Awards season just got a lot more important (and exciting).
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor, the transgender stars of Sean Baker's Sundance sensation "Tangerine," are going to be officially vetted for the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories in the 2015-16 races, per Variety. This makes them the first-ever transgender actresses to receive such backing from a film distribution company.
"Tangerine" -- which was has been universally fist-pumped for its innovative microbudgeted camerawork (it was shot mostly on an iPhone 5s) and for the performances of its two leads -- is being promoted by Magnolia Pictures, which will put the pic on blast to the Academy's acting, cinematography and screenwriting branches for consideration.
The film's executive producer, Mark Duplass, explained that he believes the pic and its stars are ripe for fair review at this time, given the positive awards season treatment of fellow trans-centric stories and characters in the TV realm.
"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,'" he said. "We feel that the film Academy is a little behind on that front.
"This is the time for it," he added. "We’re in the middle of a civil rights movement."
"Tangerine" tells the story of Sin-Dee (Rodriguez), a transgender prostitute who returns home on Christmas Eve after a month in prison, only to find out that her pimp-slash-boyfriend cheated on her while she was away. With the backing of Alexandra (Taylor), she sets out to set the record straight.