William Dafoe
Actor William J. Dafoe (born July 22, 1955), known professionally as Willem Dafoe, is an Academy Award-nominated American film, stage, and voice actor.

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 acclaim. The 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.

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By Jeff Stevens

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