OC Filmmaker Seeks Oscar Nominations for Gary Busey and Androgynous Actor/Actress

A Huntington Beach indie film company is mounting Oscar campaigns for Gary Busey (for Best Supporting Actor) and the androgynous Kelly Mantle (for Best Supporting Actor or Supporting Actress, whichever the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deems most appropriate).

Busey and Mantle appear in Harbor House Films' Confessions of a Womanizer, which opens Friday at the AMC Block 30 at the Outlets (formerly the Block at Orange).

“I, Miguel Ali, along with my producing team, are officially asking the Academy to nominate Gary Busey for Best Supporting Actor, for his work in Confessions of a Womanizer, and we are also asking that Kelly Mantle be nominated for Best Supporting Actress or Best Supporting Actor for her work in our film, as well. We are deeply proud to forge this Oscar campaign, and we are using our film festival tour to build a grassroots following for it,” the comedy's writer/director/co-producer writes on the movie's website.

“Of note, Kelly Mantle’s campaign is especially historic–she is the first androgynous actress to campaign for an Oscar, and should she be nominated, she will be the first androgynous actress nominated for an Oscar. We will submit her for consideration for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress–the Academy can decide what category she should be nominated under.”

Busey was an Academy Award nominee for Best Actor in 1979 for his breakout role in The Buddy Holly Story. He received the Best Actor nod that year from the National Society of Film Critics.

In Confessions of a Womanizer, he plays Gary, a diner buddy of Ritchie Salvador (Andrew Lawrence, who resembles a younger version of former movie star Brendan Fraser). Ritchie is emotionally unavailable to women and has no use for putting in the effort required of a serious relationship until he falls hard for Megan (Awkward's Jillian Rose Reed), who at first resists his advances but soon falls for him, too.

Mantle plays Ginger, a transgender prostitute and Ritchie's best friend who helps him discover that an emotional scar from years ago made him into the womanizer he is today. Ginger assists Ritchie in bringing these wounds to the surface so he can better deal with them.

You may recall Mantle from 2014's season six of RuPaul's Drag Race, when the drag queen contestant was eliminated in the first round.

The native Oklahoman also appeared this year in the comedy Middle Man, which is writer Ned Crowley's directorial debut starring Jim O'Heir, Josh McDermitt and Andrew J. West. Mantle recently wrapped filming on American Dream, which has veteran Hollywood cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (Saving Private Ryan, Shindler's List, Catch Me If You Can) directing his first full length feature since Hania, a 2007 drama from his native Poland.

Also appearing in Confessions of a Womanizer are C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders), Andrew Caldwell (Nickelodeon's Henry Danger) and Nicole Garcia and Brianna Garcia Danielson, better known as “Brie” and “Nikki,” the WWE's champion divas The Bella Twins.

Shot in Orange County, Confessions of a Womanizer earned an encore screening at the 2014 Newport Beach Film Festival. According to Ali, a Chapman University alum whose full name is Muhammad Miguel Ali Hasan, his movie picked up 10 awards at the 30 film festivals it was entered in.

Besides Orange County, Confessions opens Friday at AMC theaters in Chicago, Houston and New Jersey. 

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