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Trans filmmaker makes history with Elliot Page-backed film Oscars 2024 nomination

An Avocado Pit spreads a message of trans joy and acceptance

By Dale Fox

Composite of Ary Zara and Gaya Medeiros
Ary Zara and Gaya Medeiros (Image: Ary Zara; BFI Flair)

The short film An Avocado Pit has been shortlisted for the 2024 Oscars, marking the first time a trans filmmaker has been considered in the Best Live Action Short category.

Directed by Ary Zara and executive produced by Elliot Page‘s production company Pageboy, the 15-minute film follows an encounter between Larissa, a trans woman played by Gaya Medeiros, and Cláudio, a cisgender man played by Ivo Canelas.

Their paths cross for a night in Lisbon in this Portuguese-language short.

“We are able to love. We are able to have fun” – Director Ary Zara

An Avocado Pit has already picked up numerous accolades on the festival circuit. This includes a nomination for Best Short Film at Portugal’s prestigious Sophia Awards. Free from violence and full of hope, the story brings a refreshing narrative of trans acceptance and joy to the screen.

“We are able to love. We are able to have fun. We are able to experience real joy. And it is important for us to understand that this is also a layer [of the trans experience],” Zara told Advocate.

Meanwhile, lead actress Gaya Medeiros hopes the film’s messaging resonates with all audiences regardless of gender.

“It’s always an existential question – who you want to meet, who you want to have a relationship [with], and what kind of person do you want to have close to you,” she said, stressing that “[i]t’s not about the body, but it’s about the thoughts about who you are.”

When are the Oscars 2024?

Full Oscar 2024 nominations will be announced on 23 January, ahead of the ceremony on 10 March. Last year’s summer smash Barbie is expected to feature in most categories, alongside Oppenheimer.

An Avacado Pit is available to rent from Vimeo.