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Willem Dafoe To Receive Cinema Vanguard Award

Willem Dafoe – Photo Credit: Brad Trent

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that Willem Dafoe will be honored with the 2018 Cinema Vanguard Award at the 33rd edition of the Fest, which runs from January 31st to February 10th, 2018. The actor will be celebrated for his remarkable role in Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, an A24 release, which opened in October to critical acclaimThe Tribute will take place on Thursday, February 1st at the historic Arlington Theatre.

“Willem Dafoe has brought countless unforgettable characters to the big screen,” stated SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “His role in The Florida Project perfectly embodies his talent and imagination. It is an honor to celebrate his work with the Cinema Vanguard Award.”

The Cinema Vanguard Award was created in recognition of actors who have forged their own path – taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. Previous honorees include Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, Nicole Kidman, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Stanley Tucci, Peter Sarsgaard, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Ryan Gosling.

The Florida Project follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.

The 33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, January 31st through Saturday, February 10th.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit www.sbiff.org.


About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 30 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. In June of 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre.  The theatre is SBIFF’s new home and is the catalyst for program expansion and marks the first time that Santa Barbara has had a 24/7 community center to expand their mission of educational outreach.

 

About Willem Dafoe

Having made over one hundred films in his legendary career, Willem Dafoe is internationally respected for bringing versatility, boldness, and dare to some of the most iconic films of our time. His artistic curiosity in exploring the human condition leads him to projects all over the world, large and small, Hollywood films as well as Independent cinema.

In 1979, he was given a role in Michael’s Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, from which he was fired.  Since then, he has collaborated with directors who represent a virtual encyclopedia of modern cinema:  Kathryn Bigelow, Sam Raimi, Alan Parker, Walter Hill, Mary Harron, Wim Wenders, Anton Corbijn, Zhang Yimou, Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Oliver Stone, William Friedkin, Werner Herzog, Lars Von Trier, Abel Ferrara, Spike Lee, Julian Schnabel, David Cronenberg, Paul Schrader, Anthony Minghella, Scott Cooper, Theo Angelopoulos, Christian Carion, Robert Rodriguez, Phillip Noyce, Hector Babenco, John Milius, Roger Donaldson, Paul McGuigan, Lee Tamahori, Roger Spottiswoode, Paul Weitz, Daniel Nettheim, The Spierig Brothers, Andrew Stanton, and Josh Boone.

Dafoe has been recognized with two Academy Award nominations: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Platoon as well as Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Shadow Of The Vampire, for which he also received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations. Among his nominations and awards, he has received a Los Angeles Film Critics Award as well as Independent Spirit Award.

He and his wife, director Giada Colagrande, have made three films together:  Padre, A Woman, and Before It Had A Name.

His natural adventurousness is evident in roles as diverse as the elite assassin who is mentor to Keanu Reeves in the neo-noir John Wick, in his voice work as Gil the Moorish Idol in Finding Nemo and as Ryuk the Death God in Death Note, and as the obsessed FBI agent in the cult classic The Boondock Saints.  That continues now with Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, as well as the upcoming films:  Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express, James Wan’s Aquaman, and Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate in which he stars as Vincent Van Gogh.

Dafoe is one of the founding members of The Wooster Group, the New York based experimental theatre collective. He created and performed in all of the group’s work from 1977 thru 2005, both in the U.S. and internationally. Since then, he worked with Richard Foreman in Idiot Savant at The Public Theatre (NYC) and most recently two international productions with Robert Wilson: The Life & Death of Marina Abramovic and The Old Woman opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov.  Currently, he is developing a new theatre piece, directed by Romeo Castellucci, based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Minister’s Black Veil.

 

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