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Il film ci racconta la storia di Shane e Tom, due ragazzi innamorati che hanno una storia d’amore di sei anni, interrotta tragicamente dalla morte accidentale di Tom, che cade da un tetto mentre stava fotografando degli amici. Il tremendo dolore di Shane per la perdita dell’amato viene aggravato dall’omofobia senza cuore della famiglia di Tom che lo minaccia di aggressione se solo tentasse di partecipare al funerale di Tom, durante il quale non fa, naturalmente, nessuna menzione alla lunga storia d’amore dei due ragazzi. I mesi successivi sono la testimonianza di come sia stato amaro e crudele per Shane la mancanza di qualsiasi tutela legale alle coppie gay. Nel maggio 2012, primo anniversario della morte di Tom, Shane decide di documentare la sua sofferenza realizzando un video dedicato al suo compagno dal titolo “It Could Happen To You” (Potrebbe accadere anche a te). Il video postato su Youtube riceve in breve tempo più di 3,4 milioni di visite e viene tradotto in 20 lingue differenti. La regista Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, creatrice della serie “Quattro donne in carriera”, è tra coloro che vedono il video di Shane e decide di raccontare la loro storia in un film, partendo da quando si sono conosciuti. Shane Bitney Crone è un ragazzo del Montana, pieno d’iniziativa, premiato alle superiori per il suo impegno come Studente dell’Anno, che lavora part time per guadagnare i soldi necessari a trasferirsi in California dove realizzare le sue ambizioni. Arrivato a Los Angeles nel 2005, incontra subito Tom Bridegroom col quale inizia una storia d’amore e condivisione totale. Tom Bridegroom, cresciuto nell’Indiana, si era diplomato nella prestigiosa Culver Military Academy, laureato alla CMA Cum Laude e seguito corsi di canto e pianoforte al Vassar College, che aveva abbandona per venire a Los Angeles dove cercare un impiego nell’industria dello spettacolo. Nel 2008 Tom e Shane creano insieme una società di pubbliche relazioni, assumendo come clienti artisti emergenti nel settore della musica, che aiutano ad ottenere contratti discografici, ad esibirsi durante gli eventi sportivi nazionali, garantendo loro ampia visibilità internazionale. Shane entra poi nello staff di Entertainment Tonight come assistente di produzione e coordinatore di talenti. Nel 2011, l’incidente mortale accorso all’unico amore della sua vita, Tom, sconvolge tutto il suo mondo. Le umiliazioni ed i tormenti che deve patire per gli atteggiamenti omofobi della famiglia di Tom lo convincono ad impegnarsi nella difesa dei matrimoni gay, rilasciando interviste a diversi media come CNN, ABC, E! News e a numerosi programmi radio.



trailer: Bridegroom


BRIDEGROOM tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship – a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death – of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized – is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will. On May 7, 2012, the anniversary of Tom’s death, after a year of documenting his own grief, Shane decided to make a video tribute to his partner entitled “It Could Happen To You.” This film, posted on YouTube, received over 3.2 million hits and inspired over 50 thousand e-mails and comments on YouTube and Facebook. The impact of Shane’s original film and the raw nerve it touched, tells us this is an important story that needs to be brought to the world stage.


In March of 1986, my mother was diagnosed with AIDS, after receiving a contaminated blood transfusion. This occurred just as the pilot for “Designing Women” was getting underway. As I wrote much of the first season, sitting beside my mom, I was witness to the incredible prejudice and prevailing ignorance inflicted not just on her, but all the homosexual men who shared her hospital floor. Because of this, I was honored to write the Emmy nominated DW episode, “Killing all the Right People,” which was television’s first scripted show to tackle the hateful prejudice surrounding gays and AIDS.
Little did I know that I would someday be provided with another opportunity to address this same kind of bigotry. It all began when I attended a gay wedding ceremony in Palm Springs, California. That night, a couple of unforgettable, young men named Shane and Tom joined my table. I learned they were “Designing Women” fans, madly in love and literally brimming with all their big plans for an exciting life together. Sadly, that possibility ended when Tom was killed in an accident last year. When I heard the news, I was haunted by the sheer weight of Shane’s loss. Even though I barely knew them, their good-hearted demeanors and earnest love had made an indelible impression on me.
Then, a few weeks ago, I saw Shane’s YouTube posting, along with his bone crushing grief and the story of what happened to him after Tom’s death—and all because they were never allowed to marry. Like so many others who saw this video, I was deeply touched. And angered. I called Shane told him I wanted to make a documentary that would tell his and Tom’s love story from beginning to end. I have now seen all of Shane and Tom’s videos and home movies. Like a lot of young people, they routinely documented their lives—but this recorded history is so prolific, it almost seems as though they had a premonition or unconscious fear of not getting to live out something important.
Tom and Shane were each other’s first and only loves. They are devoted, hardworking, unassuming and funny. Each is from a small town and each, in his own way, is imbued with the best kind of small town values. They are, in fact, the sort of young people who hold within themselves the promise of America. And that is why I want to bring to life, on film, this real life Romeo and Romeo—so that all who condemn them, might come face to face with exactly what it is they are opposing.
Certainly the fact that Tom’s last name is Bridegroom is a lucky and serendipitous gift to a filmmaker. But it is so unusual, even a skeptic would find it hard not to also feel that Tom, in his own way, is now standing in for something larger than himself. I can think of no more powerful opportunity to change hearts and minds on this very important issue of human rights, than to tell the story of Shane and Tom, which at its core, is the struggle of all people who yearn to be who they are and love who they love.


Our hope is that “Bridegroom” will inspire people to live their lives honestly, to fall in love deeply, and to fight for the rights of people who are being treated like second class citizens. I hope that the film helps parents love their children unconditionally and helps anyone struggling with their identity to embrace who they are and to live a life free of shame.
No little boy or girl lies in bed at night dreaming of wearing a handsome tuxedo or a beautiful white dress during a domestic partnership ceremony. The dream, if he or she wants it, is to get married.
We have a long road ahead of us until we will have marriage equality across the entire nation, but hopefully “Bridegroom” can help us achieve our goal a little faster as we go state by state. It’s too late for my partner Tom and I to get married but it’s not too late for America to live up to its symbol of freedom. There is no freedom until we are equal.
Love is love. Loss is loss and at the end of the day we are all human and we all just want to be happy and treated equally. (Shane Bitney Crone)

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