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Outfest 2016: James Franco honored but not at packed Saturday night screening of ‘King Cobra’

So last night I was among those who ;packed into the DGA Theatre for the highly-anticipated LA premiere of King Cobra at Outfest.

I knew James Franco, one of the film’s stars and a producer, was at the DGA and was being honored so I secured a front-row seat to get a close-up view of the proceedings.

Franco it turns out did not actually step foot inside the theater where I had assumed he would be presented with the first annual James Schamus Award for his contributions to LGBT cinema. Instead, oddly, after posing for some red carpet shots, Franco was presented with the award inside a lounge during an informal reception with Gus Van Sant on hand.

So whoever happened to be in the lounge saw the presentation and him but not the packed theater which only saw a video of Schamus making remarks about Franco then being told he had come and gone.

Maybe he had to catch a plane. It was disappointing to say the least.

King Cobra is a ripped-from-the-headlines drama which covers the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Paul Lockhart a.k.a. Brent Corrigan, before his falling out with the producer who made him famous. When Sean decides he’d be better off a free agent, a cash-strapped pair of rival producers aim to cash in by any means possible.

The film, written and directed by Justin Kelly, is very good and features a breakthrough performance by one-time Disney star Garrett Clayton as Corrigan, Christian Slater as the producer and Franco and Keegan Allen as the cash-strapped pair.

The actors do not get shy in the gay sex scenes – just FYI. In fact, this is probably Franco’s best-ever same-sex make-out scene to date.

Also in the film, in smaller roles, are Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald. Clayton and Keegan appeared at the Q&A with Kelly and two producers before the film.

I’ll have more from the Q&A in the coming days.

#GusVanSant presenting the 2016 Outfest James Schamus Award to @jamesfrancotv at #OutfestLA

A photo posted by Outfest (@outfest) on

FILE UNDER: Outfest

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