Sean Baker, director of The Florida Project and his breakthrough film Tangerine about trans sex workers, clearly has an ability to dive into subcultures of American existence and tell a story both warm and honest. Now, it looks like he’ll be delving into the opioid crisis after receiving a grant to research the epidemic.
He was originally going to make a film set in earlier times but felt like that wasn’t what audiences wanted from him. “I did have scripts ready to go but I have fallen out of love with them,” he told Screen International. “I see people want me to tell stories about the contemporary US, and I am taking that to heart.”
He revealed at International Film Festival Rotterdam this week that his next film will “likely be a character-driven drama set against the backdrop of the current opioid epidemic in the US.” Baker received a grant from New York-based non-profit film company Cinereach to spend time researching the opioid epidemic, even taking a road trip through the areas most affected, like West Virginia. But don’t expect anything super-soon — Baker said he’s in no rush. “My agent and my producers have been pushing me to get to the next thing but to tell you the truth I just want to take it slowly,” he told ScreenDaily. “There’s no reason to rush except to pay the bills.”
The director said he hasn’t decided whether he will shoot the film on iPhone or not. Considering Baker’s penchant for telling contemporary American stories, and considering that the opioid crisis is one of the most pressing and deadly issues facing our country, it seems an Oscar-worthy film is in its early stages.