Darren Criss Presents Award to Craig Zadan & Neil Meron at Outfest Awards Tonight, 10/13

Darren-Criis-Set-to-Present-at-Outfest-Awards-20010101

OUTFEST, the world's leading organization dedicated to showcasing, protecting and nurturing LGBT film imagery and artistry, announced today that it will honor award winning producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron at the 8th annual Legacy Awards. This year's event will take place tonight, October 13th at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

Zadan and Meron, the producing duo behind the screen and television hits CHICAGO, HAIRSPRAY and SMASH, and who have just been announced to produce the 85th Academy Awards, will be receiving the Visionary Award in recognition of their contribution to LGBT arts and media visibility.

Glee star Darren Criss, who starred in Zadan and Meron's Broadway production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, will present the award to them.

The Legacy Awards serve as a fundraiser for the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, which is a collaboration between Outfest and the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and the only program in the world devoted to saving and preserving LGBT moving images.

"Thanks to Craig and Neil's all-encompassing work in movies, television and on stage, they have given a loud and clear voice to LGBT characters and issues that reaches the widest possible audience," says Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Outfest. "We are very proud to honor two friends and longtime supporters of Outfest and are grateful for their profound impact on the LGBT community."

"We are honored and humbled to receive the Visionary Award from an organization as important and crucial as Outfest. We hope we can help spread the word that the community needs to embrace and support this outstanding group, that does so much to enrich the art and the lives of LGBT people everywhere," says Zadan and Meron.

As previously announced, Bruce Cohen (Milk), Nina Jacobson (The Hunger Games) and Bryan Singer (Usual Suspects, X-Men) will co-chair this year's event.

The centerpiece screening at the 2012 awards will feature a special Sneak Preview screening of the Legacy Project's most challenging restoration to date. The silent film DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS (ANDERS ALS DIE ANDERN), made in 1919, is arguably the earliest surviving cinematic work made explicitly about LGBT people. Directed by Richard Oswald and co-written by famed psychologist Magnus Hirschfeld, it is believed to be the only film from a group of gay-friendly movies made during Germany's Weimar era that escaped systematic destruction by the Nazis.

Outfest and the UCLA Film & Television Archive partnered in 2005 to create the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation. The only program of its kind in the world, the Outfest Legacy Project is aimed at the growing crisis in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving image archiving. Many of the landmark LGBT films produced over the last 30 years are already in danger of fading away; their original exhibition prints are in tatters and their negatives are in woeful storage conditions, or even lost. Celebrating its seventh anniversary, the Outfest Legacy Project is proud to have collected over 20,000 moving picture images for the collection and restored 18 films.

To purchase tickets and for further information, visit www.outfest.org or call 213-480-7088.

The Legacy Awards are presented by Northern Trust and Showtime.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are producers for stage and screen. Their feature films, television, and theater projects have garnered a total of six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 11 Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, a Grammy Award, and two Tony Awards. They are currently producing with Steven Spielberg the new NBC television drama, SMASH for NBC. Their motion pictures include: "Chicago," "Hairspray," "The Bucket List" and "Footloose." Their television projects, (which have accrued 73 Emmy nominations), include: Gypsy, Cinderella, Annie, The Music Man, Life With Judy Garland, Martin & Lewis, Serving In Silence, The Beach Boys, Brian's Song, The Three Stooges, The Reagans, A Raisin In The Sun, the new African American version of Steel Magnolias, plus the hit TV series Drop Dead Diva. On Broadway, they recently produced the Tony winning "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette and the Tony winning "Promises, Promises" starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth. In the last year they received the coveted Vito Russo Award at the GLAAD Media Awards as well as a second GLAAD Award for Outstanding Individual Episode for their series Drop Dead Diva. Previously they won GLAAD Awards for Serving in Silence and What Makes A Family.

Outfest celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012 with a yearlong celebration honoring the organization's rich film history, innovative filmmakers and cultural legacy. The anniversary celebration includes the signature film festival, a major film restoration, a new logo, a new monthly screening series and a comprehensive social media campaign. Founded by volunteers on the campus of UCLA in 1982, Outfest has grown into an internationally recognized organization that works to promote LGBT equality through the arts. For three decades Outfest has brought together film lovers, artists, celebrities and entertainment industry professionals to create a world-class forum for stories that reflect and often transform LGBT lives. Outfest has showcased over 5,600 films to audiences, reaching close to one million people, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers and protected over 18,000 stories and images through the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, the only program of its kind in the world.

UCLA Film & Television Archive is renowned globally for its pioneering efforts to rescue, preserve and showcase moving image media-and is dedicated to ensuring that the collective visual memory of our time is explored and enjoyed for generations to come. http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

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