The Key West Film Festival has announced that chief film critics Eric Kohn and Ann Hornaday, of Indiewire and The Washington Post, respectively, will curate films at the festival’s Critics Focus program this year. The festival also announced a new scholarship program, the Brett Ratner Florida Student Filmmaker scholarship, to be awarded to a student out of one of six colleges in the state.
The Critics Focus program of the festival chooses top film critics in the nation to pick films to spotlight on the big screen, and then each critic will host a Q&A session with the talent of the films they have chosen. The films will be announced on a later date. Participating critics are also invited to return to the festival for the Critics Focus program, and the directors of the program hope to see it both engage and inform audiences by expanding the film criticism discourse as led by experts in the field.
Of her selection as a critic to host the forum, Ann Hornaday said, "I’m honored to be invited to participate in the Critics Choice program at this year’s Key West Film Festival. With film criticism facing a number of challenges in a rapidly changing media landscape, it’s gratifying to join a community of film lovers who value what critics can bring to the conversation."
Eric Kohn, who also serves on the festival’s advisory board, said, "I’m thrilled to participate in the Key West Film Festival’s Critics Choice program to help provide more context for authentic moviegoers as they are given the chance to uncover great movies in a festival environment."
The Key West Film Festival announced its annual Brett Ratner Florida Student Filmmaker Scholarship, $5,000 to be awarded to a student filmmaker from Florida. The student will be chosen from among six Florida colleges and universities that are participating. Ratner, who was born and raised in Miami Beach, will present the award to the winner at a ceremony at the festival.
Of the scholarship program and award, Ratner said, "I’m thrilled to be coming home to where I first started making films in order to support and recognize the next generation of Florida filmmakers at this vibrant festival."
The festival will take place in Key West, Florida from November 18 to 22.