The Davis Phoenix Coalition, in partnership with the city of Davis Human Relations Commission, will hold a free public screening of “The Laramie Project” on Friday, May 23, at the Veterans’ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for a brief reception featuring light refreshments, with the film starting at 6 p.m.
An award-winning film selected as the opening-night premiere at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and adapted from a play by the same name, “The Laramie Project” is the story of a community re-examining itself in the wake of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming.
Based on more than 400 hours of interviews with the town’s citizens, the film adaptation relies on a combination of transcripts and news footage to create a portrait of a town forced to confront itself in the aftermath of this tragic event.
“We tried to tell the story of the town of Laramie, as opposed to telling the story of Matthew Shepard,” explains writer and director Moises Kaufman.
The purpose of this screening is to raise awareness of issues of discrimination and hate experienced by marginalized groups in Davis, like the LGBTQ community, organizers said.
“We invite the public to share stories of challenge and hope at a pre-screening reception, where we will remember our own town’s incidents of hate,” a news release said. “It is our hope that members of the audience for this screening will be challenged to begin a public dialogue on ways that our community might begin to address these issues within our own hometown.”