A gender-fluid 11-year-old Vancouver actor is eligible for consideration in both male and female performance categories at British Columbia's Leo Awards, the annual prize celebrating the province's film and TV industry.
Vancouver actor Ameko Eks Mass Carroll's performance in the short film Limina has been accepted for consideration in male and female acting categories.
"We are proud to join our colleagues at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognizing the importance of inclusivity when honouring artistic excellence" Leo Awards president Walter Daroshin, who is also chair of the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of British Columbia, said in a statement Friday.
Gender-fluid actor, comedian and musician Kelly Mantle, who appeared in the film Confessions of a Womanizer, recently became the first performer accepted for consideration in both male and female performance categories for the Oscars.
In Limina — completed in December and heading to film festivals in Portland, Ore., and Kamloops, B.C., — Carroll stars as a curious, gender-fluid child named Alessandra who "embarks on a path of kindness" while interacting with the townspeople of a "quaint and picturesque village," according to a plot summary of the film.
"I would love to give the Leo Awards a ginormous thanks for making people under the trans umbrella feel more welcomed in the world," Carroll said.
"The courage that I got being on the set of Limina showed me that I should always feel confident the way I am and that I should not hide the truth."
The motion picture is co-produced and directed by Florian Halbedl and Joshua M. Ferguson.
Ferguson says one of the film's goals is to highlight trans diversity.
"This is a clear statement to the Canadian film and TV industry, and the general public, in recognizing the importance of gender diversity inclusivity," Ferguson said.
"Trans people make significant contributions both behind and in front of the camera and they need to be seen and heard."
Limina is scheduled to screen at the Portland Kids' Film Festival on Feb. 5 and the Kamloops Film Festival on March 5. The 2017 Leo Awards will take place this spring.