One of the breakout hits from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, independent comedy-drama film “Tangerine”, is apparently full of surprises.

First of all, director Sean S. Baker said that he was inspired to make the film by a donut shop near his home in Hollywood. Secondly, the movie centres on a story about transgender prostitutes working in a not-so glamorous part of Hollywood.



The plot is as follows:

On Christmas Eve, transgender prostitute Sin-Dee Rella, who has just finished a prison sentence, meets her friend Alexandra, who is also a transgender prostitute, at Donut Time. Alexandra informs Sin-Dee Rella that her boyfriend and pimp Chester has been cheating on her with a white cisgender woman. Outraged, Sin-Dee storms out of Donut Time to search the neighborhood for Chester and Dinah, the “fish” he has been sleeping with.

Oh, and thirdly, actresses Mya Taylor (who plays Alexandra) and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez (who plays Sin-Dee) had no major acting experience.

Tangerine Sundance

But perhaps what’s most interesting was the fact that the entire movie was shot on the iPhone 5S and an $8 app called Filmic Pro that allowed the filmmakers fine-grained control over the focus, aperture, and colour temperature. To be specific, “Tangerine” was shot with not one, not two, but 3 iPhone 5s smartphones.

Now, don’t get us wrong but while there have been plenty of films shot using iPhones, “Tangerine” was the first to play at Sundance Film Festival.

Tangerine Sundance Film Festival

In fact, after making its debut at the festival, it went on to receive rave reviews, which led to Magnolia Pictures buying world rights to the film in January this year. According to The Verge, “Tangerine” will finally see a release in US theatres come 10th July in New York and Los Angeles, followed by a wider rollout.


Watch Sean S. Baker talk about it here:

If anything, this would probably lead to more indie projects to be filmed with iPhones.

And no, we sure ain’t complaining 😉

Sources: The Verge (1), The Verge (2)Tangerine Wikipedia.

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