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Tropic Cinema, Key West Film Festival parting ways

The Tropic Cinema is designed in an Art Deco fashion.
The Tropic Cinema is designed in an Art Deco fashion.

The fourth act of the Key West Film Festival is scheduled to take place this November. But Eaton's Street Tropic Cinema won't be participating, at least as it stands now.

Monday, Tropic Cinema Executive Director Matthew Helmerich said the nonprofit movie house's board decided to end its relationship with the festival after three years of hosting films. Despite that, festival Vice Chairman Stephen Ananicz said Monday that he hopes to come to an agreement.

"I would love for it to work out," Ananicz said. "Historically, we've always stayed in Old Town."

Besides the Tropic, the festival, which includes feature films, receptions and discussion panels, used the San Carlos Institute on Duval Street as a screening location last year.

The festival's featured films showcase four key areas -- creativity, diversity, sustainability and beauty. The festival has also played host to the likes of Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei and rock band Sister Hazel.

Ananicz said the main thing is budget. He said there is not a true backup to the Tropic.

Ananicz did not get into specifics about what other places in Key West the festival has to screen films, but "we absolutely have places to screen the films."

The nearby Key West Theater on Eaton Street could be an option. Representatives from there couldn't be reached for comment.

The Studios of Key West recently moved into its new home, also on Eaton Street. That also may be an option but it doesn't have a true movie theater. Studios representatives could not be reached.

The festival's program, which hasn't yet been secured, is tentatively scheduled to run from Nov. 18 through Nov. 22.

Asked about the contract discussions Monday, Helmerich declined to discuss specifics.

"Tropic Cinema made every effort to create a good agreement. That agreement didn't occur," Helmerich said.

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