Willem Dafoe Lands Cinema Vanguard Award from Santa Barbara Film Fest

“The Florida Project” star will receive his award at a ceremony on February 1

Willem Dafoe will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, SBIFF organizers announced on Thursday.

Dafoe, whose performance as the manager of a run-down motel in Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” has been gaining awards buzz since the film debuted in Cannes, is the first of Santa Barbara’s honorees to be announced this year.

He will receive his award as part of the 33rd SBIFF, which will run from January 31 through February 10 in the coastal town north of Los Angeles. In addition to its slate of films, the festival runs a full slate of evening tributes to awards contenders.

Dafoe’s presentation will take place on Thursday, February 1.

Previous winners of the Cinema Vanguard Award include Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, Amy Adams, Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Gosling.

Additional honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.