On Saturday, the night before what has drawn criticism as a particularly non-diverse Oscars, Mya Taylor took home the first major film award ever won by a trans actress at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards. “What I want to leave with you guys today is, there is transgender talent,” said Taylor as she accepted her award for best supporting female actress for her role in Tangerine. “There is very beautiful transgender talent, so you better get out there and put it in your next movie.”
Tangerine opened at Sundance Film festival before premiering in theaters across Los Angeles and New York. The film, shot on an iphone, focuses on trans individuals, particularly women, unfolds over roughly twelve hours in the lives of two transgender sex workers and friends, on Christmas Eve day. Taylor, who gave an interview with Women in the World back in December, is a former sex worker herself. “I had come from almost nothing,” she said. “And then got this role, and this movie and my life has just did a total 360.” The Independent Spirit Awards, founded in 1984, honors the best in the independent film industry each year.
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