There are two good reasons to go to Santa Barbara’s Fiesta Five Theater on Tuesday night.

The first reason is a special showing of the new film “Milk,” with Sean Penn playing gay activist Harvey Milk, the first gay man elected to public office in America. The story is timely, provocative, tragic and true.

The second reason is a panel discussion after the showing to explore some of the issues raised by the film, and Milk’s life and death, in the wake of Proposition 8. The topic will be “When Laws Become Discrimination.”

Participants will include David Selberg, executive director of Pacific Pride Foundation, Jennifer Drury of the law firm Drury Pullen and former State Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson. Geoff Green, executive director of the Fund for Santa Barbara, will moderate.

Tuesday’s event will be from 7:40 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. at the theater, 916 State St. Admission is the cost of regular theater ticket prices. An additional $5 donation at the door for the Santa Barbara County Action Network would be appreciated. The movie is rated R.

This will be the third in the “SB CANNES Movies with a Message” series, featuring films with a social or environmental justice edge, followed by a panel discussion highlighting local issues. The film series is presented by the Santa Barbara County Action Network (SB CAN) and the Santa Barbara Council on Research and Education (SB CORE). The Fund for Santa Barbara is a co-sponsor of the screening.

For more information, contact SB CAN associate director Olivia Uribe at or 805.563.0463.

Deborah Brasket is SB CAN‘s executive director.