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These trans actresses could be about to make Oscars history

Joe Williams November 24, 2015

The stars of Tangerine could be the first trans actresses to be nominated for an Academy Award.

The next Academy Awards could be an historic one, after it was announced that two transgender actresses will be the subject of campaigns for the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Award this year.

Sean Baker’s film – which won a positive reception at Sundance Film Festival back in January – stars trans actresses Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor as two sex workers searching for their pimp on Christmas Eve.

Tangerine’s distributors, Magnolia Pictures, has announced plans to put both actresses forward for an Oscar this year, after the film picked up various accolades at a number of indie ceremonies.

Baker shared his delight earlier this year, after Magnolia scooped up worldwide distribution rights in a bid to “help him share his unique work with audiences around the world.”

“The ‘Tangerine’ team is overjoyed to find a home at Magnolia Pictures and are humbled to be a part of their roster of prestigious, bold and forward-thinking films,” he said.

“I’m personally thrilled that Magnolia recognises the theatrical potential of ‘Tangerine’.

“Audiences will have the chance to see it on the big screen, the way it was intended to be experienced.”

The news follows a recent report by GLAAD that LGBT representation in film is at an all-time low.

According to the organisation, just 20 of more than 100 major studio releases in 2014 featured LGBT characters, and those that were included received little screen time.

GLAAD’s third annual Studio Responsibility Index (SRI) found that of the 20 films deemed inclusive of LGBT characters, ten of those contained less than five minutes of screen time for their LGBT characters – with several being less than 30 seconds.

GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis warned that the film industry was in danger of being left behind, by failing to mirror the progress made by ground-breaking TV shows such as Transparent and Orange is the New Black.

“As television and streaming services continue to produce a remarkable breadth of diverse LGBT representations, we still struggle to find depictions anywhere near as authentic or meaningful in mainstream Hollywood film,” she said.

However, there have been previous nominations for cisgender actors playing transgender characters, with Eddie Redmayne expected to join that list for his upcoming role in ‘The Danish Girl’.

More: academy awards, LGBT, Oscars, Sean Baker, tangerine, Trans, US

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