One of the most critically admired titles to emerge from the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, Sean Baker’s The Florida Project looks to make an impression later this year. As recently reported by Deadline, the film has been given a release date of October 6th, starting in limited runs. The opening may spring questions that the indie distributor is hoping to make an awards run, as its opening date is near the initial berth of their art-house sensation Moonlight last year, a movie that followed an “engine that could” narrative all the way to a surprising Best Picture win a few months back.
The Florida Project is a slice of life human drama centering on a group of childhood friends forging their a series of adventures while on summer break. All the while, in the background, their parents attempt to square away personal and economic struggles. Along with directing the film, Baker co-wrote the project with frequent collaborator Chris Bergoch. Willem Dafoe stars alongside fresh-faced newcomers Brooklynn Prince, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera and Bria Vinaite. Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out) and Macon Blair (Green Room) co-star.
Baker is coming off his critically admired indie Tangerine, a hit at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and eventual Independent Spirit Award winner (won by trans actress Mya Taylor in historic fashion). While Tangerine didn’t exactly break the box office (it earned around $700,000 domestically), the film was championed by critics, particularly for its inventive camera work – filmed on iPhones no less.
The Florida Project premiered earlier this year in the Director’s Fortnight sidebar of Cannes, eliciting strong critical praise. As such, a reported bidding between the likes of Amazon Studios, Bleecker Street and Neon prevailed before A24 Films won out U.S. rights for the title. The early fall release also opens up the possibility that the feature may play some of the prestigious fall film festivals like Telluride, Toronto or New York.
The Florida Project will open in theaters beginning on October 6th.