Outfest Announces 2019 Legacy Award Recipients
Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBTQ stories on the screen, announced today that it will honor Emmy Award-winning "Queer Eye" production company Scout Productions at the 2019 Outfest Legacy Awards Gala: A Benefit to Protect Our Past and Build Our Future, on Sunday, October 27th. Outfest will also honor "Vida" creator, executive producer and showrunner Tanya Saracho during the "Unveiling of a New Era" themed gala. The show will be hosted by Emmy nominated Sheryl Lee Ralph and include a special performance by Dana Goldberg. This year's awards dinner will once again take place at performing arts venue Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles, with head chef Neal Fraser of Redbird and the show will be produced by Tony award-winning producer Scott Mauro.
In honoring Scout Productions' co-founders David Collins and Michael Williams, as well as Chief Creative Officer Rob Eric, with the Corporate Trailblazer Award, Outfest recognizes Scout's bold vision and commitment to assuring LGBTQ stories' visibility on-screen. On Bravo in 2003 and again on Netflix in 2018, "Queer Eye" has been a television gamechanger, not only setting the self-improvement genre on its ear, but also bringing frank, funny, outspoken, empathetic, and unapologetic LGBTQ personalities into the homes - and the hearts - of viewers everywhere. Seeing the Fab Five listen to, care for and help out the various subjects of the show has expanded the minds and the souls of fans who might have never met a real queer person in their lives or who never bothered to try to understand people who are different.
Tanya Saracho is writer who has excelled at understanding both sides of the border, whether it's where the United States and Mexico meet, or lives lived inside and outside the LGBTQ community. From her stage triumphs with Teatro Luna to the universally acclaimed television drama "Vida" on Starz network, her work is unerringly provocative and empathetic, finding connection points between disparate people and communities and striving to create a better and more understanding world.
"Our honorees for this year's Outfest Legacy Awards Gala have built such remarkable careers on the premise that authentic and multidimensional queer characters and storylines allow audiences to find pathways of connection via their own humanity and shared experiences, regardless of their own race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or gender. We call THAT empathy and acceptance! As the new Executive Director, I am excited to announce the launch of the Outfest Empathy Campaign, an initiative to expand our programs across the United States in order to create even more pathways of opportunity, inclusion and visibility for our stories and storytellers. This builds on Outfest's long belief that change comes when we finally 'see' one another," stated Outfest's Executive Director, Damien S. Navarro.
The Legacy Awards serves as a fundraiser to support the Outfest filmmaker and professional education courses, screenwriting labs, leadership training, trans-acting workshops, and film restoration programs. Outfest Forward programs mentor, teach, and support writers, actors, directors, and creators. Programs include OutSet: The Young Filmmakers Project from the LGBT Center and Outfest which empowers youth 15- 24 to tell their stories through film; Outfest Screenwriting Lab which has workshoped over 100 screenplays and television pilots over the last 20 years; and Fusion Labs which provide low cost filmmaking classes to diverse communities throughout Los Angeles to further inspire the creator in everyone. Outfest Anthony Meindl Actors Fellowship is an annual scholarship program for trans and non-binary actors. Finally, Outfest and UCLA Film & Television Archive partnered in 2005 to create the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, the only program in the world exclusively dedicated to saving and preserving LGBT moving images. For the last 14 years, the Legacy Project is proud to have collected more than 40,000 moving image items and to have restored 26 historically important film and video projects.
Previous Legacy Award winners include Justin Simien (Dear White People), FX Network's "Pose", Rita Moreno (West Side Story), Laverne Cox ("Orange is the New Black"), Jill Soloway ("Transparent"), Sean Hayes ("Will and Grace"), Tom Hanks (Philadelphia), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are Alright), Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City), Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry), Lee Daniels ("Empire"), Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago), Adam Shankman (Hairspray), Roland Emmerich (Stonewall), Alan Poul ("The Newsroom"), Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook), and Paris Barclay ("Sons of Anarchy").
Other sponsors for the night include: Effen Vodka, KCRW, Rava Wines, and Variety.