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NYFA Producing Instructor Darren Dean’s The Florida Project to Premiere at Director’s Fortnight at Cannes

NYFA Producing Instructor Darren Dean’s “The Florida Project” to Premiere at Director’s Fortnight at Cannes

May 19, 2017 New York Film Academy Producing instructor Darren Dean's new film “The Florida Project,” directed by Sean Baker, will be screening in the Director's Fortnight at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

“As with any filmmaker, it's such an honor to see our film recognized by the audiences at Cannes and, of course, the festival itself,” said producer Darren Dean. “It really is the ultimate dream, right? Of course, being able to begin a healthy festival run, sales process and release strategy are all part of this. Ideally, coming out of Cannes with our film sold (which has already pre-sold in France) and ready for distribution on a public platform would be lovely.”

Baker directed and Dean produced the indie "Tangerine," which was a big hit at Sundance, and was distributed theatrically by Magnolia. NYFA also held a pre-opening screening of the film with the filmmakers and cast at its New York theater.

“The Florida Project,” which stars Willem Dafoe, tells the story of a group of young kids whose summer break is filled with childhood wonder while their parents and the adults around them struggle with hard times.

“Willem Dafoe is such a rich, wonderful actor whose presence is a gift in the world of ‘The Florida Project,’” said Dean. “He came to this as a fan of the previous work that I'd done with director Sean Bake (‘Tangerine’) and eased right into the role of Bobby. Being a huge fan of Willem's work — dating all the way back to ‘Streets of Fire’ — I was gleeful that an actor of this caliber was willing to return to the independent film well and slip into Bobby's shoes and grace us with his considerable talents.”

UPDATE: "The Florida Project" has since been nominated for the following major awards, among others:

  • Golden Globe - Willem Dafoe for Best Supporting Actor
  • Independent Spirit Award - Sean Baker for Best Director
  • Satellite Award - Sean Baker for Best Director
  • Screen Actors Guild Award - Willem Dafoe for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Gotham Independent Film Award - Brooklynn Prince for Breakthrough Actor

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