‘The Laramie Project,’ The Award-winning HBO Movie About Homophobia And Murder, Is Final Presentation Of The Season For UND’s Global Visions Film Series

The University of North Dakota’s Anthropology Department’s popular Global Visions Film Series (GVFS) will present The Laramie Project (2002), the final installment in this year’s set of exciting and moving films. The film will be shown at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, in the UND Memorial Union Lecture Bowl.

It is free and open to the public. Donations of $1 are encouraged. Film-goers also are encouraged to come early to ensure they get a good seat.

All films in the Global Visions Film Series are award winning national and international films, whose cinematic acuity and artistic perspectives reveal the realities of daily life from cross-cultural perspectives, exposing the unity and disparity of the human condition around the world.

The Laramie Project won the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival’s First Movie Award –Special Mention, the Humanitas Prize, the L.A. Outfest  award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and the National Board of Review award for Best Film Made for Cable TV.  It also was nominated for four Emmy Awards as well as a Gotham Award the same year. In 2003, the HBO film won the GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Television Movie, and was nominated for a PGA Award and a Golden Satellite Award.

About The Laramie Project
On October 6th of 1998 Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. He died 6 days later. His torture and murder became a watershed historical moment in America that highlighted many of the fault lines in our culture.

A month after the murder, the members of Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play The Laramie Project, which they later made into a film for HBO. The piece has been seen by more than 30 million people around the country.

Ten years later, Moisés Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project returned to Laramie to find out what has happened over the last 10 years. Has Matthew’s murder had a lasting impact on that community? How has the town changed as a result of this event? What does life in Laramie tell us about life in America 10 years later? And how is history being rewritten to tell a new story of Matthew Shepard’s murder, one that changes the motivation of his killers from homophobia to a “drug deal gone bad” despite all evidence to the contrary?

On October 12, 2009, The Laramie Project Epilogue premiered in 100 cities across the country, performed simultaneously by High Schools, Universities, Professional Regional Theaters and, in New York, the original casts of the play and film. Prior to the performance, a live webcast was presented from Lincoln Center, with Moisés Kaufman and the original cast introducing the play. Following the performance, the webcast was shown for a live question and answer session with questions asked via twitter and other social media from the venues all over the country.

In tandem with the Premiere, this online interactive community was launche where participants can blog, upload video and photos and share their experiences in preparing and presenting the Epilogue in their communities. The members of Tectonic Theater Project are active participants in the online community, offering participants feedback and encouragement as the project develops.

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