Award-winning production company World of Wonder announces today that it is in production on Freedia Got a Gun, a documentary that depicts gun violence in New Orleans through the eyes of local hero and international bounce legend Big Freedia. World of Wonder and Freedia’s newest collaboration takes a more serious tone and is a testament to the performer’s determination to discover the root causes of gun violence in her hometown. The documentary is produced by Emmy award-winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato of World of Wonder, and directed by Emmy winner Chris McKim, who also acts as producer.
In addition to showcasing Freedia’s personal journey with her city’s longstanding history of gun violence, the documentary depicts additional narratives from mothers, fathers, and children who have been personally affected by the epidemic. Though their experiences may differ, they all share a common goal: to make the streets safer for the next generation.
“Through Big Freedia’s lifelong and often heart-wrenching relationship with guns, we see the complexities of the issues surrounding gun control,” said World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. “She has not only lost family to gun violence, but also nearly lost her own life when she herself was shot. Big Freedia’s candor about her experience speaks for many whose voices go unheard in America’s current gun debate.”
“I hope this film can add to some of the other voices that have stood up against the senseless violence in our country,” says Big Freedia. “As someone who has lost a loved one to gun violence, I was honored to be a part of this project.”
Freedia Got a Gun is a continuation of World of Wonder’s long-standing working relationship with legendary recording artist and performer Big Freedia, also collaborating with her on Fuse’s top rated series, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce.
Freedia Got a Gun continues World of Wonder’s decades-long history of creating thought-provoking and subversive TV shows and documentaries including RuPaul’s Drag Race, Out of Iraq, When the Beat Drops, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric, and Sundance official selections Becoming Chaz and Party Monster, among others.
For their longstanding, groundbreaking work in unscripted content, World of Wonder co-founders, producers and directors Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey will receive the David Lyle Maverick Award tonight at the Realscreen Summit taking place in New Orleans.
For more than two decades, award-winning production company World of Wonder has introduced audiences to new worlds, talent and ideas that have shaped culture. Programming highlights include: Emmy® Award winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1/Logo), “Million Dollar Listing” LA & NY (Bravo), “Dancing Queen” (Netflix), “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” (Fuse), and “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric” (National Geographic); award-winning films and documentaries including “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures,” “Menendez: Blood Brothers,” “Inside Deep Throat,” “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “I Am Britney Jean,” “In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye,” “Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking,” “Monica in Black and White,” Emmy-winning “The Last Beekeeper,” and Emmy-winning “Out of Iraq.” Seven of WOW’s films have premiered at the Sundance Film festival including “Becoming Chaz” and “Party Monster.” World of Wonder has also created a substantial digital footprint with its YouTube channel WOWPresents (1M+ subs), SVOD digital platform WOW Presents Plus, along with an award-winning blog, The WOW Report. World of Wonder’s bi-annual RuPaul’s DragCon is the world’s largest drag culture convention, welcoming more than 100,000 attendees across LA and NYC in 2018. Co-founders Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey authored The World According to Wonder, celebrating decades of production, which can be found online at http://worldofwonder.net/. Randy and Fenton were honored with the IDA Pioneer Award in December 2014, celebrating exceptional achievement, leadership, and vision in the nonfiction and documentary community, named to Variety’s Reality Leaders List in 2017, and chosen for the OUT100 list in 2018 for their trailblazing work in the LGBTQ+ community. World of Wonder was also selected for Realscreen’s 2018 Global 100 list, which recognizes the top international non-fiction and unscripted production companies working in the industry today. World of Wonder creates out of a historic building/gallery space in the heart of Hollywood.
In 2018, 95% of fatal gunshot victims in New Orleans were black. Among the dead was Adam Ross, 35, brother of local bounce legend Big Freedia. Freedia’s been shot herself and, over the years, lost more than 70 friends, family & acquaintances to New Orleans’ culture of gun violence, a tragic figure that’s all too common in the city. Freedia Got a Gun will be her personal journey into this world of violence and mayhem, toxic masculinity and stolen dignity, where a child talks about holding his dying father, the blood turning cold on his arms, and mothers confront drug dealers armed with assault weapons to make the streets safer for their children.
Big Freedia the Queen Diva from New Orleans, Louisiana has gone from local legend to international phenomenon spreading the NOLA hiphop Bounce sound from Johannesburg to Berlin, New York to Honolulu. She brought twerking to the masses and gained worldwide fans while being featured on hit songs by Beyonce, Formation, and Drake, Nice For What, and popped up on Beyonce’s world tour. She’s performed at SXSW, Art Basel, MOMA, the Hollywood Bowl and more and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Her hit series Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce ran for 6 seasons on FuseTV. In 2018 Big Freedia signed with Asylum Records and released a new EP, 3rd Ward Bounce.