Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 24, 2013.

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This film explores the life and tragic death of Matthew Shepard, the gay student murdered in Laramie, WY through a truly personal lens.

Welcome to our MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE Kickstarter page! We're proud to say the film is finished, but the journey is not yet over. We need support in getting this important film seen. Help give MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE a public life!

MATT'S STORY:

Fifteen years ago, on the night of October 6, 1998, two men lured Matthew Shepard, a gay freshman at the University of Wyoming, from a bar in Laramie, WY. He was kidnapped and driven to a field where he was tortured and tethered to a fence and left to die. Never regaining consciousness, Matthew succumbed to the severe injuries from the attack and died on October 12, 1998.

The murder of Matthew Shepard was a devastating tragedy that made countless headlines around the world. As people denounced the hatred and senseless violence that caused Matthew’s death, a much-needed dialogue about hate crimes and intolerance against the LGBT community began and continues to this day.

ABOUT THE FILM:

MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE explores the life and death of Matthew Shepard and examines the wreckage left behind after his murder.

 Framed through the very personal lens of friends and family, it’s a story of loss, love, and courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy.

OUR MISSION:

Matt was a close friend and his death was devastating. Making this film has been incredibly difficult yet so meaningful, and we've been working steadily for the past 3 years to bring this film to fruition.

But the finish line is now incredibly close! We aim to commemorate Matt's memory by releasing the film this coming October 2013, which will mark the 15th anniversary of Matt's tragic death.

While we've come a long way in the last fifteen years, ignorance and hate are still a part of today's society. MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE highlights the responsibility we all have to help make sure people around the world are not at risk of falling victim to the same story ending Matt was.

WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP:

We locked picture this past May and the film is complete! We are incredibly proud of the finished film, but now we need some help to push past these final stages and get the film seen.

We're very excited to be showing the film at film festivals and various screening events this fall. But there's still LOTS of work left to do to get the film to communities and audiences everywhere.

Your pledge will go towards:

  • Outreach
  • Marketing & Publicity
  • Mastering costs
  • Booking fees
  • Classroom versions
  • Professional fees (Lawyers, E&O insurance, publicists, etc.)

If we are fortunate enough to exceed our Kickstarter goal, the additional funds will go towards costly distribution expenses and hiring a semi-theatrical booker who will help us get the film into theaters in select cities.

We are an incredibly small team, and MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE is truly an independent film. So many people have donated their time and talents to help make this film a reality. From the producing, directing, cinematography, editing, outreach, etc., we've done everything ourselves with very little resources (but A LOT of heart!). In fact, MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE has been funded solely by our original Kickstarter campaign and personal savings.

This is an incredibly special and meaningful film that we feel people really need to see. We know that with your support, we will soon be able to share the film and Matt's story with the world.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP:

Please consider making a pledge to our project. The minimum pledge is only one dollar, and every single dollar helps!

If you are unable to contribute financially, please help spread the word by sending emails, posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and talking to your family, friends, and colleagues about MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE. Spreading the word about our film and our fundraising campaign to your personal network will be tremendously helpful to us reaching our goal.

Every push and every contribution (big AND small) will make an indelible impact on our campaign. No matter the pledge, by supporting the project, you become PART of the project. You will be instrumental to the film's success.

EXCITING REWARDS:

Here's a taste of some of the great rewards we are offering:

  • Digital downloads of the film
  • Your own MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE DVD
  • Our new MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE T-shirts
  • An official on-screen Special Thanks credit in the film
  • Our new official film poster, autographed by director Michele Josue
  • AND true to Matt's fun-loving personality and crazy dance moves, at the $250 level (in addition to other great stuff), we will create your own personalized 'Thank You' dance video set to your favorite dance song. (We are already dusting off our dancing shoes!)
Official MSIAFOM film poster
Official MSIAFOM film poster

ORGANIZATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS & SUPPORT:

MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE is blessed to have the support of the Shepard family, and these amazing organizations: the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Ford's Theater, the Washington National Cathedral, the Chicago Children's Choir, and Facing History and Ourselves.

STAY IN TOUCH:

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter @MyfriendMatt

Find us on Vimeo

Visit our website: www.mattshepardisafriendofmine.com

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THANK YOU!

We thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for your continued support and belief in our important project!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

With the film finished, our main obstacle now is getting the film seen and readily available to audiences around the world.

Matthew Shepard is an important figure to many, many people and there is already a strong, passionate core audience who want this film to happen.

Having gone through our original Kickstarter campaign, we discovered great grass-roots potential in the film. Our first Kickstarter campaign in 2011 was wildly successful and together we raised over $60,000--$10,000 over our $50,000 goal--making us one of the most successful Kickstarter documentary projects at that time. Kickstarter was instrumental in our finding a passionate community of people who believe as strongly in the film as we do.

With that said, we are inspired to push forward despite any future obstacles.

We already have made plans to hold marquee screening events of the film in key cities around the U.S. this fall in collaboration with our wonderful partner organizations. On Friday, October 11, 2013, we are planning a screening event in Denver with the Shepard family and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

It'll be quite a tough and eventful road leading up to the fall, but we are confident that with the help of our amazing network and passionate, like-minded people, we can succeed once again and give this important film a public life.

FAQ

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    Our sincerest thanks for supporting our project! As an official MSIAFOM backer, you'll receive our project updates on our film journey via email.

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    Thank you so much for being an official MSIAFOM backer! You'll receive an online "Thank You" postcard from the MSIAFOM team that features an image from the film.

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    You are pre-ordering your own digital copy of "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine." You'll also receive an online "Thank You" postcard that features an image from the film.

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    57 backers

    You are pre-ordering your own "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" DVD and digital copy. You'll also receive an online "Thank You" postcard and get a special thanks on our MSIAFOM website. Shipping included.

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    Your own "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" DVD, our new black canvas MSIAFOM tote bag, digital copy, an online "Thank You" postcard, and special thanks on our website. Shipping included.

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    51 backers

    Your own "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" DVD, our new MSIAFOM T-shirt, digital copy, an online "Thank You" postcard, and special thanks on our website. Shipping included.

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    68 backers

    See your name on the big screen! You'll receive a special on-screen thank you credit in the film, a "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" DVD, our MSIAFOM T-shirt, digital copy, an online "Thank You" postcard, and special thanks on our website. Shipping included.

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    14 backers

    True to Matt's fun-loving spirit & crazy dance moves, we will create your own personalized 'Thank You' dance video set to your favorite dance song! (**Message us with your fave song.) You'll also receive an official poster autographed by director Michele Josue, a special on-screen thank you credit in the film, a "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" DVD, our MSIAFOM T-shirt, digital copy, an online "Thank You" postcard, and special thanks on our website. Shipping included.

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    All of the above, and a DVD copy of "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" that comes with a limited public performance license that allows classroom use, on-campus screenings, creative meet-ups, and other non-commercial showings. (Please message us to confirm that your group is eligible for this license.)

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    You will receive an autographed DVD copy of the film with a personalized video message from the filmmakers and all of the above MSIAFOM goodies.

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    All of the above and an appearance by director Michele Josue at your screening of "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine." (Includes travel. U.S. screenings only)

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Funding period

- (25 days)