Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media, will present its 15th Annual Achievement Award to Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato.
The Achievement Award is Outfest's highest honor and is presented in recognition of a body of work that has made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media.
"Few acts can balance mainstream popularity with cult status and maintain their independence, singular vision and relevance - especially in the mood shifting LGBT landscape," says Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Outfest.
The award will be presented to Bailey and Barbato prior to the Opening Night Gala screening of "Gun Hill Road" on Thursday, July 7 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.
Says Fenton Bailey, "Outfest has been such an important organization to us and to the entertainment industry, although we are certain that they got this wrong, because we aren't gay and we are far too young to be honored in this way!" Randy Barbato adds, "Actually we are gay dinosaurs, and given we were born this way, thank goodness there was an Outfest 15 years ago to help welcome us to Hollywood."
For twenty years, Fenton Bailey's and Randy Barbato's World of Wonder global entertainment company has been producing ground breaking and landmark film, television, and web programming often reflecting lifestyles and subjects no one else is brave enough to approach. Their ambitious work has had a profound impact on LGBT audiences, and we're proud to call them part of the Outfest family.
Emerging from the ‘80's punk scene as disco-pop-rock duo The Fabulous Pop Tarts and NYU's Graduate Film Program, the multi-media partnership between Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato morphed into World of Wonder in 1990. Their immediate success gave birth to an immense and diverse body of work including 1997's "The Real Ellen Story," the 1998 Outfest award-winning "shockumentary" PARTY MONSTER; the wildly popular documentary THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE that opened Outfest in 2000; and "101 Rent Boys" also in 2000. Their documentary output has been prolific, including titles ranging from; MONICA IN BLACK AND WHITE to INSIDE DEEP THROAT and docu-series like "Transgenerations."
In 2003, Randy and Fenton became the first filmmakers to twice open Outfest - this time with a scripted version of the "party monster" story (PARTY MONSTER). Over the years they have produced work for almost every US Cable Network, including four seasons of "Million Dollar Listing," six seasons of "Tori & Dean" and "RuPaul's Drag Race" now shooting its fourth season. They premiered their latest documentary film BECOMING CHAZ at this year's Sundance Film Festival and in May the film was broadcast on OWN as the first film in the Oprah Winfrey Documentary Club. Randy and Fenton continue to expand their reach with everything from blogs to an art gallery and a coffee table book.
Last year's Outfest Achievement Award was presented to Jane Lynch, and previous recipients include: Don Roos, Jane Anderson, Gregg Araki, Bill Condon, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Todd Haynes, Sir Ian McKellen and Gus Van Sant.
The complete line-up for Outfest 2011 will be announced on June 7th.
For more information on becoming a member of Outfest, please visit www.outfest.org.
FENTON BAILEY & RANDY BARBATO
Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato founded World of Wonder in 1990 after meeting while attending NYU's Graduate Film Program. "MANHATTAN CABLE" was their first series and aired on Britain's Channel 4 where it became a cult success, introducing UK audiences to the weird and whacky shows of American public access television.
Their UK office also produced a number of other hit series such as "TAKEOVER TV", and "THE ADAM AND JOE SHOW", which won a Royal Television Society Award. At this time, they produced and directed their first polemical documentary, "VIDEOS, VIGILANTES, AND VOYEUERISM" for Channel Four UK. The film was picked up by HBO, and was the beginning of a long and successful working relationship with HBO/Cinemax creating "SHOCK VIDEO" (10 x 1 hr) and 13 documentaries. These included: "DROP DEAD GORGEOUS - THE POWER OF HIV POSITIVE THINKING" (1997) following comedian Steve Moore's battle with AIDS, "MONICA IN BLACK AND WHITE" (2002), "WHEN I KNEW" (2008) exploring when people first knew they were gay, "HEIDI FLEISS: MADAM OF CRYSTAL" (2008), Carrie Fisher's "Wishful Drinking" (2010) and "THE STRANGE CASE OF DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL" which is scheduled to premiere in November of 2011.
In 1992 following the LA Riots they handed out cameras to ten Los Angelenos (gang leaders, cops, teachers, Koreans, TV reporters) to make video diaries about their lives. These stories were interwoven into the feature documentary, "LA STORIES: FROM THE EYE OF THE STORM" for the BBC2.
In 1996 they produced the harrowing documentary "PARTY MONSTER". This was their first film to be included in the Sundance Film Festival and won the Outfest Grand Jury prize in 1998 as well as an International Emmy. In 2003 they would go on to write and direct a scripted version of the same story starring Macaulay Culkin as notorious Michael Alig in his first film role since the "Home Alone" days. The film boasted a stellar cast including Chloe Sevigny, Seth Green, Natasha Lyonne, Dylan McDermott, Marilyn Manson & Wilmer Valderrama. It was produced in association with Killer Films.
The two have built a successful Production Company that has nurtured numerous talented producers and directors. They have produced countless gay and lesbian projects for the past twenty years, including; "SCHOOL'S OUT" (MTV), "GAY HOLLYWOOD" (AMC) and "OUT OF THE CLOSET, OFF THE SCREEN: THE LIFE OF William HainES" (2001). In 1997, they directed "THE REAL ELLEN STORY", a documentary that chronicled the behind-the-scenes story of Ellen's coming out.
In 1998 they produced one of their most popular documentaries, "THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE" which premiered at Sundance and opened Outfest in 2000. The film enjoyed a successful theatrical release (Lionsgate) and is in the top 100 documentary box office releases of all time. At the same time they filmed "101 RENT BOYS" in which 101 street hustlers were paid on camera for their stories. In the following years they focused on developing television series such as "SHOWBIZ MOM & DADS" (Bravo) and over the years have produced work for almost every US Cable Network. (Logo, OWN, HGTV, Planet Green, Oxygen, Bravo, Sundance, HBO, VH1, Discovery, Showtime, TLC, Animal Planet, E!, SOAPnet, G4, Discovery Real Time, WE, BBC, PBS, TV Land, Sky, AMC, Lifetime, Trio, Spike TV, Playboy, Court TV, MTV, A&E, Cinemax, Syfy, Game Show Network).
They have never shied away from controversial or sexual topics. "INSIDE DEEP THROAT" produced by Brian Grazer and distributed by Universal premiered at Sundance (2005). The film told the story of the most successful movie of all time "DEEP THROAT". They continued to push the envelope with the landmark series "PORNOGRAPHY: THE SECRET HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION" (1999) and "HIDDEN FUHRER: DEBATING THE ENIGMA OF HITLER'S SEXUALITY" (2004) exploring the notion that Hitler might have been gay. They've also sunk their teeth into a number of ambitious documentary series including; "Andy Warhol: THE COMPLETE PICTURE" (4 hours for Channel Four UK) and "VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR: THE HISTORY OF THE MUSIC VIDEO" (6 x 1 hour for Vh1), "THE RISE OF THE VIDEO GAME" (6 hours for Discovery).
In 2009 they launched "RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE" Logo's Number 1 rated show of all time. Now in production in its fourth season, the series has also sprung the equally successful Behind-the-Scenes series "UNTUCKED" and the spin-off series "DRAG U", in which real women get makeovers in order to find their inner drag queen. They have a long working relationship with RuPaul, dating back to 1991, when they helped secure the record deal in 1991 that resulted in the smash hit "Supermodel". They managed all aspects of his career, directed his music videos, secured his book and MAC Cosmetics deal - making him the first female impersonator spokes model for a major company. They also produced "THE RUPAUL SHOW" that ran for 99 episodes on VH1 in 1996.