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DEAUVILLE — Fifteen years after attending Deauville American Film Festival as an actor with the Golden Globe-winning “James Dean: An Invented Life,” James Franco was back at the Normandie-set fest to present the French premiere of his latest directorial effort, “In Dubious Battle,” and receive a career homage.

During the press conference hosted at Deauville on Monday, Franco talked about the contemporary political themes of “In Dubious Battle,” which is based on John Steinbeck’s novel. The movie, which world premiered on Sept. 3 at Venice, follows an activist for the labor party who sets off to organize a massive strike for apple pickers in California in the ’30s.

Franco said he was drawn to turn Steinbeck’s novel into a film because “as a storyteller (he knew) it would make a great movie” and eventually realized the “central conflict had a topical resonance.”

“I’m not running for president and I don’t know how to fix it but certainly there is a working class and middle class in America that’s left behind and it’s not a good thing (for our country). Hopefully this film can shine a light on this issue,” said Franco, who will next present “In Dubious Battle” at Toronto.

“I’ve not been politically active in my life but as a public figure there are certain things that I can raise awareness on and send a message to younger people — raise attention on voting for instance,” said Franco, who attended the presser with Monika Bacardi, Andrea Iervolino, Vince Jolivette and Scott Reed.

Franco also talked about his love for American classics. “I try to devote myself to projects I really believe in and I often make projects that other people aren’t making (and projects) that bring some vitality to classic stories.”