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Dustin Lance Black

Dustin Lance Black is a screenwriter, producer, director and social activist, having won the Academy Award and two WGA Awards for Best Original Screenplay for MILK, the biopic of the late civil rights activist Harvey Milk starring Sean Penn. He is also a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) which successfully led the Federal Case against Prop 8 in CA with lawyers David Boise and Ted Olson, and continues to work for LGBT equality today.

In 2012 Dustin merged his creative and civil rights work with 8 a play based on the Federal Prop 8 trial. Dustins LA cast included George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly. The play was broadcast live and continues to break viewership records online. The play has been staged in 8 countries and all 50 states with hundreds of original productions still to come.

An honors graduate of UCLAs School of Film and Television, Dustin began his career as an art director and quickly transitioned to directing documentaries and commercials. Dustins documentaries ON THE BUS (2001) and MY LIFE WITH COUNT DRACULA (2003) debuted to acclaim and led to a successful stint producing and directing TLC and BBCs hit program FAKING IT, which received notices for its unflinching sociological commentaries. In 2004, Black signed on to draw on his Mormon childhood experiences in San Antonio as a writer and co-producer on HBOs Emmy and Golden Globe nominated polygamist drama BIG LOVE. He continued to write for the show through its 3rd season in 2008. During that time, Black penned the screenplay PEDRO, about the life and legacy of famed openly gay, HIV positive Real World cast member Pedro Zamora. The film earned.

If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by the churches, by the government, by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours.

Dustin Lance Black at the Oscars
22 February, 2009 

Dustin will join us at the festival with his colleagues Gus Van Sant (director) and Bruce Cohen (producer) in Saint Petersburg and take part in a SPECIAL EVENING of cinema and discussion on 30 November, 2013.  

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