‘Laramie Project’ picked to show at USF

USF is one of four universities across the nation that will present tonight The Laramie Project, a film about the town in which 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was murdered in the fall of 1998. The film opened at the Sundance Film Festival this past summer and will be shown in the University Lecture Hall.

The Laramie Project is being brought to USF as an event of HBO Films, the University Lecture Series and Student Government. In Laramie, Wyo., 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was beaten and left for dead because he was gay. That same fall, a group of theater artists from New York traveled to Laramie to interview the people who lived there and find out the community’s reaction to the incident. Their work, finished more than a year later after interviews with over 200 residents, became The Laramie Project, a play and film. The film does not star any particular person but chronicles various community members’ reactions to the incident. It interweaves individual narratives with the events following the eventual death of Matthew Shepard, the trials of his killers and the intense media attention surrounding the case.

ULS will show a 45-minute film-screening of the 94-minute film in ULH at 7 p.m. Following the screening will be a 45-minute panel discussion with two of the actors, two faculty members, two community members and three student leaders from active USF campus organizations.

“As of now, we’re not sure which actors will be at the event. It looks like it will be a last minute thing,” said Marsha Strickhouser for USF Public Affairs.

There is expected to be a packed audience, and tickets are free at the Marshall Center information desk. HBO will air the movie in its entirety on Saturday at 8 p.m. The University of California at Los Angeles, New York University and University of Texas at Austin will also have a screening and panel discussion.

The views expressed by the film are those of all types of people: male, female, gay, straight, friends and strangers of Matthew Shepard. The film features an all-star cast from film, television and stage, such as Steve Buscemi, Janeane Garafalo, Joshua Jackson and Christina Ricci.

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