James Franco is scheduled to accept the HBO Latin Ally Award at the 2013 Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, taking place from April 26 to May 5.
Franco said “It’s a big honor” to be nominated.
Franco has been actively involved in the LGBT community, supporting LGBT rights and staring, producing, and directing LGBT-related films.
“We are thrilled to host an actor of James Franco’s caliber at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival,” said Franc Castro, executive director of the MGLFF. “His multi-faceted talents coupled with his contributions to LGBT film both in front of the camera and behind the scenes have helped shine the spotlight on LGBT cinema and a filmmaker’s right to free expression.”
He told South Florida Gay News (SFGN), “I have a lot of different connections to the LGBT community and I have a lot of aesthetic or artistic connections or reasons I am interested in queer cinema. ‘My Own Private Idaho’ was a big influence on me in many ways. I watched it when I was in high school.”
Franco has played gay characters as well.
“For a long time playing gay characters was seen as something that was harmful to your career,” he said. “I find that it hasn’t hurt me at all, and even if it did hurt me, it wouldn’t deter me from doing the kinds of projects that I want to do.”
The PhD Yale graduated studied queer cinema at New York University.
Among his many LGBT film projects, he produced and directed “Interior. Leather Bar.” which involves original footage of the gay film “Cruising.”
“I have been drawn to the movie ‘Cruising’ for a while. I knew it had a complicated history,” Franco explains to SFGN. “When it was made, it was very controversial, and it made some unfortunate connections between gay lifestyle and murder.”
He explains, “There were a lot of protests when the original film was made. But you know 30 years later I just felt like maybe it was time for it to be re-explored and that there were some things about the original movie that have become more valuable and their significance has since changed.”
Franco believes he’s reached the point in his career in which challenges and diversity drive him.
“Now that I’ve been doing movies for 16 years, I find that the most exciting movies and most gratifying experiences are when you make films that get people talking, get people to think or have conversations.”