Alumnus and Professor Premiere Documentary in San Francisco and New York

BY Ijaaz Noohu, November 17, 2017

Alumnus Gerry Kim ‘11 and adjunct producing professor Mayuran Tiruchelvam premiered a new documentary, The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin at the Roxie in San Francisco and the Metrograph in New York. It also screened at the Arclight in Los Angeles last weekend and was recently picked up by PBS Independent Lens for national broadcast. The film had its world premiere at the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival.


The documentary follows the novelist Armistead Maupin, an American writer best known for his novel Tales of the City, which follows the lives of characters in San Francisco. Maupin grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and served in Vietnam before moving to San Francisco, where he came out, and began working on the newspaper serial that would later become his acclaimed series. The series was eventually adapted into a groundbreaking television series which aired on Showtime. This film examines the life and work of one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels have inspired millions to claim their own truth. Jennifer Kroot’s documentary about the creator of Tales of the City moves nimbly between playful and poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. Maupin offers a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bathhouses of 70’s San Francisco to the front line of the American culture war.

The documentary features influential writers and artists such as Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, and Ian McKellen. The San Francisco Chronicle gave the documentary four out of four stars stating, “Jennifer Kroot and Bill Weber have captured that zest with a joyous filmmaking style of their own: breezy editing, fun ’70s graphics and the use of great archival footage from the city’s past. It’s all great fun, from beginning to end.”