Flathead Bridegroom Premier Fills Every Seat - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Flathead Bridegroom Premier Fills Every Seat

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KALISPELL -

Bridegroom is premiering on November 25 back where it all began: the Flathead Valley.

"It's a little surreal being here in Kalispell screening the film at the College tonight because this wasn't necessarily... Growing up here wasn't the easiest thing for me," said Shane Bitney Crone.

When his partner died and his partner's family shut him out, Flathead native Shane Bitney Crone took to YouTube to share his story. He gathered more than a million hits in less than a week, now recording more than 4.4 million. Two weeks later, a director contacted him about making a film, and a year later the project, funded mainly through donations, was ready for an audience.

"Since then we've been at a bunch of different film festivals and at each festival we've received the audience award, which is--that's really the best award you can get because it's the people that are voting for the film," said Crone.

In addition to countless film festivals, his documentary, Bridegroom, has shown on OWN and screened in Missoula Sunday, November 24. Now, he is back in his hometown, where he attended high school, to show his struggle and answer questions at Flathead Valley Community College.

"Overall, I think the Valley's come a long way and I think it's just a huge step that we're even screening this film here," said Crone.

Crone's hope, whether in Montana or New York, is the same everywhere for his work.

"The goal with making this film is to show people that love is love and loss is loss and that at the end of the day, regardless of your sexual orientation, we're really not that different," said Crone.

The more than 200 seats at FVCC sold out for both the 4:00 p.m. and the 7:00 p.m. showings, but you can still catch the film on Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon and, Crone says, hopefully Redbox in the coming months.

Crone still has family in the Flathead Valley who attended the screening.

The family of Crone's deceased partner did not participate in the documentary.

Members of Missoula's city council presented Crone with a letter of welcome, written by ward four councilwoman, Caitlin Copple, before Sunday's screening at the Roxy.

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