Outfest 2010: Howl is Opening Night

May 3, 2010 – Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media, announced today that “HOWL” has been selected as the Opening Night gala of the 28th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. The debut narrative feature from acclaimed documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, starring James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels, will screen at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles on July 8. 

“’HOWL’ is an important and inspiring movie that is extremely relevant today,” says Kim Yutani, Director of Programming of Outfest. “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.” 


Adds Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Outfest, “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.”


Starring James Franco in a career-defining performance as Allen Ginsberg, “HOWL” is the story of how the young poet’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. 


“HOWL” is written and directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and stars James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Bob Balaban, Alessandro Nivola, Treat Williams, with Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels. 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” was the opening night film at Sundance Film Festival 2010 and also played at the 2010 Berlinale.  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 screening of HOWL.


The complete line-up for Outfest 2010 will be announced on June 2.  The nation’s leading LGBT festival and the oldest continuously running film festival in the city will be held July 8 to 18.