Last night, Sun-Ray Cinema premiered "The Florida Project," a film by Sean Baker. After the screening, Sun-Ray hosted a Q&A with Kevin Chinoy, one of the film's producers. Chinoy is also a native of Jacksonville.
Baker's films often focus on people from specific regions and their economic challenges. In "The Florida Project," Baker, through the every day life of a six-year-old, tells the story of those who live in Orlando and reside in motels on the outskirts of Disney World. These individuals are technically considered homeless because they have no permanent place of residence.
The movie stars Willem Defoe, who does an extraordinary job playing the role of the motel manager. In "The Florida Project," as well as in his previous films, Baker casts locals and non-actors in many of the supporting roles. This casting choice creates an air of authenticity in Baker's films. As a storyteller, Baker does a fantastic job exploring complex topics in a manner that does not feel exploitive.