Tashiana Washington in Gimme the Loot (Best Actress):
As the candid and foul-mouthed Sophia, Tashiana Washington is a delight to watch on-screen. Some may call her drab appearance in the film unflattering, but to me it’s totally empowering. She’s a kid from the Bronx who embraces her bottom-rung status with unwavering pride. Although the men around her try to objectify her, Sophia doesn’t let them, and instead gives them a piece of her mind and brawn if they bark too loudly. Tashiana Washington evokes a strength and a truthfulness not seen in many film depictions of project kids like Sophia. She’s uncensored but always hopeful, journeying across the great island of Manhattan like it’s her own giant playground she cannot wait to explore each day. Washington is the rare find that simply is without attempting to be. Here’s to hoping the indie awards groups will spread some love her way later this year, perhaps catapulting her to the attention of the esteemed Academy.