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Newbies, Habituals & James Ransone Are All Ripe for Sean Baker’s “Tangerine”

Moving from unlikely friendships in Starlet, to perhaps the likeliest of neighbors, Sean Baker appears to have found a cosmos that is inspiring to him in the rarely depicted Los Angeles backdrop. While still mum on plot details, Deadline has learned that Tangerine will include the filmmaker’s preferred mix of first timers and old-timers. Newbie thesps Kiki Lee Key and Mya Taylor are supported by Mickey O’Hagan and Karren Karagulian – both appeared in Baker’s films (including Prince of Broadway and Starlet) and oft used Spike Lee character actor in James Ransone.

Production on his fifth feature began earlier this year with Mark and Jay Duplass once again proving their love for American indie as exec producers alongside hubby & wife team Marcus and Karrie Cox’s Through Films. Darren Dean and Shih-Ching Tsou (who co-directed Take Out with Baker) are producing as well, while Freestyle Productions’ Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri are co-producers alongside DP Radium Cheung.

Gist: Co-written by Chris Bergoch and Baker, this is set on Christmas Eve against the backdrop of the city’s different sub-cultures.

Worth Noting: Before contributing on what will now be back to back films with Baker, cinematographer Radium Cheung was a gaffer on several films (Blue Valentine) before moving up the chain sorta speak with a recent gig as a camera operator/2nd Unit Dp most recently on Isabel Coixet’s Learning to Drive and as a DP on Camille Thoman’s You Were Never Here.

Do We Care?: Fans of the filmmaker since Prince of Broadway and Starlet, we like how he fleshes out his characters, and the naturalism in the look of his films. This would potentially have Sundance in its sights. Here’s our interview with the filmmaker.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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