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Tangerine is a true underdog Oscar contender. The film was shot on iPhone cameras for $100,000 in less than a month. But, since it hit the film festival circuit, it’s racked up an impressive 22 award nomination. Now, to try and heighten the film’s profile for a shot at the Oscars, Caitlyn Jenner has taken to campaigning for the movie.
Movies like this are so important, because this is about honesty. This is about actually what happens out there in the community, played by people in our community. So for me, it was brutally honest.
The report, from Yahoo, notes that Caitlyn Jenner spoke about the film during an on-stage, post-screening presentation with Tangerine’s executive producers, Mark and Jay Duplass, at a West Los Angeles theater. Jenner has, in the past few months, become known as the world’s first well-known transgender person.
It’s not a surprise that Caitlyn Jenner would champion the film. Tangerine follows two transgendered prostitutes, Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), as they traverse their Hollywood neighborhood looking for Sin-Dee’s cheating boyfriend and pimp, Chester (James Ransone) and his side-piece, Dinah (Mickey O’Hagan). The movie debuted at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Caitlyn Jenner made a point to describe the story of the film as honest, since the movie deals with the very real issue of prostitution in the transgender community. The movie has, as she states, also made waves because the filmmakers chose to have actual members of the transgender community take the lead roles in the movie, whereas transgender characters are frequently played by non-transgender actors.
Obviously sympathetic to the story told in the movie, Caitlyn Jenner also took her post-screening appearance as an opportunity to discuss her own struggle with coming out as transgender over the last nine months. Jenner says that because she felt she simply couldn’t come out for so many years, she was "totally isolated" from the transgender community, the lives of the people in that community and their issues. Jenner feels that, now that she’s living as her authentic self, she can help transgender causes and "make a difference."
One of the interesting things about Tangerine is that it puts the focus on transgender characters, instead of having them on the sidelines, or being used as the butt of jokes. Aside from focusing on transgender characters, which is already quite unusual, the movie also lets the characters be transgender without having that be the focus of the film. The audience and other players in the film know that, but there are few points made out of it. It’s simply a film about women chasing down a cheater during one frenetic day.
So far the film has mostly won or been nominated for awards from local film critic associations from around the country and smaller film festival awards. The movie is up for some Independent Spirit Awards, though, and those nominations can often intersect with Oscar nominations. We’ll see if that, plus Caitlyn Jenner’s support, turns the tide for the movie before long; nominations for the 2015 Academy Awards are announced on January 4, 2016.