Monday, September 16, 2013

New Film “Matt Shepard Is A Friend Of Mine”

Produced by Charlotte Robinson

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Filmmaker Michele Josue about her new documentary MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE. This October will mark fifteen years since Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered in Laramie, Wyoming just because he was gay. MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE explores the human side of Shepard. Josue, as a close friend of Matt, travels to pivotal locations in Shepard’s life, interviewing other friends and family members and gaining insight into the beautiful life and devastating loss of Matthew Shepard. The film will have its coast-to-coast world premieres on October 4th at both the Mill Valley Film Festival in California and the Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C. We talked to Michele about her must-see documentary that delivers a personal insight to Matt Shepard and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked as a heterosexual woman what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Josue stated, “I think gay or straight, I think that everyone should have a commitment to LGBT civil rights. You know gay rights are human rights and the struggle affects all of us. For me it’s really important to stand up for my gay family members, my gay friends, Matt and all the Matt Shepards out there. To fight for their rights to be acknowledged as equal members of society, deserving of every equality that everyone else has. I believe we all have a tremendous responsibility and obligation to each other as human beings to stand up for each other. So I feel strongly about our film about Matt. It’s a shame that our story can only aid the education process of those who still don’t believe in equal rights for everyone. So through the film I’m trying to do my part for LGBT equality.”

Filmmaker Michele Josue was born to Filipino immigrant parents and raised in suburban Maryland. She met Matt Shepard while they were attending The American School in Switzerland. This marks the fifteenth anniversary since Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, tortured and tethered to a fence left to die. Never regaining consciousness Matthew succumbed to the severe injuries from the attack and died on October 12, 1998. In 2009 President Obama signed the LGBT inclusive Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE is currently playing the film festival circuit.

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