Following a year of acclaim on the film festival circuit, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine will make its New York City premiere at DOC NYC. A closing night centerpiece of the American Perspectives program, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine will screen Thursday, November 20 at the IFC Center (323 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10014) at 9:45 p.m. Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine will be presented by Matthew’s parents, Judy and Dennis, and close friend/director Michele Josue.
Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, Josue’s debut and the first film helmed by someone from Matt’s life, is an intimate tribute to the young man she knew, the young man behind the story that rocked the nation and caused outcry around the world in 1998. Josue’s journey took her across the United States, Switzerland and Morocco and the heartfelt result has screened at over two dozen festivals worldwide with more to come. A winner of four Best Documentary awards, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine will be released theatrically in select markets across the U.S. and Canada in February 2015.
“Michele was one of Matt’s most cherished friends, as are others whom she spent years interviewing, sharing how Matt changed them and how they changed themselves in the wake of his passing,” said Judy. “Her film will forever stand as a unique view into our son’s heart and his hopes. We are profoundly grateful that others will be able to share in its message.”
On October 7, 1998, University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten, tied to a fence and left to die because he was gay. Years later, Josue, a close friend of Matt’s, revisits the shocking case with never-before-seen photos and rare video footage as Matt’s all-too-brief life is remembered through the vivid testimonies of those whose lives he touched, from the friends and family who knew him best to the bartender who saw him on the night of the attack.
New revelations emerge in one of the most notorious hate crimes in U.S. history, leading to a searing, poignant, and multi-layered biographical and sociological portrait. In the end, the notion of forgiveness – embodied in the moving and courageous final act of Matt’s parents – takes on truly heroic proportions.
Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine has a running time of 89 Minutes.
Tickets for the New York event are available online here.