To Be Takei [Special Presentation]
Monday, November 3, 2014, 7:00PM
Somerville Theatre (55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA)
Followed by Q&A with George Takei
2014 | 94 mins | USA | Documentary
Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot
George Takei was always searching for the perfect role - only to find it within himself.
Jennifer Kroot's TO BE TAKEI follows Takei and his husband Brad, capturing their day-to-day as they prepare for Takei’s dream project, ALLEGIANCE, a musical based on his harrowing childhood experiences inside a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. Intertwined with this narrative is a look into Takei's life history, from his rise to fame as helmsman Hikaru Sulu on the iconic television series, STAR TREK, to his advocacy for marriage equality and civil rights across the United States. What emerges is a portrait of an outspoken activist who utilizes wit, whimsy, grace and humor to bring attention to the sorrows of his past and the joys of love and creativity in his present.
Featuring interviews with STAR TREK’s William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, and Walter Koenig, plus journalist Dan Savage and radio host Howard Stern, TO BE TAKEI shows Takei as he's never been seen before.
Co-presented by QAPA (Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance) , JACL (Japanese American Citizens League), LGBT Film Festival.
DIRECTOR JENNIFER M. KROOT directed the documentary, feature IT CAME FROM KUCHAR about the legendary underground filmmaking twins George and Mike Kuchar, which premiered at the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival and won Best Documentary at the Chicago Underground Film Festival and Boston Underground Film Festival. Jennifer also wrote, directed and starred in the gender bending, sci-fi, narrative feature SIRENS OF THE 23RD CENTURY (Frameline 2003). She has received grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Frameline, the Pacific Pioneer Fund, California Civil Liberties Public Education Program and the Fleishhacker Foundation. Kroot is a Bay Area native and studied film at The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), where she now teaches film. She has been a guest lecturer at Stanford and Denver University.
GEORGE TAKEI Best known for playing Sulu on the original Star Trek TV series and six movies that followed, George Takei is unlikely social media royalty. Unofficially dubbed the King of Facebook, he counts over 5 million fans in his online empire — including Trekkies, Howard Stern listeners, and the LGBTQ community — who devour his quirky mix of kitten jokes, Star Trek references, heartfelt messages, and sci-fi/fantasy memes. An outspoken advocate for civil rights, Takei has used his unmistakable baritone in several satiric PSAs, including one in response to Tennessee’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill that encourages viewers to say, "It’s OK to be Takei." His current projects include the musical Allegiance, drawn from his experience of growing up in Japanese American internment camps during World War II, and the recently published Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet.