The Unitarian Church in Westport will host a screening of the movie "The Laramie Project" on Feb. 11 to benefit local charities dedicated to reducing hate and intolerance.

Laramie, Wyo., became infamous overnight in the fall of 1998, when Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was found tied to a fence after being brutally beaten and left to die, setting off a nationwide debate about hate crimes and homophobia.

A month after the crime, Moises Kaufman traveled to Laramie with a handful of actors to interview people who lived in and around Laramie in preparation for an upcoming production.

"The Laramie Project" is an HBO film adaptation of Kaufman's play by the same name in which the thoughts and opinions of Laramie residents from all points of the political spectrum are presented alongside re-enacted excerpts from the trials of the two men who attacked Shepard.

Voluntary contributions collected at the 7:30 p.m. screening at the Unitarian Church in Westport, 10 Lyons Plains Road, will go to True Colors, a nonprofit organization that works to ensure that the needs of sexual and gender minority youth are recognized and met.

A portion of the donations collected from the showing will be used to sponsor several students to attend the True Colors Conference at the University of Connecticut in Storrs on March 11 and 12.

The event is co-sponsored by the Rainbow Task Force and the Social Justice Council of the Unitarian Church in Westport.

For more information, call David Vita, director of Social Justice at the Unitarian Church in Westport at 203-227-7205 or e-mail

david@uuwestport.org.