'The Florida Project' Wins Los Cabos Film Fest

Marc Schmidt
'The Florida Project'

Writer-director Sean Baker's latest picture, featuring Willem Dafoe, premiered at Cannes in May.

The Florida Project, a story about a mother and daughter living out a precarious existence in a motel on the outskirts of Disney World, took the top prize at the sixth edition of Mexico's Los Cabos Film Festival.

The Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney's Cannes review said the film was showered with thunderous applause at its premiere in Directors' Fortnight, and it was received well in Los Cabos as well. Anchored by stellar performances from child actors Brooklynn Prince and Valeria Cotto, and Willem Dafoe as a motel manager, Florida Project has yet to win a top-tier festival honor but is generating awards chatter.

The best Mexican film award and the FIPRESCI international critics prize went to Gabriel Marino's black-and-white drama Yesterday Wonder I Was, the writer-director's sophomore feature loosely inspired by Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Humberto Hinojosa's road-trip movie Camino a Marte (Road to Mars) walked away with an audience award.

At Saturday night's closing ceremony in the resort town of Cabo San Lucas, Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman was honored with a lifetime achievement award. The fest also paid tribute to writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) and screened his latest picture, First Reformed.

The four-day event closed with Venice screenplay winner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson. 

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