The documentary Matt Shepard Is A Friend Of Mine premieres in L.A. tomorrow, 15 years after the hate-crime murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard in a Wyoming field. That heinous act gave way to a national dialogue on hate crime and led to The Matthew Shepard and James E. Byrd Jr Hate Crime Prevention Act that was signed into federal law in 2009. Shepard’s murder also came as director Kimberly Peirce was heading into production on Boys Don’t Cry, the 1999 film based on the true story of transgendered teen Brandon Teena — a role that launched the career of Hilary Swank who won the Oscar for playing a girl who lived like a boy and liked girls. Here’s Peirce’s thoughtful taped intro of the docu that will run tomorrow ahead of the screening, sponsored by nonprofit Facing History: