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Exclusive: ‘Tangerine’ and the Duplass Brothers are Giving Back to the LGBT Community in a Big Way

Exclusive: 'Tangerine' and the Duplass Brothers are Giving Back to the LGBT Community in a Big Way

READ MORE: Review: ‘Tangerine’ is a Charming Buddy Comedy About Transgender Prostitutes in L.A.

While Magnolia Pictures is currently in the middle of mounting the first Oscar campaign in Hollywood history centered around a transgender actress, the distribution company is taking some time to put their money where it matters most. Partnering with the filmmakers behind “Tangerine,” including producers Mark and Jay Duplass, Magnolia will be making a sizable donation this holiday season to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP).

TEEP empowers trans people by helping them find employment, develop their professional skills and thrive in the workplace. The center works with non-governmental organizations, private businesses and public agencies to make sure they receive training in how to bring a greater degree of cultural competency to the ways they serve and work with transgender individuals. 

“We’re humbled by Magnolia and the ‘Tangerine’ filmmakers’ generous contribution,” said Drian Juarez, Program Manager of the Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project. “TEEP is such an important program because the unemployment rate for transgender people is at least twice the rate of the general population and much higher than that for transgender people of color. One thing that we hope this film brings to light is the economic inequality experienced by those in the transgender community.”

The breakout sensation at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, “Tangerine” was released in theaters in July to vast critical acclaim. Starring trans actresses Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, “Tangerine” follows the wild screwball adventures of two prostitutes who set out to find their cheating pimp during a madcap Christmas Eve in Hollywood. The film has become a dark horse awards player this season, winning two Gotham Independent Film Awards and earning four Indie Spirit Awards nominations. Indiewire’s Chief Film Critic Eric Kohn recently placed the film at No. 2 on his Best Films of 2015 list. 

“Discrimination in the workplace against transgender people is rampant,” said director Sean Baker. “I witnessed this firsthand as actress Mya Taylor attempted to find employment during the post-production of our film and was rejected by nearly 200 employers. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is a forward-thinking organization that is helping transgender individuals battle these social determinants, and the ‘Tangerine’ team feels it is our duty to give back and support this extremely important program.” The Duplass Brothers added that any profit they have made on the film has not only gone to the filmmakers who made it possible, but also to the LGBT center and trans community.
“Cinema, and ‘Tangerine’ in particular, has the power to enlighten as well as entertain and to give a voice to those who often are shut out by society,” added Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “It’s an honor to support the Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project and its mission.”

Visit the TEEP website for more information about its services, and click here to donate to the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

PODCAST: ‘Tangerine’ Director Sean Baker Knows How to Turn $100K Into a Hit — and He Won’t Do It Again

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