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Rita Moreno, Laverne Cox Receive Outfest Legacy Awards

Friday Oct 20, 2017

On Sunday, October 22nd, Outfest will honor Rita Moreno and Laverne Cox at their 2017 Legacy Awards. The Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promotes equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen.

Merrill Lynch will return as the Presenting Sponsor. This year's awards dinner will once again take place at performing arts venue Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles, with head chef Neal Fraser (Redbird).

Outfest will honor the Emmy®, Grammy®, Oscar®, and Tony® award winner Rita Moreno ("West Side Story, ""One Day at a Time") Moreno is receiving the James Schamus Ally Award, which honors the efforts of an individual in bringing LGBTQ stories to the forefront, for her role as Lydia Riera in the Netflix series "One Day at a Time."

This critically acclaimed series brings a unique spin to the typical coming out story-arc, telling the story of 15-year-old Elena Alvarez who is immediately supported by her Cuban-American mother and grandmother. Moreno has also been a long-time advocate for LGBTQ rights.

SAG award winning, Emmy-nominated actress and equal rights advocate Laverne Cox ("Orange Is the New Black," "Doubt") is receiving the Trailblazer Award in recognition of her groundbreaking role as Sophia Burset, in Netflix's cultural phenomenon "Orange is The New Black," which earned her two Emmy nominations. Cox is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show.

"This year's honorees have made it their life's work to knock down stereotypes and barriers, and to advocate for a better, more inclusive world," commented Outfest Executive Director, Christopher Racster. "With a career spanning an Oscar win for 'West Side Story' to working with fellow luminary Norman Lear on 'One Day at a Time,' Rita Moreno has defied studio-system expectations for Latinas and, in the process, spoken out for opportunities for all who are under-represented. Laverne Cox shattered Hollywood and the limitations of gendered casting through her trailblazing efforts and acting acumen."

The Legacy Awards serves as a fundraiser to support the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, which celebrates its 12th anniversary this year. 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.

The Legacy Project is aimed at the crisis in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving image archiving. Many of the landmark LGBT films produced over the last 40-plus 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. For the last 12 years, the Legacy Project is proud to have collected more than 37,000 moving image items and to have restored 25 historically important film and video projects.

Previous Legacy Award winners include Jill Soloway ("Transparent"), Sean Hayes ("Will and Grace"), Tom Hanks ("Philadelphia"), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right"), 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: American Airlines, Brown-Forman, Christie's, Eco Terreno Wines Inc., OUT, and Variety.

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