Director Gus Van Sant's real-life story about community activist, first openly gay politician elected in America, Harvey Milk, is set to screen at this year's Cannes International Film Festival.

The festival, set on the French Riviera, remains a favorite place for Hollywood to introduce potential Oscar films.

Sean Penn plays gay politician Harvey Milk. Milk, an openly gay activist, won a long-fought election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. San Francisco supervisor Dan White, who the next year assassinated Milk along with Mayor George Moscone, is played by Josh Brolin (replacing the originally cast Matt Damon).

Filming in San Francisco's Castro area turned back the hands of time to the 70's and gave the district a groovy vibe. The set of Milk brought back bars and old stores long since shuttered to the area. The Castro Theater, the gem of the neighborhood, received a permanent face lift for the filming.

Harvey Milk's life and career was previously the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, but Milk is the first feature film. Another Harvey Milk film, The Mayor of Castro Street, by director Bryan Singer, remains in production.

Milk is set to premiere in the US in November.

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