Last week marked the festival premiere of Bridegroom, the long-awaited documentary recounting the love story of Shane Bitney Crone and his partner Tom Bridegroom. Former President Bill Clinton introduced the film at the premiere and, this past weekend, the documentary ended its Tribeca run by receiving the Heineken Audience Award.
Bridegroom started as a viral video Shane released on the anniversary of Tom's death. The overwhelming response to Shane telling his story led to a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign and the documentary that premiered last week.
Through video footage and interviews, director Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, puts a spotlight on the discrimination Shane faced in the wake of Tom's death: prevented from being by Tom's side for several hours as Tom was in the hospital, not being allowed to attend his funeral, and Tom's family denying the love they had for each other. Their powerful love story puts a spotlight on the need for legal recognition of the love and commitment same-sex couples share.
The Heineken Audience Award also went to The Rocket, a film about a young boy in Laos who faces discrimination and is forced to relocate with his family. “Our audiences have chosen two films that testify to the power of the human spirit and hope for change,” said Tribeca Film Festival Director of Programming, Genna Terranova. “Whether it’s the fight for marriage equality in the U.S. or a boy struggling against all odds in war torn Laos, audiences were clearly moved by these two inspiring stories.”
With such a positive response from audiences at the Tribeca Film Festival, Bridegroom is sure to have a successful festival run in coming months. Visit the film's website for more information.