‘Howl,’ ‘Spork’ to bookend Outfest

Event to screen 60 features, 87 shorts

Outfest has selected Allen Ginsberg biopic “Howl” as its opening night film on July 8 and “Spork” as its closing night gala feature on July 18.

The 28th edition of L.A.’s gay and lesbian film fest, which saw healthy attendance of 45,000 last year, will screen 60 features and 87 shorts from 23 countries.

“Howl” is the debut narrative feature from documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and stars James Franco, Jon Hamm and David Strathairn. Jane Lynch will receive this year’s Outfest Achievement Award, presented by fellow “Glee” cast member Chris Colfer and director Paris Barclay prior to the “Howl” screening.

“Spork,” starring Savannah Stehlin, is the feature debut of actor-turned-writer/director J.B. Ghuman.

Thriller/documentary “The Owls” has been set as the U.S. dramatic centerpiece and the feature debut from Outfest Screenwriting Lab fellow Javier Fuentes-Leon, “Undertow” has been tapped as the international dramatic centerpiece.

As part of the fifth anniversary of its Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, Outfest has asked filmmakers, musicians and journalists to select and introduce a favorite film from the Legacy Collection. Selections include “Clueless,” “Hustler White,” “Madchen in Uniform,” “Out of the Shadows/Sign of Protest” and “Macho Dancer.”

The festival will also recognize West Hollywood’s 25th anniversary as an incorporated city with a series of films that focus on the city’s history and its contribution to the arts. Titles include “The Broken Hearts Club,” “An Ordinary Couple,” “Is It Just Me?” and “Out of the Shadows.”

The 4 in Focus series includes first-time feature film directors Myriam Aziza with “The Evening Dress,” Fuentes-Leon’s “Undertow,” Adriana Maggs’ “Grown Up Movie Star” and Jake Yuzna’s “Open.”

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