Montana State University

Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black to speak Feb. 9 at MSU

January 13, 2011

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Academy Award-winning screenwriter and activist Dustin Lance Black will speak at MSU on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in MSU's SUB Ballrooms.

Black has won two Writer's Guild of America Awards for the HBO series "Big Love" and an Academy Award and Oscar for his screenplay of the 2008 film "MILK," the biopic of the late gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

Most recently, Black has teamed up with director Clint Eastwood to pen "Hoover," the story of famed FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. An accomplished writer, Black has published two books and written for every major screenwriting magazine, as well as the Huffington Post.

Black is an honors graduate of UCLA's School of Film and Television.

"Black approaches both a controversial and important issue with his screenplay of MILK," said Carmen McSpadden, director of the MSU Leadership Institute. "And recognizing and addressing issues around diversity is an essential leadership lesson, whether it be race, religion, gender, socio-economic, ethnicity, political beliefs or sexual orientation."

Other films Black has worked on include "Pedro," which profiles the life of the first openly HIV-positive television persona, and "What's Wrong with Virginia," a film shown at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival.

Black's lecture is sponsored by ASMSU, MSU Leadership Institute, Queer Straight Alliance, College of Arts and Architecture, School of Film and Photography, Office of the President, Diversity Awareness Office, MSU Student Activities, MSU VOICE Center, Gallatin Valley Human Rights Task Force and the ASMSU Procrastinator Theater.

Tickets are $5 and are available starting at 10 a.m. Jan. 16 at local Tickets West locations and at www.ticketswest.com. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9. For more information, call the MSU Leadership Institute at 994-7275 or visit www.montana.edu/leadership.