In the new film “I Saw the TV Glow,” two teenagers bond over their shared love of “The Pink Opaque,” a television show reminiscent of the teen drama “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Director Jane Schoenbrun, who is transfeminine, saw shows like Buffy as an integral part of grappling with their gender identity in their adolescence.

“A show like 'Buffy,' I adored, but I didn't tell anyone around me that I was watching it because I was so ashamed,” they said. “It was a show for girls... I didn't think about why I loved it, and I wasn't thinking about it in terms of like, 'Oh, this is a way for me to express my gender.' It all happened quite naturally.”

Schoenbrun, one of the rising stars of independent cinema, will be at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline this Saturday to receive the Coolidge Breakthrough Artist Award. Ahead of their appearance, they sat down with GBH News executive arts editor and The Culture Show host Jared Bowen to discuss what went into creating their latest film.

Music plays a major role in the film. Alex G composed the score, and the soundtrack features a number of original songs from artists including Phoebe Bridgers and Caroline Polachek. Frank, the stepfather of the main character Owen, is played by Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

The name of the fictional series featured in the film, “The Pink Opaque,” is itself based on the name of a 1986 Cocteau Twins compilation album.

“I used it originally as just a stand in, and I was like, alright, I'll come up with a real title for the show. And I couldn't come up with a title,” they said, laughing.

Though the film is marked by their own identity, they weren't interested in making a film explicitly about the trans experience.

Their first feature film, “We're All Going to the World's Fair,” tackled feelings of gender dysphoria and alienation allegorically through the lens of a young person involving themselves in a viral social media trend.

“We're All Going to the World's Fair” was not “overly concerned with explaining transition to [the audience],” they said. “But it was a movie that when it premiered, and I was very early on in my transition at that point, other trans folks watched and were like, 'Oh my God, I've never seen a movie that captures the internal experience of transness.'”

“I Saw the TV Glow” continues the narrative thread of discussing the trans experience through film.

“I didn't try to translate that experience,” they asserted. “I just tried to talk about how it felt by looking backwards to the TV shows of my youth and the ways that I... use[d] them as a coping mechanism to express myself before I was ready to do that in my real life.”

To hear more from Jane Schoenbrun, listen to the full interview above. Listen to The Culture Show daily at 2 p.m. on 89.7.