The anticipated South African release date for the critically acclaimed film Milk, about the life of openly gay US politician Harvey Milk, has been set.

Ster-Kinekor Distribution says that it will release the Gus van Sant film, starring Sean Penn, James Franco and Emile Hirsch on Friday 24 April 2009.

After moving to San Francisco, Harvey Milk became a gay rights activist and a city politician. On his third attempt, he was elected to the city’s Board of Supervisors in 1977, making him the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the USA.

The following year, both he and the city’s mayor, George Moscone, were shot to death by former city supervisor, Dan White.

Milk is the first fictional feature to explore Harvey Milk’s personal life and career.

The film has been nominated for various Satellite Awards from the International Press Academy including Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Actor Drama – Sean Penn, Best Director – Gus van Sant, Best Supporting Actor – James Franco and Best Original Screenplay – Dustin Lance Black.

Milk has received considerable acclaim and is also expected to be nominated for high profile accolades such as The Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

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