The true story of a gay couple's love cut short by tragedy has won the Heineken Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

“We are shocked,” Director Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the creator of the CBS sitcom Designing Women, told gay glossy The Advocate. “We were so grateful to just be selected for the festival; we never imagined we would win the audience award. Hopefully the power of this story will propel the film into theaters across America and beyond.”

Bridegroom documents the lives of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom, who met in 2005 and vowed to marry one day, if it became legal.

While Shane's family completely accepted the couple, Tom's family refused to accept that he was gay.

Two years ago, Tom died in a tragic accident and Shane was threatened and banned from the funeral by Tom's family.

The film was introduced at the festival by former President Bill Clinton.

“This is really on one level a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking, yet exhilarating and life-affirming story, and on another level, it's a story about our nation's struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and the substance.”

(A trailer for the film is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)