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Synopsis

** 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival - Official Selection**

"Heidi Fleiss is kind of synonymous with sex and money and that's the big deal, but really, I'm just your average convicted felon," says Fleiss of herself.

Directed and produced by the award-winning team of Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal paints an unflinching portrait of the erstwhile "Hollywood Madame" as she embarks on an ill-fated attempt to open the first legal brothel for female clients in the tiny desert town of Crystal, Nev. As a convicted felon, Fleiss encounters opposition from local authorities and a consortium of all-male brothel owners, as well as the uncloaked ire of Miss Kathy, a bar owner who envies her purchase of a choice tract of land.

Then, in an unexpected twist, Fleiss finds herself drawn into the eccentric world of a former madam who lives next door with a valuable collection of exotic birds. As Fleiss's architects show off an elaborate model for her "stud farm," she becomes consumed by local politics, the psychological impact of her years in prison, the demands of enduring celebrity and an unexpected bequest from her neighbor, who leaves Heidi her exotic bird collection upon her death.

Along the way, Fleiss offers some revelations about herself. She was a child chess champion in Los Angeles; she got her entrepreneurial start running a babysitting service in high school; she has a weakness for that "white trash drug, crystal meth," she's had breast enhancement surgery; and she's never been in love with another person.

The film ends with Heidi Fleiss still striving for her dream. Ultimately, she opens a business that she has no trouble starting: a laundromat in Pahrump, Nev., called "Dirty Laundry."

Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato are the founders of World of Wonder Productions. Based in Los Angeles and London, World of Wonder is best known for award-winning films and documentaries such HBO's "Inside Deep Throat," CINEMAX's "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," and CINEMAX's "Party Monster," (all Sundance Film Festival favorites), as well as HBO's "Monica in Black." World of Wonder also produced the acclaimed nonfiction series "Transgeneration," which won the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Documentary, "Showbiz Moms and Dads" and the upcoming Pamela Anderson observational documentary series. They also produced the CINEMAX Reel Life documentary "When I Knew."

Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal is an HBO Documentary Films presentation; directed and produced by Fenton Baily & Randy Barbato; co-producer, Mona Card; editor, Landon Page; music composer, David Benjamin Steinberg; directors of photography, David Kempner and Goro Toshima; associate producer, Sham Ibrahim; co-executive producer for McCommera Filmworks, Michael McNamara; co-executive producer for New World Entertainment, Barry Katz. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

Heidi Fleiss smiling on couch

Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal

2008 Documentary Films Series