Florida Keys News
Monday, May 18, 2015
Conch debuts at Cannes Film Festival

Quincy Perkins, the 34-year-old Key West filmmaker, raves about the new post-apocalyptic “Mad Max: Fury Road” reboot starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. 

“It’s a two-hour chase scene,” Perkins marveled the other day over the phone from Cannes, France -— where he is among some of the biggest movie stars on the planet this week. 

While his pals in Key West can see it at the Regal off Northside Drive, Perkins caught the big, bad “Mad Max” movie at its world premiere at the 68th Cannes Film Festival, where his short film, “Swingers Anonymous” will debut Monday as part of the glitzy, red-carpeted international bash.

Hardy and Theron were at the same Thursday morning showing of “Mad Max” that Perkins attended, along with the franchise’s director, George Miller. 

Perkins admitted he was plenty nervous about showing his film at Cannes, where audiences have been known to burst into standing ovations or storm out of theaters in response to movies. But he is also thrilled to represent tiny Key West to the film industry.

“Something like 6,000 films are submitted,” Perkins said. “We’re one out1111 of 16. I’m really nervous but I’m really proud. It’s the first film from Key West to ever show at the Cannes Film Festival.”

“Swingers Anonymous” is a 23-minute film noir about an average Joe who goes to a sex party only to wind up stuck with two dead bodies and $20,000 in drug money. An earlier cut showed at the Key West Film Festival. 

Based on a short story by Jonathan Woods, the film’s $15,000 budget was largely funded by a plea on the website Kickstarter. It was filmed in Key West, Homestead and Miami. 

For a filmmaker like Perkins, Cannes is also a workplace. 

“Cannes is more of a film market than a film festival,” Perkins said. “You come to meet producers and make deals and work on your next one.”

Cannes, where Perkins arrived May 11 and will remain the rest of this week, has been a whirlwind dream come true for the Conch who made his stage debut at age 12 at the Waterfront Playhouse, and later attended Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and studied in New York at the Stella Adler Academy. 

“It’s a starting point,” Perkins said, over the phone Friday afternoon from Cannes. “I’m a young filmmaker. You take steps up stairs and you just hope you have a film that connects with people.”

Perkins is in Cannes with writer Woods but is staying in touch with people via sites like Facebook and Instagram. His 2-year-old daughter Sienna remains at home with his wife Elena. 

gfilosa@keysnews.com

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