Our community is made of many remarkable individuals who have provided leadership to help move us all forward in the LGBT right movement. This leadership can take many forms – community organizing and mobilizing, raising awareness of LGBT issues and stories, providing scholarships to deserving students, and more.
For over 20 years, the Foundation has been recognizing strong leadership via our grants process by identifying organizations poised to make a big impact in our community. In 2008, we began awarding the annual Stonewall VISION Award at our Stonewall VISION Dinner . Learn more about some of the leaders we’ve recognized by reading the bios they provided when they received their Stonewall VISION Award.
SCOTT SANDERS is one of the entertainment industry’s most creative and prolific entrepreneurs, with a proven track record of producing quality entertainment properties for a variety of media. In addition to his credit as lead producer of the 11 Tony Award-nominated hit Broadway musical The Color Purple, he is widely credited with the historic turnaround of Radio City Music Hall.
Additional credits include Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, which won the 2002 Tony Award, and the HBO special of “Elaine Stritch: At Liberty,” which won two Emmy Awards, including one for Sanders for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.
Sanders partnered with Queen Latifah in a groundbreaking music partnership to record and produce her first vocal album, The Dana Owens Album, which is approaching platinum sales status and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
He also produced the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance and pop star Josh Groban’s Broadway debut in a concert version of Chess at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Sanders also launched film and television powerhouse Mandalay Entertainment with partner and chairman Peter Guber and served as president of Mandalay Television, executive producing six network series – in association with Columbia TriStar – including ABC’s “Cupid” with Jeremy Piven and the WB’s “Young Americans” with Kate Bosworth.
He is the CEO of Scott Sanders Productions, a New York-based feature film and live-theatre production company, which has a first look motion picture deal with Walt Disney Studios.
Dustin Lance Black is a multi-talented writer, producer and director, having won the 2008 Academy Award ® and Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay for MILK, the Gus Van Sant-directed biopic of the late gay rights activist Harvey Milk. Recently, Black began pre-production on his feature directorial debut WHAT’S WRONG WITH VIRGINIA, a drama with stars Liam Neeson and Jennifer Connelly currently attached. In addition, Black and Van Sant will re-team for ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST, an adaptation of the celebrated Tom Wolfe novel set up at Fox Searchlight.
An honors graduate of UCLA’s School of Film and Television, Black began his professional career as an art director on commercials, and quickly transitioned to directing documentaries, television series, commercials and music videos. Black’s first two documentaries ON THE BUS (2001) and MY LIFE WITH COUNT DRACULA (2003) both debuted to acclaim and subsequent festival success. ON THE BUS, originally commissioned as a half-hour internet program about a group of young men traveling to the Burning Man Festival in Nevada, was re-edited into an independent feature by Black, and later developed a cult following amongst the festival’s diverse fan base. MY LIFE WITH COUNT DRACULA, an in-depth look at the final days of Dr. Donald A. Reed, creator of the Count Dracula Society-turned-Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2003. The success of these two projects, coupled with Black’s narrative short film SOMETHING CLOSE TO HEAVEN (which was named one of the ten best shorts of 2001 and earned Black a spot on AMC’s “Five Filmmakers to Watch” special), lead to a successful stint producing, directing and writing TLC’s hit program FAKING IT, based upon the famous BBC series about ordinary citizens spending time in a field far removed from their normal lives. The program received notices for its unflinching sociological commentaries.
In 2004, Black signed on to draw on his devout Mormon childhood experiences in San Antonio, Texas as a writer on HBO’s Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated polygamist drama BIG LOVE. Black recently wrapped the third season of the series, in which he also served as co-producer. During his work on the series, Black often traveled to San Francisco, where he spent many years as a teenager, to research the life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to a major public office. Milk’s message of hope lead Black to pen his screenplay for MILK, which stars Academy Award® winner Sean Penn, Academy Award® Nominee Josh Brolin, James Franco, and Emile Hirsch. The film was released by Focus Features in November 2008 to unanimous praise, later receiving 8 Oscar® Nominations including Best Picture of the Year.
Prior to MILK, Black penned the story and screenplay for PEDRO, the first scripted project from Bunim-Murray Productions about the life and legacy of famed REAL WORLD cast member Pedro Zamora. The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and debuts on MTV this spring.
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