NYFA Instructor Paul Warner to Direct 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards

Paul Warner

Paul Warner directing Liev Schreiber with Alison Pill and David Michalek Photo Credit Mark Kornbluth

Award-winning film and stage director Paul Warner has been commissioned to direct the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards, as well as to produce the Academy’s music documentary film For Which WE Stand (One Queer Music Nation In The Visible).

The Academy has launched a campaign to back the completion of the film For Which WE Stand and live production of the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards slated to take place MLK weekend January 16th – 20th in Las Vegas, NV.

Warner has directed more than fifty stage productions and numerous films, including the award-winning In the Name of the Father as well as his feature Fall Time, starring Mickey Rourke, Stephen Baldwin, and David Arquette, which premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for The Grand Jury Prize. In the Name of the Father also premiered at Sundance and garnered the Cine Golden Eagle, the Gold Hugo Award from the Chicago International Film Festival, first place at The British International Film and Video Festival, and best cinematography at The Atlanta Film and Video Festival. Warner has directed Fall Time, with “sadistic relish,” says the Hollywood Reporter. TV Guide refers to Warner’s work as “more repellently scary than most horror films.” Most recently, he directed the world premiere of a new dance-theatre opera, Women: The War Within, composed by Du Yun with a libretto by Matthew Maguire, at The Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City featuring the Chinese Opera Star Qian Yi and New York City Principal ballerina Wendy Whelan. He produced the film The Puritans, directed by Robinson, which has been the recipient of numerous honors on the festival circuit.

In 2011, Warner directed the actors and served as Executive Creative Consultant for acclaimed photographer and visual artist David Michalek’s Portraits in Dramatic Time–a series of slow motion cinematic shorts featuring seminal performers of stage and screen, including: Holly Hunter, Patti Lupone, Lily Taylor, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Wendy Whelan, and William H. Macy, as well as seminal multi-disciplinary international artists. Portraits premiered at The Lincoln Center Theatre Festival. The LA Weekly has referred to Warner’s direction of Nelson Rodriques’ The Wedding Dress as “A phantasmagorical odyssey–a nonstop, mind-bending roller-coaster ride that is as haunting as a nightmare, while also being a touching affirmation of life.”

paul warner alan rickman

Paul Warner with Alan Rickman on Portraits In Dramatic Time

Next, Warner will direct a new feature film, Reclaiming Eden, co-written with Sean Robinson, which is to begin principal photography in the summer of 2014. Warner has won numerous awards and fellowships including a Statue Award and a Works in Process Grant from the Princess Grace Foundation, which enabled him to serve as The Artistic Associate/Resident Director of New York’s Second Stage Theatre and The Baryshnikov Arts Center, as well as a directing fellowship from the Drama League of New York. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has an MFA in filmmaking from The American Film Institute. Paul currently teaches directing courses at the New York Film Academy.

Paul is thrilled to be working alongside his longtime creative colleague, Sean Robinson, who will direct the documentary as well as Chairwoman/CEO Diedra Meredith, whose exceptional leadership at LARA has brought about enormous changes for LGBTQ artists that will be felt for decades to come.

Warner says: “I am honored to both direct the 9th Annual OUTmusic Awards and produce For Which WE Stand as I feel strongly that the LGBTQ Academy of Recording Arts’ mission is essential to the LGBTQ equality movement,” says Warner. “While experiencing considerable gains, there has also been an escalation of bullying and continued discrimination, so the pursuit of equality is far from over. Of equal importance, I am excited to collaborate with music and media artists from all disciplines whose passion for and undying dedication to their craft will shape our future cultural and political landscape.”

The film will feature live performances from the OUTmusic Awards with behind the scenes footage, interviews with pioneers, recording artists, activists, industry executives and various creative industry professionals.

Diedra Meredith, Chairwoman/CEO of LARA says, “I am equally honored to have Sean Robinson and Paul Warner on board. This film and the live production of the OUTmusic Awards is integral to the Academy’s mission to document and archive our movement and history. Our goal is to create more opportunities for LGBTQ recording artists and ensure that Queer Music Culture will continue to be included as an integral platform in music and media history.”

Women: The War Within a new dance-theatre opera by Du Yun, Matthew Maguire, and Paul Warner from Paul Warner on Vimeo.