2:09pm PT by Chris Gardner
Caitlyn Jenner Hosts 'Tangerine' Screening: "The Movie Was So Educational For Me"
In a July blog post on WhoSay, Caitlyn Jenner wrote that prior to her well-documented transition, "I have totally isolated myself from the transgender community so I have a lot of catching up to do."
Since then, the 66-year-old has stuck to her word, catching up with trans teens, trans rights activists and filming her journey for her E! show, I Am Cait. On Monday night, her educational experiments took her to an upstairs screening room inside West L.A.'s Landmark Theatres where she hosted an awards season-push on behalf of Mya Taylor's performance in Sean Baker's transgender micro-budget dramedy Tangerine.
The screening — part of the first-ever Oscar campaign for a trans actress — delivered yet another learning experience for Jenner, who was accompanied to the screening by her rep Alan Nierob and introduced after the final credits by the film's executive producers, Mark and Jay Duplass.
"To me, the movie was so educational," explained Jenner, holding a white microphone. "Over the last nine months that I've been out, I have learned so much about this community — I was totally isolated."
Not so much on Monday night standing in front of the packed theater, which included producer John Davis, two actors from the trans-themed Amazon hit, Transparent, Amy Landecker and Bradley Whitford, and many trans people peppered throughout the audience.
"We have a lot of momentum in the trans community but we have to keep that momentum going," Jenner said. "Movies like this are so important. This is about actually what happens out there in our community played by people in our community. ... The performances were so powerful."
Taylor has already won one significant accolade for her work, honored for breakthrough performance at the recent Gotham Awards, where the Magnolia Pictures release also took home the audience award. Both Taylor and her co-star, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, are nominated in acting categories at the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards.
Taylor took the mic following Jenner's comments at the event, which also included remarks from the Duplass brothers and Baker. The latter praised Taylor as a talent he couldn't turn down. "When (co-writer Chris Bergoch and I) met Mya at the LGBT Center on McCadden Street in West Hollywood, it was that moment as a director when you see somebody and something about that person — that aura, that persona — and before you even speak with that person, they are saying, 'I can be a star. Talk to me,' " Baker recalled. "I'm so thankful to May for bringing her wonderful talents to this film."
And no doubt, everyone involved was grateful to the world's most famous transgender person for shining a light on their film.