Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine

  • "The nominees for the 43rd annual Daytime Emmy Awards have been announced, and the Logo documentary Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine has been nominated in the “Outstanding Special Class Special” category."

    -by Cody Gohl

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  • "Matt's mom, the legendary gay rights advocate Judy Shepard, spoke with MSNBC about her son's life and legacy 17 years after his untimely death:

    MSNBC: In the film, Matt is described as being "about the business of learning about life." What lessons about life did Matt teach you that you still carry with you today?

    Shepard: He taught us to be fearless, try new things and not be afraid of the unknown. You learn by doing – not watching others experience life to its fullest."

    -by Joseph Neese

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  • NewsweekLogo

    "[Josue's] movie depicts Shepard as a complicated, brave, flawed person few had the opportunity to know."

    -Zach Schonfeld

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  • WashPostLogo

    "If the director wanted to rehumanize Shepard, she has succeeded. Her other goal, though worthwhile, was not so easy to accomplish: to make sense of a horrific event and move on."

    -by Stephanie Merry

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  • LATimes

    "The film is enough to prompt soul-searching among parents, educators and the LGBT community on how to provide adequate guidance and support for LGBT youths."

    -by Martin Tsai

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  • EbertLogo

    "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine is a great documentary...This film doesn't just revisit an atrocity, it moves through it, and finds meaning in it."

    -by Matt Zoller Seitz

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  • advocate

    Dustin Diehl inteviews Director Michele Josue.

    "Josue's film is an important one, because it reminds us of the ways we touch the people around us, reminds us that sometimes the most important things we do may never end up on the news."

    -by Dustin Diehl

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  • Slate

    "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine seeks to restore Shepard's humanity to his name, to tell the story of the person who was murdered for being who he was."

    -by John Darnielle

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  • The New York Times

    A review of "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine"

    -by Nicolas Rapold

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  • VillageVoice

    "Josue tries to reclaim his narrative with this intimate, positive portrait, but while Shepard's brave and resourceful parents encourage her, they realized long ago that his death means he no longer belongs solely to them."

    -by Serena Donadoni

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  • People

    Josue made the film – and the Shepards helped, giving her access to boxes of Matthew's packed-away old letters, journals, postcards and home movies – because all three feared Matthew becoming an emblem known only for how he died.

    -by Sandra Sobieraj Westfall

    For more of PEOPLE's interview with Judy and Dennis Shepard, pick up the February 16th issue of PEOPLE on newsstands on Friday.
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  • DailyNews

    "This heartbreaking documentary should be shown in every high school and college-and everywhere intolerance is suspected."

    -by Graham Fuller

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  • Film Review

    • Jan 31, 2015

    Slant

    "The Matt Shepard everyone remembers is properly eulogized, but the film deliberately permits a lingering sense of the person he was never able to become, and that's a wound no remembrance, however fond, will ever heal."

    -by Nick Prigge

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  • Huffington Post

    • Jan 29, 2015

    HuffPost

    "Viewers hear more about who he was and how he had changed throughout the years, getting a glimpse of how he lived instead of only how he died. It helps them see the true depth of the tragedy and the terrible cost of hatred."

    -by Judy Shepard

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  • Logo TV will host the television premiere of acclaimed documentary Matt Shepard Is A Friend Of Mine later this year. The film, from filmmaker Michele Josue, debuts in theaters in February.

    -by The Deadline Team

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  • The U.S. documentary Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine has collected the audience award at the festival Bok o bok (Side by Side), Russia's main LGBT film event.

    -by Vladimir Kozlov

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  • RadioFreeLogo

    "Both Josue and Judy Shepard said they were touched by the opportunity to speak with Russians about the struggles faced by LGBT people and their families, including a meeting in St. Petersburg with a group of parents, primarily mothers, with LGBT children."

    -by Carl Schreck

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  • BigGayPicShow

    "It is a beautifully made and very moving film, which manages to be incredibly sad and angry, yet constantly tinged with inspiration and hope."

    -by Tim Isaac

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  • ThePlaylist

    “'Matt Shepard Was A Friend Of Mine' is a stirring, sometimes tough-going piece of documentary filmmaking: pure, honest and undiluted by hyperbole."

    -by Nicholas Laskin

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  • ABCNews

    "Josue has presented her film in several countries, but she said none of the others had a climate as hostile to gays as Russia. 'We've been preaching to the choir,' she said. 'It's important to get our film seen by a community that didn't have access to it.'"

    -By David Crary, AP National Writer

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  • HuffPost

    "...Michele Josue, a close friend of Shepard's, has produced a film called "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" that takes an intimate look at the life and legacy of Shepard and his family."

    -by James Nichols

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  • THR

    "The Shepards, whose son, then a 21-year-old student at University of Wyoming, was murdered in October 1998 in one of the highest-profile LGBT hate-crime cases, will attend the Nov. 24 screening of Michele Josue's documentary Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine at the Bok o Bok (Side by Side) festival."

    -by Vladimir Kozlov

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  • IndieWire

    "As the years passed, I watched a younger generation come of age that was oblivious to the tragedy of Matt’s story. I felt an increasing urgency to tell his story and have the world reconnect with Matt in a more human way and for young people to learn his story for the very first time."

    -Michele Josue interviewed by Laura Berger

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  • HRC

    "While the film tells the traumatic story of Shepard’s passing, it also sends an inspiring message of courage, faith and love."

    -by Hayley Miller

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  • Vineyard Gazette Logo

    "By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears."

    -by Derek Schwartz

    the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf

     

    the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf
    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf

    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf

    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf
    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf

     

    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf
    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf
    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf
    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf
    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf
    By the time the lights came up after the screening at the Chilmark Community Center last Wednesday of Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, most of the audience was in tears. - See more at: http://mvgazette.com/news/2014/08/04/tragic-story-continues-touch-and-change-lives?k=vg53fbdaad3b85f&r=1#sthash.T1cFfrUJ.dpuf
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  • Wicked Local Logo

    "This accomplished film — poignant, revealing, powerful in its anger, grief and humanity — reminds us 15 years later what his friends, family and the world lost when Shepard was beaten to death in a notorious hate crime."

    -by Loren King

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  • CBCLogo

     

    CBC's Deana Sumanac sits with Judy and Dennis Shepard to discuss how through the film, they learned more about their son. (Video)

    -by Leah Balass

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  • GlobalNewsLogo

    Watch filmmaker Michele Josue and Dennis and Judy Shepard on Global’s The Morning Show.  “We wanted people to know that Matt was a human being, not some perfection of good taste and manners because he really wasn’t all that. He was a great kid but he was not perfect.”

    -by John R. Kennedy

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  • TheRecordlogo

    "I stop and wonder, 'How far along would we be if Matt hadn't died, to bring a focus to the treatment and the indignities that the gay community was receiving? Would we still be back 15 years, 20 years, back where we were, or would we still move forward?' I don't know."

    -by Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

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  • KatieChatsLogo

    Katie Chats with filmmaker Michele Josue about her film "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine," which made its Canadian premiere at the 2014 Inside Out Film Festival in Toronto.  (Video)

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  • Toledo Free Press

    "There is a reason top awards at this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival went to 'Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine.'"

    -by James A. Molnar

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  • CasperTribune

    "The world knows Matthew Shepard. But Michele Josue will always think of her old friend as simply Matt."

    -by Laura Hancock

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  • "The discussion was the first time the Laramie community has been able to come together and have a conversation about the case."

    -by Nadia Hill

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  • indiewire

    "Celebrating record breaking crowds, the Cleveland International Film Festival welcomed 97,804 attendees to its 475+ screenings this year."

    -by Emerson Gordon

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  • Plain Dealer

    “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine,” the documentary about the young gay man whose brutal murder in 1998 inspired a generation of gay activists, won the festival’s top prize: The Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award.

    -by Clint O'Connor

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  • Plain Dealer

    "It is a stirring documentary about the life of the gay college student who was brutally murdered in Wyoming in 1998."

    -by Clint O'Connor

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  • Plain Dealer

    "No film is more poignant or relevant to the history of LGBT folks in America than Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine."

    -by Clint O'Connor

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  • FOX8

    "Matthew’s mother, Judy, and close friend Michele Josue, stopped by FOX 8 News in the Morning on Friday to talk about Matthew’s legacy and the new movie. Josue directed it."

    -by Darren Sweeney

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  • Cleveland Scene

    "There have been a lot of films and plays and projects in the last decade about Matthew Shepard, but this is clearly an intimate portrait, clearly they had unprecedented access to stories and videos and diaries and I think it's going to be a very memorable part of the festival."

    -by

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  • SN&R

    "I can’t recommend it enough. It is a beautiful tribute, and one that caused me to bring an image of Shepard smiling to my head as readily as the image of him crucified on a fence. That movie made me fully lose it, and as a nonparent, it’s the closest I have ever come to feeling what it would be like to lose a child."

    -by Becky Grunewald

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  • Documentary.org

    The film shares insights into the complex character and personality of Shepard, from his friendship network that grew in the wake of his 1998 murder.

    -by Pat Aufderheide

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  • LucyLogo

    I had the honor to interview Michele Josue, friend of Matthew Shepard and director of Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine..." Michele Josue’s voice echoes the narration of the film. Your heart breaks for her loss...To say I was honored to do this interview is putting it mildly.

     

    -by LucyInDaSky WithDiamonds

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  • TheHollywoodReporterLogo

    The Hollywood Reporter's lead award analyst, Scott Feinberg, lists "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" as a long shot for an Oscar.

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  • GsceneLogo

    The documentary ‘Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine’ launches the first-ever Gay Night at IDFA in Amsterdam with six screenings from November 21 – December 1  2013

    -by James Ledward

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  • GTlogo

    "Matthew Shepard isn't just a pop culture and political reference, martyred for his sexuality and iconised; he was also a young man with friends and family who loved him, with quirks and secrets, and with a story worth hearing. Do whatever you can to see this touching portrayal."

    -by Darcy Rive

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  • FDLlogo

    "With his murder, Matthew Shepard became a public figure, and in Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine Josue shows an intimate portrait of a young man full of promise, conflicts, doubts, and love–a friend whose life impacted everyone who knew him and whose death has impacted millions more."

    -by Lisa Derrick

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  • ReporterNewsLogo

    "Time may heal, but it also clouds memories. And Michele Josue didn't want Matt Shepard forgotten."

    -by Rich Freedman

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  • SacramentoBee

    "Matthew Shepard has become emblematic of the battles for human rights and against hate crimes.  His friends also would like you to know that Shepard laughed with his whole body and was a political junkie addicted to CNN."


    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/10/31/5865919/new-documentary-seeking-to-show.html#storylink=cpy

    -by Carla Meyer

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  • WGNLogo

    Michele Josue, the director of the film, joined Dean Richards on Sunday and talked about the friend she lost 15 years ago and the making of the documentary.

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  • LeftVoicesLogo

    Radio interview with filmmaker Michele Josue.  "Just over fifteen years ago, on October 6, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a twenty-one year old gay college freshman, was tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyoming, savagely beaten by two young men and left for dead. He never regained consciousness and six days later he died of his injuries. Now, fifteen years later, filmmaker Michele Josue has directed a documentary she calls simply, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine recounting her memories of the person she knew so well in high school."

    -by Andrea Sears

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  • DNR Logo

    Radio interview with filmmakers Michele Josue & Liam McNiff on the Derek and Romaine Show.

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  • DailyTargumLogo

    "Jeffrey Longhofer, director of the Tyler Clementi Center, said the film reminds people that anti-gay hate still exists. It shows that even though the LGBT community and its allies have made progress since Shepard’s death, inequality and hate crimes still continue to affect these communities.

    “It think it’s a film that helps us imagine the distance that we have traveled since Matt’s tragic murder 15 years ago to the present and how much further we have to go,” he said."

    -by Danielle Gonzalez

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  • ShowbizChicagoLogo

    "Though framed through a very personal lens, MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE tells a universal story that highlights the responsibility we have now to make sure young people around the world are not at risk of falling victim to the same story ending Matt was."

    -by Michael J. Roberts

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  • Defending Matt

    • Oct 12, 2013

    TheHuffingtonPostLogo

    "I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to tell Matt's story in the honest, sensitive, and dignified way that it deserves to be told. As Matt's friend, I am forever grateful to have this opportunity to stand up for him, alongside his family and friends and countless supporters around the world, as he is not here to stand up for himself."

    -by Michele Josue

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  • Logo

    Photos from the Los Angeles premiere of Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine held by Facing History & Ourselves.

    -Photos by Michael Balderston

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  • TowleroadLogo

    "...a new documentary film titled Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine has been released, which tells the story of the Wyoming young man through the personal lens of family and friends."

    -by Kyler Geoffroy

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  • prx

    "Michele Josue talks dealing with grief, facing new allegations about Matthew Shepard’s murder, and how friendship is always in the present tense."

    -by Andrea Chase

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  • WestwordLogo

    "A friend of Shepard from his boarding-school days in Switzerland, Josue goes beyond the conventional depiction of her classmate and confidant, filling in the gaps with in-depth interviews and never-before-seen photographs and home movies from those who knew Matt best. The result is a deeply personal film about who Matt Shepard really was, and the legacy created by his death."

    -by Bree Davies

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  • MatthewsPlacelogo

    "But, watching Michele’s film with Chris, an openly gay, 20-year-old sitting next to me along with Nikkita Jackson, my dear friend who is a young independent lesbian of color, made me realize that Matthew Shepard’s legacy lives on through his parents, brother, and through his friends, like Michele, who brought her friend Matt to me and anyone else fortunate to watch her film."

    -by Brody Lévesque

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  • DeadlineLogo

    "Shepard’s murder also came as director Kimberly Peirce was heading into production on Boys Don’t Cry, the 1999 film based on the true story of transgendered teen Brandon Teena — a role that launched the career of Hilary Swank who won the Oscar for playing a girl who lived like a boy and liked girls. Here’s Peirce’s thoughtful taped intro of the docu that will run tomorrow ahead of the screening, sponsored by nonprofit Facing History."

    -by The Deadline Team

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  • Dot429logo

    Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine offers an affectionate and endearing look at Shepard's life."

    -by Adam L Brinklow

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  • BayAreaReporterLogo

    "This remarkable film is a tearjerker in a good way, with director Josue assembling a collage of key moments in Matt's all-too-brief life that carries the emotional punch of a great novel."

    -by David Lamble

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  • SFGateLogo

    "Josue's film is sensitive and personal. She is clearly trying to find closure - even as, 15 years on, she's married and enjoying a successful career in Los Angeles working in the film industry. Her journey to and discovery of Wyoming - a place she had never been before Shepard's funeral in Casper - is as compelling a component in the film as details of the killing and trial."

    -by G. Allen Johnson

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  • PacSun Logo

     

     

    "One of the most famous hate crimes in recent history, the beating, torture and murder of Matthew Shepard, is recounted in Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine...through the sometimes sweet, often agonizing memories of his high school friend Michele Josue."

    -by Mal Karman

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  • Not Forgotten

    • Sep 25, 2013

    Washington Blade Logo

    "'Matthew Shepard Is A Friend of Mine' explores who Shepard was as a person, rather than the sensationalized LGBT rights icon he eventually became, through interviews with his family and close friends."

    -by Mariah Cooper

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  • "New film by classmate Michele Josue is an arresting portrait of her dear friend who hoped to one day change the world"

    -by Brody Levesque

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  • "Director Michele Josue Reveals Matthew Shepard's Human Side in New Documentary (AUDIO)"

    -by Charlotte Robinson

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  • "Matt Shepard Is A Friend Of Mine is an emotional 89-minute tale, exploring the life and tragic death of Shepard through a truly personal lens. Josue is the filmmaker, which includes director, producer and editor, and the movie shows pivotal locations in Shepard's life, plus countless interviews with other friends of his, plus family members."

    "The moving tribute to Shepard, in the words and pictures that Josue chose to include, are perfect."

    -by Ross Forman

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  • "Those close to Matthew Shepard have come to talk about the difference between "Matt," as his parents and loved ones knew him, and "Matthew Shepard," the name synonymous with the symbol he has become. The former is what filmmaker Michele Josue sought to portray in her debut feature-length documentary, Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, which follows Josue (who was a close friend of Matt's) as she travels to pivotal locations in Shepard's life. As Josue interviews other friends and family members, we viewers gain insight into the beautiful life as well as the devastating loss of both "Matt" and "Matthew Shepard."

    -by Richard M. Weinberg

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  • 12 Movies To Watch at the 36th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival

    "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine: It's been 15 years since the devastating death of Matt Shepard — but it is fresh in our heads. Filmmaker and friend of Matt, Michele Josue, gives us an in-depth look at Matt's life and how his death had a significant impact on not only the gay community, but the world."

    -by Dino Ray Ramos

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  • HRC Logo

    "With her upcoming independent feature documentary film, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine, filmmaker Michele Josue has set out to tell the story of her friend Matthew Shepard’s life and tragic death through the lens of those who knew him best."

    -by Maureen McCarty

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