Friends of Matthew Shepard Launch Grassroots Campaign to Screen Documentary on 15th Anniversary of Tragic Hate Crime

Michele Josue, filmmaker and close friend of Matthew Shepard, turns to Kickstarter for her feature film "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine," an upcoming documentary about the gay young man murdered in Laramie, Wyoming.

Aug 08, 2013, 10:00 ET from Michele Josue

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Independent filmmaker Michele Josue announced the launch of a 25-day Kickstarter fundraising campaign to market and independently distribute Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine. The upcoming feature documentary tells the story of Matthew Shepard, who was brutally murdered in an anti-gay crime in October 1998, through the personal lens of his family and close friends.


This October marks the 15th anniversary of Shepard's death and, according to Josue, "we would like to commemorate Matt's life and legacy by showing this film to the widest audiences possible."  Josue is planning several screening events nationwide this fall. 

Funds raised by this campaign will go towards outreach, marketing and publicity, and classroom versions of the film.  Anyone can sponsor the project at With a donation of $20 or more, supporters will receive a digital download of the film. Josue and her team hope to reach the $25,000 necessary by August 23, 2013.

"Passionate people make all the difference with something like this." Josue said. "We decided to use Kickstarter because we loved the idea that our campaign, like our film, will be a collaborative effort by people who truly care about this project."

Josue's film Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine includes extensive interviews with a number of individuals who were intimately affected by the tragedy.  Among them are Shepard's mother, Judy Shepard, a prominent gay rights activist, and his father, Dennis Shepard.  Other interviewees included law enforcement and health care professionals who played essential roles in his case.  Through the honest and intimate recollections of his family and those who were personally affected by his death, the film tells the story of the Matthew behind the headlines.

"While we've come a long way in the last fifteen years since Matt's murder, ignorance and hate are unfortunately still very much a part of today's society. Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine tells a universal story that highlights the responsibility we all have to make sure young people around the world are not at risk of falling victim to the same story-ending Matt was."

About Michele Josue:

Michele Josue is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and a graduate of Emerson College's prestigious film program. She has been producing and directing documentary film internationally for over a decade. This documentary marks her feature film directorial debut.

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SOURCE Michele Josue