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Yance Ford becomes the first transgender director to be nominated for an Oscar

Tom Halford January 24, 2018

(Netflix)

Yance Ford has become the first transgender director to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature.

Strong Island tells the story of Ford’s brother Willam, who was murdered in 1992.

Willam Ford Jr, a 24-year-old black man, was allegedly shot dead by white mechanic Mark Reilly.

(Getty)

William was reportedly unarmed – but the case never went to trial.

Ford’s debut film, which was produced by Netflix, features interviews with his family and shows the impact of the death of William.

The highly emotional documentary took 10 years to produce.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 14:  Director Yance Ford poses for a photo at a special screening of "Strong Island" at Landmark Embarcadero on November 14, 2017 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Netflix)
(Getty)

Ford makes a point to not give his brother’s killer any space in the film.

The film addresses the fear of black people that is still prevalent America today.

The trailer’s tagline is: “The police had turned my brother into the prime suspect in his own murder.”

Strong Island has been extremely popular with audiences, with a rare 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes at time of publication.

Before release, it had already picked up a Sundance U.S Documentary Special Jury Award for Storytelling.

Ford posted a video of him and his partner’s response to the nomination on Twitter.

After receiving his nomination, Ford told Entertainment Weekly: “I think that everybody out there should know that there is a generation of trans directors who are coming for their Oscars.

“So this might be the first, but it certainly won’t be the last.”

“The very exciting thing for me when I think about history is that this film is a correction to the historical record of my brother’s life,” Ford continued.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 14:  Executive Producer Danny Glover and Director Yance Ford pose for a photo at a special screening of "Strong Island" at Landmark Embarcadero on November 14, 2017 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Netflix)
(Getty)

“And if this nomination helps to magnify that and if by making history I helped to magnify that, then… it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.”

This example of trans recognition in Hollywood comes days after trans actress and activist, Laverne Cox, became the first transgender person to grace the cover of Cosmopolitan.

Timothée Chalamet has also been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in gay hit film Call Me By Your Name.

SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 11: Actor Timothee Chalamet attends The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Critics' Choice Awards )
(Getty)

This was after he missed out at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month.

The Academy Awards will take place on March 4.

Watch a trailer for the film below:

More: academy awards, entertainment, films, gender, netflix, Oscars, strong island, Trans, Transgender, US, US, yance ford

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