Oscars: Caitlyn Jenner to Campaign for Trans Drama ‘Tangerine’ (Exclusive)

Caitlyn Jenner ESPYS - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Caitlyn Jenner ESPYS - H 2015

Caitlyn Jenner, the world's most famous trans person, is throwing her support behind the first-ever Oscar campaign for a trans actress, Tangerine's best supporting actress hopeful Mya Taylor.

On the evening of Jan. 4, at a Los Angeles location still to be named, Jenner will host a screening for Academy members of Sean Baker's critically acclaimed indie and then attend a reception with Taylor, Baker and the film's executive producers, Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass.

Tangerine — which was shot entirely on iPhones — premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, was released by Magnolia in July and currently has a 96% favorable rating on RottenTomatoes.com. Its best notices have been reserved for 24-year-old Taylor, who plays Alexandra, an L.A.-area sex worker whose best friend Sin-Dee (played by Kitana "Kiki" Rodriguez) is released from prison, returns to their block and enlists her help in getting to the bottom of a scandalous rumor on Christmas Eve.

For her performance, Taylor won the best breakthrough actor/actress Gotham Award on Nov. 30 (Rodriguez was one of the other nominees in that category, and the film won the audience award) and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle's best supporting actress prize on Dec. 13. She also is nominated for best supporting actress at the Independent Spirit Awards (where the film, Baker and Rodriguez also are nominated), which will be presented on Feb. 27.

Might the Academy also get behind Taylor? Considering that its membership is older and more conservative than many of the other awards groups', that will be a tall mountain to climb — but not an impossible one. "She's fabulous," says 89-year-old Marcia Nasatir, a member of the Academy's executives branch who loved Taylor's performance — and the film. "It was an illumination for me. I was introduced to a world that I had no idea about and it was just an amazing piece of film to see. I was very moved by it."