When “Tangerine” first arrived at Sundance earlier this year, it almost sounded like a cliché: a low-budget, iPhone-shot dramedy set in California. But the film was so much more: a progressive story with transgender character for leads, in the most unlikely Christmas movie ever. And it speaks to how much the film has resonated that nearly a full year later, not only has made many top-10 lists, but it’s very much in the awards-season conversation.
There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to “Tangerine,” and as part of MoMA Film’s Contenders series, writer-director Sean Baker, actress Mya Taylor, and producers Darren Dean and Shih-Ching Tsou, sat down for Q&A moderated by filmmaker Ira Sachs. And it’s definitely one to dive into as the discussion explores the genesis of the film (which originated from Baker’s desire to tell a story that concluded with a confrontation at Donut Time), Taylor’s experience working on her first major movie, and more.
“For this Contenders screening at MoMA we partnered with Ira Sachs, and it was fascinating to see this established filmmaker engaging with the ‘Tangerine’ team on queer filmmaking and the cinema of means,” Rajendra Roy, Chief Film Curator at MoMA, said. “The conversation delves into how they took a raw passion project about an under-served, under-seen community and transformed it into this bracing, brilliant story — which has gone onto to become a global phenomenon and an undisputed awards contender.”
Check out the talk below. MoMA Film’s Contenders series continues through January 15, 2016.