Key West Film Festival announces Golden Key Awards



The Key West Film Festival today announced the recipient of its annual Golden Key Awards, including two new awards honoring emerging talent and director of Breakthrough Florida.

This year’s Golden Key Award for Excellence in Filmmaking Award goes to Sean Baker, director of Red Rocket, which opens nationwide in December via A24. Baker will attend in person and participate in a discussion with Carlos Aguilar, film critic for The Los Angeles Times, The Wrap and, following the screening of the film. Baker Starlet’s film premiered at the Key West Film Festival in 2012.

The first Golden Key for Emerging Talent, presented to actors who will be destined to grace our screens for years to come, will be presented to Kodi Smit-McPhee for his landmark role in the Netflix release of The Power of the Dog by Jane Campion, which will be screened at the festival just as it begins its national theatrical release. Aguilar will host a pre-recorded discussion with Smit-McPhee after the screening, which will serve as the closing night film. Smit-McPhee stars alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst in the film.

Another inaugural award – the Golden Key for Breakthrough Florida director, recognizing a director from Florida whose films will be widely screened in the future – will be awarded to Clint Bentley. Hailing from Florida, Bentley’s Jockey, starring Clifton Collins Jr, will be released by Sony Pictures Classics later this year. The award will be presented by former ESPN presenter Bob Ley after a screening of the film.

Sean Baker is a writer, director, producer and editor who has directed seven independent feature films over the past two decades. His most recent film was the award-winning The Florida Project (2017) which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was released by A24 in the United States. – Sean was named Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle. His previous film Tangerine (2015) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won an Independent Spirit and two Gotham Awards. Starlet (2012) won the Robert Altman Independent Spirit Award and his two previous feature films, Take Out (2004) and Prince of Broadway (2008), were both nominated for the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award.

Kodi Smit-McPhee is an Australian actor known for his critically acclaimed roles like The Boy in The Road, Owen in Let Me In, Norman Babcock in ParaNorman, Alexander in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix, and the lead role in the prehistoric film Alpha. Upcoming roles include Jane Campion’s highly anticipated The Power Of The Dog, for which he’s already generating major buzz for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Clint Bentley’s feature debut (as co-writer and producer) was Transpecos, a thriller set in the US Border Patrol. He was chosen as one of the 25 screenwriters to watch in 2017 by MovieMaker Magazine. Jockey is its directorial debut, which premiered at Sundance 2021 as part of the US Drama Competition and hits theaters in December. Bentley was raised on a cattle ranch in Florida and graduated from Stetston University in DeLand, Florida.

Michael Tuckman, Key West Film Festival Programming Director, “We are delighted to present these two new awards to Kodi and Clint, whose work will continue to amaze, amaze and inspire audiences for decades to come. . Kodi’s performance in “Power” is one that immediately places him among the best actors of his generation. Clint’s stable and intimate portrayal of an aging jockey shows the director’s work years after his directorial debut. Sean continues his mastery of telling the story of American life, literally across the tracks, in Red Rocket, as he’s been doing since his award-winning “Take Out” first appeared on screens. “

Visit for complete information on the program – to be announced on October 19, as well as a calendar of events and details on travel and accommodation.


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