Tangerine, an independent film directed by Sean Baker (Prince of Broadway, Take Out, Starlet), is a mega Sundance hit. Not only because it earned rave reviews and standing ovations, it is in fact remarkably unique for being shot entirely on iPhone 5S. Baker said in an interview that his film surprisingly projected beautifully on screen, and as cinephiles, that has always been their intention. They just have to do it.
The film tells the collected stories of transgender prostitutes in Los Angeles, focusing in the characters of real-life trans friends, Kiki Kitana Rodriguez and Mya Taylor. This early, the film and the performance of Taylor are being considered heavyweight Oscar contenders.
Variety’s Justin Chang wrote: “even when the film’s multiple lines of action converge at an insanely melodramatic climax — voices are raised, insults are thrown, and barriers of every kind are erected and torn down — Baker manages to suggest that all this clashing noise might be a necessary hurdle to a greater level of understanding. It’s this bigger-picture compassion, born of an impulse to place the unique struggles of sexual and ethnic minorities in conversation with each other, that elevates “Tangerine” from a raggedy little group portrait to a generous and surprisingly hopeful vision of humanity.”
On the other hand, Indiewire’s Peter Knegt thought Mya Taylor could be the first transgender actress to be nominated for an Oscar.
Tangerine started its US limited release last July 10. It continues to wow audiences in various international festival circuits, having received recently a Camera award from Karlovy Vary IFF in Czech Republic.