CHATSWORTH, Calif.—AVN Media Network announces Steve Orenstein as the recipient of the third annual Visionary Award. The Wicked Pictures founder will receive the award at the 2014 AVN Awards, held January 18 at The Joint in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
“The choice of Steve Orenstein as this year’s Visionary was an easy one,” said AVN CEO Theo Sapoutzis. “Wicked is a juggernaut in this industry, and Steve has remained true to his core values since the very beginning. Wicked is what it is because of Steve Orenstein. The studio continually provides purveyors of adult entertainment with sexy, exciting, and always sex-positive content and products. In this current climate, it is why he is the perfect recipient for this year’s Visionary Award.”
“I’m honored to even be considered for the visionary award,” says Orenstein. “Knowing this is only the third time AVN has given it out makes the honor even more special. Wicked was created 20 years ago with a strong commitment to shooting high quality movies for women and couples, while featuring empowering female roles. We have continued on that path to this day.”
Originally from New York, Steve Orenstein established Wicked Pictures in Canoga Park, California on March 1st, 1993, with a business model focused on producing quality adult productions created for men, women, and couples – a vision Orenstein has stayed true to for more than two decades, even when this mission has seemed at odds with prevailing trends in adult entertainment. His formula has allowed him to remain committed to creating couples’ products even throughout the proliferation of “gonzo” porn.
As one of the most acclaimed production companies in the adult industry, the new millennium has seen Orenstein’s organization produce some of the industry’s most lauded releases. The company has also found success in releasing titles produced by others; Wicked has distributed Video Marc Dorcel’s European productions in the U.S. for over a decade, and also distributes lines from such high-profile brands as Playgirl (high-end, award winning erotica for women), JoyBear Pictures (stylish and unique U.K.-lensed productions featuring attractive British performers) and AbbyWinters.com (award winning all-girl content focusing on all-natural beauties from around the globe).
In addition to the high-profile releases, Orenstein launched the couples-oriented label “Wicked Passions,” entered the parody market with such wildly successful AVN award winners as Brad Armstrong’s Men In Black: A Hardcore Parody. Recent years has also seen Wicked enter the sex education genre, with the introduction of the AVN award-winning educational DVD series jessica drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex. Other branding initiatives include the award-winning Wicked Sensual Care Collection, an ambitious line of sexy personal lotions, potions, and creams formulated and created with the same quality people have come to expect from the Wicked brand.
“This journey is not a solo one, and there are more people to thank for Wicked’s success 20 years later than can be easily named,” says Orenstein. “Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey.”
After an industry-wide health scare led many companies to begin instituting policies of mandatory condom usage in 1998, Wicked, with Orenstein at its helm, is the only adult entertainment producer continuing to adhere to this policy over fifteen years later.
“While I have seen a lot of changes during my 34 years in the industry – some good, some not so good – I can’t think of another industry I would have rather been a part of,” admits Orenstein.
AVN’s Visionary Award recipients all have certain attributes in common – ethics, civic responsibility, an eye for quality and innovation, and a compassionate understanding of adult entertainment and its place in mainstream society. Inaugural winner Steve Hirsch of Vivid Entertainment, second annual winner Adam & Eve founder Phil Harvey, and now Orenstein, all epitomize the values that merit the recognition from AVN as true visionaries.
"I can think of no one more deserving of this year's Visionary Award than Steve Orenstein," says Harvey. "Steve advanced his passion for adult entertainment and stuck to his core ethics about what safe sexuality means for both singles and couples. He has kept the direction he set out for with Wicked in a fair, decent, and compassionate way, without getting swamped by industry ebbs, flows, or politics. This industry needs people like Steve Orenstein, and he is most definitely a visionary."
The 31st annual AVN Awards Show will be hosted by Chanel Preston and Samantha Saint. Dubbed "the Oscars of adult" by Entertainment Weekly, the must-attend, must-see event features the hottest stars from adult and mainstream pop culture. With a stylish red carpet pre-show and lavish star-studded ceremony, the AVN Awards celebrates outstanding achievements in the world of adult entertainment.
Fans interested in attending the 2014 AVN Award Show may purchase standard and Golden Tickets at avnawards.avn.com/tickets.
Adult Industry tables & tickets for the award show are also on sale; ticket options start at $250. Availability is limited, and industry members are encouraged to go to avnawards.avn.com to purchase tickets.