It was the darling of the film festival circuit this year and an indie hit…TANGERINE, that fascinating film about two trans women getting revenge on one of the women’s cheating boyfriend/pimp. The plot:
On Christmas Eve, trans woman sex worker Sin-Dee Rella, who has just finished a twenty-eight day prison sentence, meets her best friend Alexandra, also a trans sex worker, at Donut Time in Hollywood. Alexandra informs Sin-Dee that Sin-Dee’s boyfriend and pimp Chester has been cheating on her with a white cisgender woman, Dinah. Outraged, Sin-Dee storms out of Donut Time to search the neighborhood for Chester and Dinah, the “fish” he has been sleeping with.
Tangerine was also unusual as it was shot on three iPhone 5 smart phones. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, earned rave reviews, then went on to successful film festival screenings and an art house release this summer.
Now the film has earned 4 Spirit Award nominations including Best Film. The Spirit Awards are the indie film world’s equivalent of the Oscar, a highly valued recognition of quality films. Tangerine also earned nominations for director Sean Baker and acting noms for Kitana Kiki Rodriguez as Best Actress and Mya Taylor in the Supporting Actress category. Rodriguez and Taylor are the first trans actors to be nominated for a Spirit Award.
Out gay director Todd Hayne’s CAROL, the lesbian themed romance starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara picked up six nominations including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Actress nods for both Blanchett and Mara, as well as nominations for the script and the cinematography. The highly acclaimed film, based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, will be released in Seattle in December.
For a full list of this year’s Spirit noms, go here.
The 31st Independent Spirit Awards will be broadcast exclusively on IFC on February 27, 2016, LIVE at 2 pm PT / 5 pm ET.