PACE announces Judy Shepard as Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Guest

7/18/2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PACE announces Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, as special guest of the 6th N LA Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Sept. 5-11

Shreveport, LA – July 16, 2014

On October 8, 1998, Judy and Dennis Shepard were awakened by a phone call in the middle of the night that no parent should have to receive. Their son Matthew had been found severely beaten, tied to a fence on the Wyoming prairie, and left there to die, the victim of one of the nation’s most vicious, notorious anti-gay hate crimes. Matthew died in a hospital a few days later. Judy Shepard has since become an activist speaking to audiences nationwide about ways they can make their schools and communities safer for everyone, regardless of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression: "We realize that we must use the voice his death has given us." Shepard will bring her message to Shreveport on Friday and Saturday, September 5th and 6th, as the special guest of the 6th North Louisiana Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

The week-long North Louisiana Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will run Sept. 5-11 at the Robinson Film Center in downtown Shreveport. On Friday, September 5th, Judy Shepard will appear at the festive Opening Night Reception from 6 – 7:30 pm, and will conduct a Q & A following the 7:45 pm film Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, a new documentary about the life and tragic death of Matthew Shepard, framed through the personal lens of friends and family. On Saturday, September 6th at 10 am, Shepard will give a free public talk "The Legacy of Matthew Shepard" in the Whited Room at Centenary College.

Reception tickets ($25 through September 1st; $30 afterwards) will be available through the film festival web site nlglff.org; all film tickets will be available from the Robinson Film Center (617 Texas St., 318.459.4122; www.robinsonfilmcenter.org). Watch the web sites for announcements of additional films and for the August date when ticket sales will begin. Both the opening night reception and film (tickets purchased separately) are expected to sell out quickly.

For more information about PACE, north Louisiana’s leading advocacy organization for the LGBT community, go to www.pacelouisiana.org. For more information about the film festival, visit nlglff.org.

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2013 NLGLFF Audience Favorites

Bridegroom

“Bridegroom” tells the story of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom, two young men in a loving committed relationship that was cut short when Bridegroom died in a tragic accident, and Crone was treated as a total stranger to Bridegroom by the hospital and Bridegroom’s family. This film illustrates more powerfully than any speech ever could what can and often does happen to people in a relationship without the legal protections of marriage as they find themselves completely shut out and ostracized.

Southern Baptist Sissies

“Southern Baptist Sissies” is a film version of Del Shores’ award-winning play about four gay young men growing up in Dallas in the church. The comedic drama is very much Shores’ own story and resonated with local audiences as it explores how gay fundamentalist Christians reconcile their love for their church with its oppressive message. Despite all the heartbreak, there is some much-needed comic relief throughout the film, and finally, a message of hope. Tickets for the opening weekend showing of “Sissies” sold out in two hours! Shores and four of the film’s actors participated in a Q & A after that showing.

Love Is All You Need?

"Love is All You Need?" depicts an alternate universe where most people are gay and straight people are a persecuted minority. It effectively brings home to people who may find it hard to understand otherwise, the cruelty and consequences of intolerance and bullying simply for who one loves.