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Historic Oscar Campaign Launched for Transgender Stars of Lauded Drama ‘Tangerine’

Historic Oscar Campaign Launched for Transgender Stars of Lauded Drama 'Tangerine'

Magnolia Pictures and the Duplass Brothers have teamed up to launch an Oscar campaign for “Tangerine” stars Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor, for what will be the first awards season push for transgender actresses by a movie distributor in Hollywood history.

Rodriguez will be pushed as Lead Actress, and Taylor as Supporting.

Bids for screenwriting and cinematography nods for the film are also planned.

Mark Duplass tells Variety, “Jay and I are new to the Academy, so we’re just figuring this whole thing out. One thing that has become apparent to us as we look at this stuff, it seems that the TV Academy has embraced what’s happening in the trans movement with ‘Transparent’ and ‘Orange is the New Black.’ We feel that the film Academy is a little behind on that front […] This is the time for it. We’re in the middle of a civil rights movement.”

Magnolia picked up world rights to Sean Baker’s Sundance 2015 NEXT <=> selection, and released it July en route to a near-$700,000 domestic box office gross.

Sean Baker directed the film (which was shot entirely using iPhone 5s phones with anamorphic lens adapters) from a script he penned with Chris Bergoch, which tells the story of a working girl who tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve, searching for the pimp who broke her heart. 

“Upon hearing that her boyfriend hasn’t been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, a working girl and her best friend embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor.”

The film stars trans actresses Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor. 

If director Sean Baker’s name is familiar, it’s because he also directed the 2008 feature film, “The Prince of Broadway,” about a Ghanaian immigrant’s struggles to thrive in New York City – a film, like “Tangerine,” is rich in texture, detailing a world seldom seen on film, with energy and style. 

The film was a critical darling, earning a solid 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Jai reviewed it for S&A here.

A trailer for “Tangerine” follows below.

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