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The Matthew Shepard Story

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The Matthew Shepard Story
DVD cover
Written byJohn Wierick
Jacob Krueger
Directed byRoger Spottiswoode
StarringShane Meier
Stockard Channing
Sam Waterston
Music byJeff Danna
Mychael Danna
Country of originCanada
United States
Original languageEnglish
ProducerClara George
CinematographyJohn Bartley
EditorDominique Fortin
Running time88 minutes
Original release
ReleaseMarch 16, 2002 (2002-03-16)

The Matthew Shepard Story is a 2002 made-for-television film directed by Roger Spottiswoode, based on the true story of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay youth who was murdered in 1998. The film scenario written by John Wierick and Jacob Krueger, it starred Shane Meier as Matthew and Stockard Channing as Judy Shepard and Sam Waterston as Dennis Shepard.

Producers were Alliance Atlantis Communications, with the assistance/participation of CTV and Cosmic Entertainment, with support from the Cdn. Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC). The film premiered on NBC on March 16, 2002, the same day HBO aired another Shepard film entitled The Laramie Project. The Matthew Shepard Story was also shown on CTV, with language versions shown in many countries.



In 1998, a young gay man by the name of Matthew Shepard (Shane Meier) was robbed, viciously beaten and left tied to a fence to die. Although he's found by the police, rescued and hospitalized, he dies from his injuries. This film recounts the events after the conviction of the two men responsible for this hate-motivated murder.

Matthew's parents, though satisfied by the conviction, are finding the sentencing phase of the trial more difficult. The parents initially want to request the death penalty for their son's murderers, but the mother, Judy Shepard (Stockard Channing), starts to reconsider. As they struggle with their decision, they decide to reexamine the life of their son and rediscover his personality, his struggle to accept his homosexuality as a natural part of his being and above all, his generous humanity to others. All of this leads the parents to appeal to the court the way their son would have wanted, not out of vengeance but to represent best of what their son was and the tragedy of his loss.


  • Shane Meier as Matthew Shepard
  • Stockard Channing as Judy Shepard
  • Sam Waterston as Dennis Shepard
  • Wendy Crewson as Sarah
  • Kristen Thomson as Romaine Patterson
  • Joseph Ziegler as Cal
  • Yani Gellman as Pablo
  • Damien Atkins as Donny
  • Philip Eddolls as Aaron McKinney
  • Paul Robbins as Russell Henderson
  • Judah Katz as Defense Attorney
  • Drew Nelson as Lance
  • Nazneen Contractor as Shima
  • Makyla Smith as Casey
  • Lindsay Murrell as Matthew's Date
  • James Bearden as Protester
  • B.J. McLellan as Logan Shepard (age 17)
  • David Broadhurst as Logan Shepard (age 12)
  • Shawna Lori Burnett as Female Officer
  • John Henry Canavan as Painter
  • Bruce Beaton as Cowboy
  • Brian Frank as Neighbour
  • Sadie LeBlanc as Girlfriend
  • Jim Codrington as Health Food Store Manager
  • Dorothy Gordon as Elderly Woman
  • Susan Chuang as Female News Anchor
  • Richard Blackburn as Judge
  • Ray Kahnert as The Minister
  • Patricia Carroll Brown as Angry Mourner
  • Dinah Watts as Cal's Secretary
  • Eduardo Gómez as Gomez
  • Scott McLaren as Drug Dealer
  • Derek Gilroy as Mike
  • Scott Wickware as The Bartender



Principal photography began from 5 May 2001 to 30 May 2001.[1]

Awards and nominations


The film went on to win several awards and nominations for others:[2]

  • Outstanding Television Movie at the 2003 GLAAD Media Awards
  • "Best Writing in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series" for writers Jacob Krueger and John Wierick at the 2003 Gemini Awards
  • "Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television" for Stockard Channing at the 2003 Satellite Awards



The film also contains soundtrack album with the following:

  • "Matthew Songs" – Written, performed and produced by Jim Huff
  • "El Burkan" – Written by Hossam Ramzy
  • "I Keep Holdin' On" – Written by T. Leonard and A. Lerman, performed by Fathead
  • "Lonesome World" – Written and performed by Paul Kass
  • "Good Vibration" – Written by Mladen Borosak and Tom Barlow, performed by Twigg
  • "Naked in the Water" – Written and performed by Michaela Foster Marsh
  • "Shine" – Written Rob Garnder, Kadru Gardner and Mike Thibeau, performed by Electrostatic
  • "I Want You to Fall" – Written and performed by Monica Schroeder
  • "Get You Some" – Written by Robert J. Walsh, Ron Chick, Dennis Winslow
  • "Edge of a Dream" – Written by Billy Livesay and David Graham, performed by Billy Livesay
  • "Who'll Hold On" – Written and performed by Adam Daniel
  • "American Triangle" – Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, performed by Elton John
  • "What Matters" – Written and performed by Randi Driscoll

See also