- The Washington Times - Friday, August 21, 2015

A film festival sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow is reportedly defying Russia’s law banning gay “propaganda” by screening the American film “I Am Michael.”

The Amfest, which runs Sept. 16-27 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, announced on its website Friday that it was adding the gay-themed drama, which stars Zachary Quinto and James Franco, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is a main sponsor of the festival.

“In light of the Russia’s anti-gay laws, which make illegal the promotion of a gay lifestyle to minors and other so-called ‘gay propaganda,’ planning to screen ‘I Am Michael’ looks like as much of a political as an artistic decision on the part of Amfest organizers and backers,” The Hollywood Reporter said.

Russia’s anti-gay law does not explicitly ban films with gay content, but bans any positive depiction of a homosexual lifestyle to those under 18. “I Am Michael” is not rated, and it is unclear whether minors will be allowed to watch the film at the festival.

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