Flick Fest to Feature Legal Drama ‘The Burial’

Get ready to celebrate literature and authors during the 29th annual Highland Park Literary Festival, also known as “LitFest.” 

LitFest began in 1995 through a collaboration between parents and the Highland Park High School English Department. At its heart are workshops at Highland Park High School with roughly 30 accomplished novelists, journalists, poets, songwriters, and playwrights. The writers from around the country will speak with high schoolers on Feb. 23 about their process and how they develop their ideas.

Bestselling author Kristin Harmel is this year’s LitFest keynote speaker. PHOTO: Courtesy HP LitFest

LitFest will also give HPHS students an opportunity to perform their own works at a student-run open-mic night, recognize young wordsmiths through student writing contests, and award the Fred Damiano Scholarship.

LitFest’s primary funding event, Flick Fest, is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8. This year’s Flick Fest will feature a screening of the The Burial at The Angelika Film Center, followed by a Q&A with the film’s screenwriter Douglas Wright HP ’81 and his classmate Kenny Dickson. In addition to the film, Wright will discuss his journey from HP theater student to winner of a Pulitzer Prize, Tony awards, and numerous other honors.

The Burial is a 2023 legal thriller with a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “A solid courtroom drama led by a pair of nicely contrasted performances, The Burial hits the expected genre beats — and remains a crowd-pleasing treat at every turn,” according to the Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus. Click HERE to learn more about Flick Fest and to purchase tickets to the event.

Award-winning author Kristin Harmel will address the public as LitFest’s keynote speaker at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 at Highland Park High School. Harmel is the bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing StarsThe Book of Lost NamesThe Winemaker’s Wife, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into more than 30 languages and sold worldwide. She will also speak to HPHS students during a schoolwide assembly.

HPISD’s youngest scribes will have a chance to shine during LitFest’s poetry writing contest for third and fourth graders. Students are invited to submit a “Past & Future themed poem” to their school librarian by Feb. 23, 2024. Winning poems will be illustrated by students at McCulloch Intermediate School and Highland Park Middle School, and will be displayed in April at the Highland Park Library and University Park Public Library.

Other LitFest events include HPHS Open Mic Night on Friday, Feb. 23, and the HPHS writing competition, which begins Feb. 12 and continues until 4 p.m. on March 8.

Visit the LitFest website to learn more about this spring’s celebration.

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