By Brian Brooks | Indiewire May 3, 2010 at 6:35AM
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's Allen Ginsberg-inspired "Howl" will open the 28th Outfest, the Los Angeles LGBT film festival at the Orpheum Theatre on July 8th in Downtown LA.
Starring James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels, "Howl," is the story of how a young Ginsberg's seminal work broke down societal barriers in the face of an infamous public obscenity trial. In his famously confessional style, Ginsberg - poet, counter-culture icon, and chronicler of the Beat Generation - recounts the road trips, love affairs, and search for personal liberation that led to "Howl," the most timeless work of his career.
Three interwoven stories - the unfolding of a landmark 1957 censorship trial; the revelations of a renegade artist breaking down barriers to find love and redemption; and an imaginative ride through a prophetic masterpiece that rocked a generation - come to life in a genre-defying feature film that is at once a legal drama, a character study and an animated trip into the magic and madness of the modern world.
"We've had the pleasure of showcasing Rob and Jeffrey's excellent work over the years, and we are proud to continue this relationship and collaborate with such distinguished and visionary filmmakers," said Outfest Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer in a statement.
"The film reminds us of the influence of Allen Ginsberg's groundbreaking work, and eloquently tells the story of an artist who challenged the status quo on a personal and artistic level. By selecting 'Howl' as our opening night, we believe that it will set the tone for this year's festival and celebrate all of the forward-thinking artists that will be part of our exciting line-up," added Kim Yutani, Director of Programming.
The film is produced by Elizabeth Redleaf and Christine Kunewa Walker for Werc Werk Works and executive produced by Gus Van Sant and Jawal Nga.
"Howl" screened opening night at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in January and also played at the 2010 Berlinale in February. Oscilloscope Laboratories will release "Howl" in theaters and VOD on September 24, 2010.
As previously announced, Jane Lynch will receive this year's Outfest Achievement Award. Fellow Glee cast member Chris Colfer who plays gay high school student Kurt Hummel will present the award to Jane prior to the Opening Night Gala. Outfest, which takes place July 8 - 18, will unveil its complete line up June 2nd.