Next month's Amfest will screen the film I Am Michael, which stars James Franco as a gay man who renounces his sexuality.

The festival, which runs September 16-27 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

In 2013, Russia banned the promotion of “gay propaganda” to minors. The controversial law makes the depiction of positive portrayals of LGBT people illegal.

President Barack Obama has previously criticized the law.

The Hollywood Reporter called the upcoming screening of I Am Michael “as much of a political as an artistic decision on the part of Amfest organizers and backers.”

In the film, which premiered to positive reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, Franco plays controversial publisher and former gay rights advocate Michael Glatze, who in 2004 launched Young Gay America Magazine with the help of his former boyfriend (played by out actor Zachary Quinto). Three years later, Glatze publicly announced that he no longer identified as gay and pledged to fight against gay rights.