HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — More than 1,000 of adult’s best, brightest and bawdiest crowded into Hollywood’s Avalon club to celebrate the eighth annual XBIZ Awards show.
This year's A-list event sizzled with sexy stars and a highlight performance by rock star Dave Navarro.
The glitzy and glamorous red carpet was packed with top current and veteran porn celebrities and adult business leaders who came to honor their own and party in the heart of the adult world.
The eye candy included adult performers Teagan Presley, Joanna Angel, Sunny Leone, Taylor Vixen, Dyanna Lauren, Sunny Lane, Kimberly Kane, Christy Canyon, Kagney Linn Karter and a host of other striking stars.
And the gala attracted porn fans from all across Los Angeles and stretched nearly half of a city block long. Some of the flesh-flashing porn girls were even forced to take a back seat when some of their better-known male counterparts strutted by including household porn names like Evan Stone, Tom Byron, Brad Armstrong and James Deen.
Not to be outdone, the behind-the-scene movers and shakers of the adult online world and movie productions were also on hand including Adam & Eve’s Bob Christian, Pacific Sun’s Pritam Sinha, Vivid’s Marci Hirsch, Castle Megastore’s Mark. A. Franks, Cable Entertainment Distribution’s (CED) Marc Bruder, MaxCash’s JSTYLES, Gamma Entertainment’s David Stidham, Playboy Online’s Derek Meklir and many, many more.
Of course the content creators – many who took home trophies – arrived with stars on their arms and attracted as much attention as the girls themselves.
Axel Braun, winner of the Best Director of the Year for Body of Work along with his date for evening, porn star Aurora Snow, commented on the festivities as being the hottest ticket in town.
After receiving his award, Braun said, “It's was a great honor to be recognized by XBIZ, and I am incredibly thankful. It was truly a great night, the show at the Avalon was amazingly well produced and it had a fun, relaxed vibe, kinda like the Golden Globes. Everybody seemed to genuinely have a great time, and Sunny Leone and Teagan were excellent hosts. The fact that I won Director of the Year-Body of Work was a beautiful, unexpected note, and watching Evan Stone win for Best Actor in my 'This Ain't Star Trek XXX' made my night even more spectacular. Thank you XBIZ!”
Red carpet hostess and alt-porn star Joanna Angel was front and center ushering in the amazing array of talent and business leaders. Angel managed to keep the flow moving often chatting with one star while moving another into a photo op.
"I had a great time hosting the red carpet, and doing some great interviews with the talent who attended. And I am so happy for James Deen as well,” she said.
Deen won the Male Performer of the Year award. He told XBIZ that being recognized by the publications is a highlight of his career in adult. He added that he was amazed at how many stars came out noting that there are so many porn parties in L.A. that the stars pick and choose. “This is very cool and obviously special,” he said.
Award presenter for Comeback Performer of the Year (Dyanna Lauren, winner), adult legend Christy Canyon echoed Deen’s sentiment about the vibe of this year’s show. The star said, “The XBIZ show is the award show of all shows to be at, be honored at, be seen at and for me … to present at."
Canyon was seated at the Vivid Entertainment table where XBIZ caught up with Marci Hirsch, Vivid Entertainment’s vice president of production. Vivid nabbed the Marketing Campaign of the Year award for its “Throat: A Cautionary Tale” film.
Hirsch said, “Marketing is so important for our showcase films and our plans for the release of “Throat: A Cautionary Tale” worked out perfectly as we were able to support it with our series “Deeper Throat” on Showtime which followed the development of the film. We’re delighted that XBIZ recognized our efforts with this award.”
The big buzz on the show floor was how the industry senses 2010 as a comeback year for adult after the doldrums of 2008 and 2009. The upbeat air of the awards show was as one partyer commented, “is the medicine we need to get porn back on its feet.”
After three days of intense business-to-business opportunities offered through XBIZ LA’s seminar and demonstration programs, the Awards celebration lived up to its promise of being, “One Industry, One Celebration.”
XBIZ president Alec Helmy was also very optimistic about the state of adult and especially on the production and turnout of this year’s show.
“The awards show was simply amazing. The venue was perfect and it offered our industry a great convergence of stars, professionals and business leaders. It has always been XBIZ’s goal to provide the entire digital adult entertainment industry with the right balance of knowledge and entertainment. And we’ve succeeded on both counts,” he said.
CED’s Marc Bruder, an industry veteran who has witnessed nearly every change the adult industry has weathered, agreed and felt the XBIZ shows finally bring it all together, especially the awards show which is the culmination of hard work.
"CED attends almost all of the major events, confabs, award shows and conventions around the world for the past 25 years. But, the past few XBIZ events have been extremely beneficial to CED and the expanding of our industries producers, studios and brands content in to all broadcast venues worldwide. The XBIZ convention in Beverly Hills and the award show this week was informative, entertaining and a real opportunity to exchange ideas, plans, views and missions with other decision makers in the business...keep up the great work,” Bruder said.
Pacific Sun Entertainment CEO Pritam Sinha made a point of complimenting XBIZ on its attention to the gay marketplace and the positive effect the show has on the industry.
“I came with the intent on meeting a lot of people and I did, in spite of the bad economy. The high level of excitement the awards show generates makes people feel good about our industry,” he said.
One industry pro was hoping for a red carpet web broadcast to really honor the spectacle. Mark Prince of 2much.com said, “This is loads of fun and a lot of happy people but it would have been great to been able to share this with millions over the web.”
The kudos didn’t stop with those folks from the video side of the business. Retail giant Castle Megastore's President and CEO, Mark A. Franks, said this year’s awards were very well put together.
“It was our second year attending and this event continues to exceed our expectations. Being recognized by XBIZ with the Executive Leadership Award is a very important accomplishment for me. I am appreciative of the recognition and thank the staff at XBIZ. This accomplishment both energizes and motivates me to continue to work towards contributing to this industry by continuing to share with the community successes as the leader of Castle Megastore. I have been in this industry for more than two decades and have always had passion and love for this industry,” Franks said.
What has always been most unique about XBIZ is how traditional porn folk mix with traditional business folk and when it comes to partying everyone gels.
Adult director C. Batts Fly was on hand with star April Flores. He noted that it was great to see the “suits” of the business let their hair down.
“In addition to being able to meet influential people and April Flores being nominated for most innovative product, we were excited about the XBIZ Awards because of the celebrities we’d meet. As soon as we got out of the cab we jumped in the red carpet line to enter and stood behind Dave Navarro. April had a fun night of dancing, hugs and kisses from fellow friends Sunny Lane, Kelly Shibari, Candance St. John, Dana Darmond and Andy San Dimas,” Batts said.
Noted online executive and longtime adult industry veteran JSTYLES, vice president of MaxCash said that XBIZ is the only place where he can meet, do business with and party with a wide cross section of industry professionals.
“The XBIZ Awards was THE place to see and be seen and Avalon was the perfect venue! It was a great opportunity for the industry at large to celebrate and have a great time while acknowledging the best of the best!"
Gamma Entertainment partner David Stidham called the awards the most straightforward and honest awards show ever and said it was good to see deserving people winning awards. “I look forward to next year’s show,” he said.
It was indeed a blast, but the festivities also took time to honor Epoch CEO Joel Hall, who was honored by the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) with its annual Service Recognition Award. The award as accepted by Harmik Gharapetian on behalf of Hall.
Each year the Award is presented to the person, or persons, whose consistent contributions help to make ASACP’s work possible.
In a statement Hall said, “Epoch is very happy to be a part of the efforts to make the Internet safe for children. We are pleased to receive this award and hope that the ongoing efforts of ASACP assist in the goal of keeping children safe.”
Another Award recipient at the show was Girlfriends Films which took the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) 2010 Leadership Award.
The FSC Leadership Award goes to an adult company that exemplifies excellence and innovation in business practices.
“We’ve won awards for movies but nothing can be more satisfying than this one,” Girlfriends Films president Dan O’Connell said. “There’s no higher honor than being so prominently recognized as being the leader in the kind of exemplary work and innovation that the award stands for. This is a big industry and to be the company that receives this year’s award is just the best. I couldn’t be happier or more proud!”