Festival Gala in association with Time Out

The Florida Project

Sean Baker follows his incredible Tangerine with another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly.


Dir Sean Baker
Prod Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch, Shih-Ching Tsou, Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Kevin Chinoy, Francesca Silvestri
Scr Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
With Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera, Caleb Landry Jones
UK Distribution Altitude Film Distribution

That The Little Rascals is an inspiration for Sean Baker’s magical, magnificent and madcap follow-up to Tangerine (LFF2015) makes perfect sense when you see this story of childhood, set against the backdrop of America’s failed economy. Six-year-old Moonee (the astonishingly good Brooklynn Kimberly Prince) lives with her mother and other castaways from the American dream in a candy-floss-coloured roadside motel in Orlando. Disney World is just up the road, but their budget dayglow home is no plush hotel resort. Halley, Moonee’s mother, is only just an adult herself. More of an incorrigible older sister than a parent, she gets a kick out of juvenile hijinks, with utter disregard for their consequences. Meanwhile, nothing stops her daughter’s irrepressible sense of adventure; always unsupervised, Moonee roams the grounds with her gang, hustling change for ice creams, hosting spitting contests and teasing tolerant motel manager Bobby (a sublime Willem Dafoe) to distraction. The genius of Baker’s film is how it runs along two parallel tracks. Narrated from a child’s-eye view, this is a marvellous world of play and possibility. But adult viewers witnessing Halley’s life will suspect what’s coming for Moonee. That this dazzling, precocious girl is a lightning rod of wayward charm makes the inevitable so much harder to bear. The Florida Project is an ingenious, instant classic about childhood innocence.

Tricia Tuttle

Time Out
Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Sean Baker, Director; Valeria Cotto, Cast; Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, Cast; Bria Vinaite, Cast

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.