Legendary race driver and Porsche Ambassador Hurley Haywood will make his film premiere at the Napa Valley Film Festival in California on November 8. The Derek Dodge-directed Hurley tells the story of Haywood’s life and career in and out of the Porsche race cars he helped make famous. Veteran film and television actor Patrick Dempsey, himself a sports car racer and Porsche Ambassador, joined with Dodge, Justin Franklin and William C. Sullivan to produce the 83-minute documentary that brings Haywood’s unique and heroic story to the screen. The world debut will be screened in the Napa Valley Performing Art Center At Lincoln Theater in Yountville on Thursday at 8:45 p.m. PT.
The Chicago-native and current St. Augustine, Florida-resident is the first driver to win 24 Hours of Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same year (1977). With a combined ten wins at Daytona, Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring, Haywood is the all-time winner of endurance racing’s classic events. His record includes five Daytona titles (1973,’75,’77,’79,’91), three 24 Hours of Le Mans victories (’77,’83,’94) and he has stood on the top-step of the podium twice he has stood on the top-step of the podium at the 12 Hours of in Sebring (’73,’81). He is an eight-time road racing champion, four-time IROC participant (’86,’89,’92,’95) and was the fastest rookie qualifier for the 1980 Indianapolis 500.
In March, Haywood made his autobiographical print debut working with the Sean Cridland on the book Hurley: From the Beginning. Hugely successful, the 420-page volume tells the story of Haywood’s life as a child in Illinois, through his early days of amateur sports car racing, his military service during the Vietnam War and closes with details of a professional motorsports career that set the bar for all drivers worldwide. While much of the on-track success has been chronicled through media of the time, the Hurley book also details the man’s personal life in a nearly 50-year career that includes his professional relationship with Peter Gregg and his private life as a gay man in motorsports. In a yearlong book tour, the hardbound manuscript, which has over 650 pictures showcasing Haywood’s life, has seen countless sell-outs and much critical acclaim.
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Napa, California, Cinema Napa Valley hosts the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) each year to celebrate the cinematic arts and through year-round education and outreach programs. The NVFF is centered in the California communities of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. Over 90 independent films will be screened over the course of the Festival between November 7 and 11. “Hurley” will have three showings. Following the Thursday premiere, the film will also be shown on Saturday, November 10 at 1:00 p.m. PT at the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena and Sunday at 8:30 p.m. The final Napa Valley Film Festival will be appropriately shown at “The Drive-In” at the Calistoga Fairgrounds.
The film will receive an East Coast premiere on Thursday, November 15 at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. “Hurley” will be screened at the Cinema Paradiso Hollywood at 3:00 p.m. ET.