed/produced by a filmmaker who currently resides in Florida or shot at least 50% of the film in the state of Florida.
-Documentary Features are not accepted as part of this category.
-World premiere must have occurred no earlier than January 1, 2016.

Overall Rating
  • This year's festival was my second time at Key West Film Festival and I must say that it is one of the best festival experiences I've ever had! It is exceptionally well-organized, the staff and volunteers are friendly and the programming blooms with diversity and quality. It's also an amazing summit for filmmakers, actors, producers and press to socialize and network. All against the wonderful backdrop that is the unique paradise of Key West. This festival stands apart for all these qualities and more! But as with the movies, I don't want to spoil it all! My highest recommendation!

    November 2017
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    Brian Heil

    What a fun time at the Key West Film Festival. Highly recommended.

    November 2017
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    Jonathan Cuartas

    The perfect film festival to compliment the perfect destination. It all almost feels surreal. Walking along a breezy strip full of culture and conchs and a celebration for filmmakers and film lovers alike. The staff is there throughout and they care. I was welcomed with open arms and a smile. It was nice to know that the programmers actually watched my film and had specific things to say about it. I've been to too many film festivals where it's clear the programmers haven't done their homework, and the fact that Key West does really sets them apart. The films were eclectic and fun and unique and exhilirating. I couldn't have asked for more. It was truly humbling to be part of the selections. The parties were as fun as they were networking-savvy. Don't miss this fest!

    November 2017
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    Barbara Hammer

    A small but elegant film festival in historic theaters and a modernist new building: 3 venues. Top film selections with mix of the avant-garde, challenging and more traditional genres. Staff exceptionally welcoming, pleasant and helpful. Gift bags yummy. Plus, it's Key West warm and balmy in the winter. Go if you can!

    November 2016