Mya Taylor

Next Wave Award 2020

Independent Spirit Award winning actress Mya Taylor (TANGERINE) will be honored with the Festival’s Next Wave Award in a special conversation with together with award-winning filmmaker, PJ Raval (CALL HER GANDA). The Next Wave Award recognizes artists who have exciting and distinctive voices, take artistic risks, and have a passionate commitment to independent film. Past honorees include Aubrey Plaza, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Jillian Bell. 

Mya recently wrapped the feature STAGE MOTHER opposite Jacki Weaver and can last be seen in Marti Noxon’s DIETLAND for AMC, and is best known for starring in TANGERINE, which premiered at The 2015 Sundance Film Festival in the Next section. Directed by Sean Baker and produced by the Duplass Brothers, the film was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and won the Audience Award and Breakthrough Actor Award for Mya at the 2015 Gotham Awards. At the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards, Mya won Best Supporting Actress and the film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Female Lead. Mya also won the 2015 San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also stars in the short films, DIANE FROM THE MOON, written and directed by Marco La Via and Hanna Ladoul, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARSHA!, written and directed by Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel.

Growing up as a queer, first-generation Filipino American in a small, white, conservative town in California’s central valley, PJ Raval’s outsider experience greatly shaped his filmmaking practice. PJ’s work explores the overlooked subcultures and identities within the already marginalized LGBTQ+ community. Named one of OUT Magazine’s “Out 100” and IndieWIRE’s “25 LGBT Filmmakers on the Rise 2019,” PJ’s body of work has been distributed widely internationally and has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, Bertha Foundation, Arcus Foundation, Sundance Institute, Center for Asian-American Media, Tribeca Film Institute, Firelight Media, PBS, and the Ford Foundation.

“Since its inception, PIFF has been an advocate for diverse art and artists,” said PIFF Director of Programming Andrew Peterson. “Mya Taylor’s grounded and soulful performance in TANGERINE earned her the recognition of being the first transgender performer to win a major film award. Her work in STAGE MOTHER further showcases her impressive skills. She is a trailblazer with exceptional talent, and we are absolutely thrilled to be honoring her with the Next Wave Award.”

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