March 18 – 29
At Tower City
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Run Time: 89 minutes
The 1998 beating and murder of a 21-year-old college student, Matthew Shepard, raised the world’s awareness about discrimination against LGBT people. The tragedy inspired a generation of activists to work for human rights and led to the Congressional passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act—legislation that bore his name 11 years later. You would think the story of Matthew Shepard’s life and legacy was well-documented, but most of the media coverage at the time stripped the young gay man of his humanity. Fortunately, this film takes you on a journey to learn about Matt Shepard’s charismatic personality, which is documented through family photos, vacation videos, and even his personal diary entries. Some of the film’s most compelling scenes are with Matt’s parents, Judy and Dennis. Directed by his childhood friend Michele Josue, MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE is a must-see film for anyone who wants to view an intimate portrait of a young man whose murder altered the conscience of America and the world. —P.S.
Liam McNiff, Michele Josue
A graduate of Emerson College's film program, Michele Josue has been directing, producing, and editing documentaries internationally for over a decade. Josue grew up in suburban Maryland and then Lugano, Switzerland where she became close friends with Matthew Shepard, a fellow student at an international boarding school. Josue currently resides in Los Angeles. MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE is her feature film debut.
MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE (2013)
This film is presented with the generous support of JUDY SHEPHERD (who is the mother of CIFF Associate Director Patrick Shepherd).