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Screening of SCOUT'S HONOR & master class with director TOM SHEPARD

5 Mar 2014

Friday 14 March 2014, 1.00 pm, Film and Screen Media Auditorium, Windle Building, UCC

Scout's Honor traces the conflict between the anti-gay policies of the Boy Scouts of America and the broad-based movement by many of its members to overturn them. The story is told predominantly through the experiences of a 13-year old boy and a 70-year-old man -- both heterosexual, both dedicated to the Scouts, and both determined to change the course of Scouting history. Their challenge is being waged in their hometown of Petaluma, California -- a place more familiar with agriculture than activism. Yet it is here where they began an international petition drive and media campaign to overturn the BSA's anti-gay policy. "To be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight," this is the Boy Scout Oath. Since 1910, millions of boys have joined. But today, if you are openly gay, you can't. Witness how Steven Cozza, a 13-year-old Boy Scout, launches a grassroots campaign to overturn the ban on gays. Scouting for All is the movement built by Cozza with the help of a long-time Scout leader, community members, and his own family. Also included are the stories of ousted gay Eagle Scouts Tim Curran and James Dale, whose legal cases culminated at the United States Supreme Court where a private organization's right to determine its membership was heard against a state's right to protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens. Moving from Petaluma, California to the Supreme Court, the film chronicles a modern interpretation of the Scouting ideals of courage, citizenship, and honor.

Tom Shepard has been directing and producing documentary films for nearly 20 years. His film Scout's Honor, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary and Freedom of Expression Award at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival as well as Grand Prize at the 2001 USA Film Festival and Best Social Issue Documentary by the Council on Family Relations. Scout's Honor broadcast nationally when it opened POV's 14th season.  In 2006, Shepard co-directed and produced Knocking in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) about Jehovah's Witnesses and their contributions to medicine and civil liberties. KNOCKING broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens in May of 2007. In 2009, Shepard directed WHIZ KIDS (, a coming-of-age documentary about high school youth who compete in the Intel Science Talent Search. Shepard's latest collaboration with filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson is THE GROVE, a film about AIDS and the politics of remembrance.  THE GROVE broadcast on PBS in 2012. Previously, Shepard worked as an editor at National Public Radio for Linda Wertheimer. At NPR, he co-produced Listening to America, an audio documentary on the history of public radio in America. He graduated from Stanford University where he majored in biology and film. He is currently researching a film about LGBT refugees and asylees and teaches documentary in California and Colorado. He is a former Chairman of New Day Films.  

Department of Film and Screen Media

Scannánaíocht agus Meáin Scáileán

O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland