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Mariel Hemingway Headlines Key West Film Festival

KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) -  Actress Mariel Hemingway screened a film exploring her family's troubled heritage during the Key West Film Festival, that continues through Sunday on the same island where her grandfather Ernest Hemingway authored some of his most famous literature in the 1930s.

The documentary "Running From Crazy," directed by Oscar winner Barbara Kopple, is a raw exploration of the Hemingway family's history of mental illness and suicide, and Mariel Hemingway's attempts to escape it.

"Whenever it's shown, there's always one person in the audience, or maybe two or three, who so resonate with the story as their own," said Hemingway. "And that's what this film is about -- to bring this out of the darkness, to shed light where people don't want to look in the dark corners of everybody's lives, and make it not so scary."

Key West Film Festival
Actress Mariel Hemingway, center, and boyfriend Bobby Williams, left, interact with a fan, right, during a book-signing session Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Fla. Mariel Hemingway is among several film notables in Key West through Sunday, Nov. 17, for the Key West Film Festival. She screened her own film "Running From Crazy," a documentary that explores her family's history of mental illness and her efforts to escape it. (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau)

Hemingway said she hopes the film can be shown at high schools, colleges and rehab centers as a vehicle to spark conversations and healing.

After Friday evening's screening, the actress hosted a reception and book signing on the grounds of Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, the same location where the Nobel Prize-winning author lived until late 1939, penning literary classics including "For Whom the Bell Tolls" "To Have and Have Not" and "Death in the Afternoon."

"There's such a history with my grandfather and Key West, so sharing the film here, in a place where he's so beloved, is wonderful," said Hemingway, who called the author an extraordinary and incredibly creative man.

"Running from Crazy" highlights approximately three dozen films being screened during the festival, ranging from small-budget and independent offerings to notable titles.

Other standouts include Jeffrey Schwarz's documentary feature "I Am Divine," exploring the career of transvestite performer Divine, and "Cubamerican," a look at the Cuban exile experience with an appearance by Golden Globe nominee Steven Bauer.

As well as viewing films, attendees can mingle with filmmakers, directors and producers at associated receptions and other events.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)

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