Blogs & Columns
4 min

Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine

Documentary filmmaker Michele Josue has turned to Kickstarter in the hope of raising $25,000 to release her film Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine.

"Passionate people make all the difference with something like this,” Josue says of the fundraising effort. “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.”

Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine tells Matthew’s story from the point of view of his friends and family, including his mother, Judy Shepard, who pioneered the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act. 

October marks the 15th anniversary of Matthew’s murder. He died in 1998 after being tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming, and brutally beaten, robbed and abandoned by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. He was found 18 hours later after being mistaken for a scarecrow and died in the hospital when he was taken off life support.

"While we’ve come a long way in the last 15 years since Matt’s murder, ignorance and hate are, unfortunately, still very much a part of today’s society,” Josue says. “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.”