|Miami, FL — Miami Dade College (MDC) and its Miami Film Festival kicked off a 90-day countdown to the opening of the Festival’s 35th anniversary edition by announcing today that Miami-based independent producing partners Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri will be feted with the Festival’s Precious Gem Award at the internationally-renowned annual event, to be held March 9 – 18, 2018.
Chinoy and Silvestri are producers on Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, released by A24 in October and currently in theaters nationwide. The film was recently nominated for two Spirit Awards including Best Feature, winning Best Director and Best Supporting Actor accolades (Willem Dafoe) from New York Film Critics Circle, Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture (Runner-up) from Los Angeles Film Critics Circle and winning Top Ten Film and Best Supporting Actor from National Board of Review. Chinoy and Silvestri also worked on Baker’s previous features Starlet and Tangerine, as well as dozens of other projects, including the directorial debuts of women filmmakers including Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Demi Moore, Courteney Cox, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Alicia Keys, Kirsten Dunst, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rita Wilson, Trudie Styler, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Judd, Laura Dern, and Eva Longoria.
“Kevin and Francesca’s association with Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival traces back a full decade, from their work to bring Kate Hudson to our 2008 Festival with her film ‘Cutlass’ and Demi Moore in 2009 with her film ‘Streak’”, said Festival director Jaie Laplante. “They are the behind-the-scenes heroes who we wish to put center stage and honor as the Precious Gems that they are – without their commitment and determination to bring original independent visions to realization, many of the films they have worked on might never have been made and enjoyed.”
The Precious Gem Award presentation will be made at the Festival’s Awards Night Gala on March 17, 2018. Leading up to the ceremony, Chinoy and Silvestri will participate in a Producer’s Master Class at the Festival where they will candidly discuss the challenges and lessons from over 20 years of experience in the world of independent film production.
Chinoy and Silvestri’s numerous credits include work for Fox, Lifetime, MTV, IFC, PBS, Ron Howard’s “Project Imagination” series of short films and theater work on Broadway, Old Vic Theater in London, and Los Angeles. Their films have premiered at major international festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, and Berlin.
The Florida Project received its Miami premiere in early October at Miami Film Festival’s GEMS, the Festival’s annual fall extension event.