Award season has officially arrived, the nominations for the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards are in and two of this year's critically acclaimed films highlighting lesbian and transgender experiences of African-American and Puerto Rican teens are among the top picks.
Dee Rees, writer and director of Pariah, is nominated for the John Cassavetes Award, which honors features made for under $500,000. The award is given to the film’s writer, director and producer. Pariah star Adero Oduye is nominated for the Best Female Lead for her poignant portrayal of Alike, a gifted Brooklyn student struggling with her lesbian identity. Pariah also stars Kim Wayans as Alike's mom, Audrey.
Gun Hill Road’s Harmony Santana earned a Best Supporting actress nomination for her role as Michael/Vanessa, a transgender teen making his challenging journey to a woman in the eyes of her ex-convict dad (Esai Morales).
The winners for the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be announced on February 25 in Santa Monica.
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(Photos from left: Courtesy MBK Entertainment, Simon Says Entertainment)