The award-winning breakout star of landmark indie Tangerine is heading from the streets of Los Angeles to a fancy hotel in Palm Springs. Mya Taylor, who picked up an Independent Spirit Award last year for her portrayal of a transgender sex worker in Sean Baker's iPhone-shot movie, will play the title character in Diane from the Moon — a short film about a transgender pagan priestess on a post-breakup hiatus in the Californian desert city. Clocking in at less than 20 minutes, the film explores Diane's heartache in the wake of her breakup, her daily struggle with alcohol abuse, and the battle between her strength and self-loathing. None of these issues are helped by the presence of a churlish man named Tex who is quick to inform Diane that she is "not a real woman."
"Just like with any person, the path to self-acceptance is full of little victories and intense losses," said directors Marco La Via and Hanna Ladoul in an IndieGogo campaign last year. "The film depicts a battle between a confident woman and her fears, a battle that is not won in a single moment but through a sustained effort each day." La Via and Ladoul were inspired to make their film when they moved from France to Los Angeles and stayed with a woman in the middle of her transition. That woman, Raven, consulted on the script and made them very aware of the real life horrors that trans women face on a daily basis. Diane from the Moon had its world premiere at Rhode Island International Film Festival last week and the filmmakers now plan to turn it into a full-length feature staffed by trans actors and trans people working in high-level creative positions.
"I'm very excited about diving into Diane," Taylor said during the campaign. "I think she is what I really need to be playing at this moment. Not only as an actress, but also to show how it is in the transgender community. The script really shows in depth how trans people are actually treated." However don't expect to see much of her level-headed Tangerine character Alexandra in Diane from the Moon. "I don't want to continue to do the same shit over and over," Taylor recently told Fusion of her "much darker and so much more aggressive" role. "A lot of Hollywood stars are known for one thing, and that's what they keep getting offered. I don't want that," she said, adding, "I'm so much more of a bitch!"
Check out the trailer for Diane from the Moon below.
Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Vimeo