James Franco 'Howl' Outfest Opening Night Gala, Student Academy Awards' Foreign Finalists

James Franco Aaron Tveit Howl
Aaron Tveit, James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in Howl

Documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's Howl, their debut narrative feature, will be the Opening Night Gala screening at the 28th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (Outfest) at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on July 8.

Starring James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Bob Balaban, Alessandro Nivola, Aaron Tveit, Treat Williams, and Jeff Daniels, Howl tells the story of counter-culture poet Allen Ginsberg (Franco), who became embroiled in a public obscenity trial in 1957 after writing the poem “Howl,” which made the usual sex-crazed prudes go ballistic thanks to lines such as “…who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy.”

Howl was the opening night film at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was screened at the Berlin Film Festival.

Oscilloscope Laboratories will release Howl in theaters and VOD on September 24.

The complete movie line-up for Outfest 2010 will be announced on June 2. The festival will be held July 8 to 18.

For more information on becoming a member of Outfest, please visit www.outfest.org.

Photo: Courtesy of Outfest

The Night Father Christmas Died Martin Schreier

Five foreign finalists – all from European countries – have been selected for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 37th Annual Student Academy Awards competition.

The winning student filmmaker will be brought to Los Angeles to join U.S.-based Student Academy Award winners for a week of industry-related activities and social events. The awards ceremony, where the foreign student will receive the 2010 Honorary Foreign Film award, will be held on Saturday, June 12, at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The finalists, selected from a record 61 entries from 36 countries, are (listed alphabetically by film title):

  • The Confession, Tanel Toom, National Film and Television School, United Kingdom
  • Janna & Liv, Therese Ahlbeck, Dramatiska Institutet, Sweden
  • The Night Father Christmas Died, Martin Schreier, Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
  • The Road Home, Rahul Gandotra, London Film School, United Kingdom
  • Trieste Is Ours, Ziga Virc, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Reto Caffi, an Honorary Foreign Film award winner in 2008, went on receive a nomination in the Live Action Short Film category for his film Auf der Strecke (On the Line) at the 81st Academy Awards.

In 2005, at the 78th Academy Awards, winner Ulrike Grote's Ausreisser (The Runaway) was nominated in the Live Action Short Film category.

At the 75th Academy Awards, student winner Martin Strange-Hansen of Denmark won the Oscar in the Live Action Short Film category for This Charming Man (Der Er En Yndig Mand). He had won the Honorary Foreign Film award that same year (2002) with Feeding Desire.

In 2000 Florian Gallenberger of Germany won both the Honorary Foreign Film award and the Oscar in the Live Action Short Film category with Quiero Ser (I want to be…).

Two other previous winners, Jan Sverak, a student in the former Czechoslovakia, and Mike van Diem of The Netherlands, went on to direct films that won Oscars in the Foreign Language Film category, respectively Kolya (1996) and Karakter (1997).

The 37th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony on June 12 is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required. Tickets may be obtained online at www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office or by mail. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.

Los Angeles Film Festival movies

The 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival runs June 17-27.

Dog Sweat (Aragh Sagee.) Iran/USA (DIRECTOR Hossein Keshavarz WRITERS Hossein Keshavarz, Maryam Azadi PRODUCERS Maryam Azadi, Hossein Keshavarz, Alan Oxman. CAST Ahmad Akbarzadeh, Tahereh Esfahani, Bagher Forohar, Shahrokh Taslimi, Rahim Zamani.) Shot clandestinely in Tehran, the subversive Dog Sweat intertwines the lives of six young Iranians as they struggle to satisfy their private desires in the face of conservative Islamic society. World Premiere

A Family (En Familie.) Denmark (DIRECTOR Pernille Fischer Christensen WRITERS Kim Fupz Aakeson, Pernille Fischer Christensen PRODUCERS Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Vinca Wiedemann. CAST Jesper Christensen, Lene Maria Christensen, Line Kruse, Pilou Asbæk, Anne Louise Hassing.) The conflict between love and duty plays out in this stunning, award-winning saga about a successful Danish family that faces agonizing choices when its charismatic patriarch falls ill. North American Premiere

Hello Lonesome: (DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER Adam Reid. CAST Sabrina Lloyd, James Urbaniak, Lynn Cohen, Harry Chase, Nate Smith, Kamel Boutros.) With an enchanting mixture of laughter and longing, the worlds of six eclectic, lonely individuals are woven together as they explore those age-old human desires: to love and be loved. World Premiere

The New Year: (DIRECTOR Brett Haley WRITERS/PRODUCERS Brett Haley, Elizabeth Kennedy. CAST Trieste Kelly Dunn, Ryan Hunter, Kevin Wheatley, Linda Lee McBride, Marc Petersen, Lance Brannon.) Featuring a breakout performance by Trieste Kelly Dunn, as a young woman whos put her own life on hold. This note-perfect, bittersweet drama of self-discovery is a quiet revelation.

Of Love and Other Demons: (Del amor y otros demonios.) Colombia/Costa Rica (DIRECTOR/WRITER Hilda Hidalgo PRODUCERS Laura Imperiale, Clara María Ochoa, Laura Pacheco, Hilda Hidalgo. CAST Pablo Derqui, Eliza Triana, Jordi Dauder, Joaquin Climent, Margarita Rosa de Francisco, Damián Alcázar, Martha Leal.) Based on Gabriel García Marquezs sweeping novel, Of Love and Other Demons is a sensual tale of taboo passions set in a South American seaport during the Inquisition. North American Premiere

Orly Germany/France: (DIRECTOR/WRITER Angela Schanelec PRODUCERS Gian-Piero Ringel, Angela Schanelec. CAST Natacha Regnier, Bruno Todeschini, Mireille Perrier, Emile Berling, Jirka Zett.) Amidst the impersonal hubbub of Paris Orly Airport, strangers meet, secrets are revealed, and sudden intimacies develop in this beautifully observed mosaic of lives in transit. North American Premiere

Parade Japan: (DIRECTOR/WRITER Isao Yukisada PRODUCERS Mamoru Inoue, Testsu Kuchigouchi, Atsushi Sugai, Ryuta Inoue. CAST Tatsuya Fujiwara, Karina, Shihori Kanjiya, Kento Hayashi, Keisuke Koide.) Sharing a small Tokyo apartment, four oddly matched twenty-some things and a teen male hustler who mysteriously materializes in their living room deal with broken hearts, deadlines, hangovers andoh yes, a neighborhood serial killerNorth American Premiere

Upstate: (DIRECTORS Katherine Nolfi, Andrew Luis WRITER Katherine Nolfi PRODUCER Melanie Pimentel. CAST Iracel Rivero, Max Arnaud, Suzan Mikiel Kennedy.) A simple weekend away becomes far more complicated when a young woman visits a friend, now married, that she has not seen in years, and long-buried feelings reemerge in this dreamlike meditation on the road not taken. World Premiere

The Wolf Knife: (DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER Laurel Nakadate. CAST Christina Kolozsvary, Julie Potratz.) A road movie where no one is ever seen on the road, this striking, unconventional feature detours from genre conventions as it follows two Floridian teenaged girls on a journey fraught with sexual mystery and suppressed desire. World Premiere

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