Tangerine: Oscar Campaign for Transgender Feature (LGBTQ)

“There wouldn’t have even been an Oscar awards campaign for Tangerine without Brigade,” says executive producer Mark Duplass, better known as a director (alongside his brother, Jay Duplass).

Brigade, the bi-coastal publicity and marketing agency that guided this season’s awards campaign for Sean Baker’s Tangerine, the first on record to promote a transgender performer for a major Oscar nomination, is formally launching an awards consultation division, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The company, which was established in 2010 by publicist Adam Kersh, digital marketer Tom Cunha and social media strategist Jean McDowell (McDowell is no longer with the company), has provided traditional publicity services for many indies, including Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture and the early Brie Larson vehicle Short Term 12, and awards services for Compliance, starring Ann Dowd, and the doc How to Survive a Plague, among many others.

Brigade’s experience with the Tangerine campaign convinced its partners to devote greater time and attention to awards efforts in the future.

“From the Sundance launch to our New York City Gay Pride float to Mya Taylor’s appearance at the White House to last week’s Caitlyn Jenner-hosted screening, this has been one wild ride,” says Kersh, who previously worked at 42 West. “We knew from the beginning that Tangerine was a bold and special film; seeing it blossom into a full-on phenomenon has been extremely gratifying and rewarding.”

Magnolia, the backer of the Tangerine campaign, and executive producers Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass, say they will have great feelings about their partnership with Brigade regardless of what happens on Oscar nominations morning.

Matt Cowal, Magnolia’s head of marketing and publicity, says, “Adam Kersh and the team at Brigade worked tirelessly on the awards campaign for Tangerine, with terrific results. With their help, the campaign became one of the most buzzed about of this awards season. Their passion and commitment to the project went above and beyond.”

Added Mark Duplass, “There wouldn’t have even been an awards campaign for Tangerine without Brigade. Adam Kersh saw the awards potential in this tiny film and executed a flawless campaign with a mere fraction of the budget of the bigger films in this year’s race. Even if a nomination doesn’t happen Thursday, we already feel like winners for getting as far as we’ve gotten.”