Peter Bratt’s drama La Mission starring Benjamin Bratt and Adam Salky’s debut feature Dare starring Emmy Rossum, Alan Cumming and Zach Gilford bookend Outfest 2009.

The 27th Los Angeles Gay And Lesbian Film Festival, which runs from July 9-19, will screen 181 films in total, including 65 features and 116 shorts from 25 countries.

Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of the festival, says the programme contains “a particular focus on LGBT rights and equality” in response to gay marriage and adoption bans across the US such as Proposition 8 in California.

Tina Mabry’s drama Mississippi Damned and Lucia Puenzo’s thriller El Nino Pez (The Fish Child) are the respective US dramatic centerpiece and international dramatic centerpiece screenings, while John Greyson’s AIDS activism documentary Fig Trees is the Platinum Centerpiece.

LGBT rights-themed titles include a 25th anniversary screening of John Scagliotti and Greta Schiller’s Before Stonewall, as well as Ella Lemhagen’s Patrik, Age 1.5, Fig Trees, and the 25th anniversary and world premiere screening of a restored print of Debra Chasnoff and Kim Klausner’s documentary Choosing Children.

“In response to the passing of Proposition 8 in California and similar bans against gay marriage and adoption across the United States, we are proud to put a particular focus on LGBT rights and equality, and believe that this is a great time for the entire Los Angeles community – gay or straight – to come out and support one another during Outfest 2009,” Schaffer said.

World premieres include Everett Lewis’s Lucky Bastard, Doris Yeung’s Motherland, Ky Dickens’ Fish Out Of Water and Glenne McElhinney’s On These Shoulders We Stand, as well as the first showing of a restored selection of short films entitled Of Heaven And Earth – A Tribute To Tom Chomont.