Jennifer M. Kroot (San Francisco) collaborating with Japanese American Museum of San Jose
Award: $40,000 Media Arts Grant awarded in 2012
Premiered: Sundance Film Festival, 2013;theatrical release through Starz Digital Media in 2014
Filmmaker Jennifer Kroot collaborated with the Japanese American Museum of San Jose to create To Be Takei: A Star’s Trek for Life, Liberty and Love, a documentary about the popular Star Trek helmsman, George Takei, his activism on behalf of marriage equality, and his childhood experiences in an internment camp during World War II.
During the decades following Star Trek, Takei was noted for a long, distinguished list of political actions. He came out publically as a gay man in 2005 so he could participate in the struggle for marriage equality—becoming The Human Rights Campaign’s public spokesperson for the cause in 2006.
Director Jennifer Kroot previously produced and directed the film, It Came from Kuchar (2009), a documentary about the legendary filmmaking twins George and Mike Kuchar, which screened at many festivals and garnered several best documentary awards. Its broadcast premiere was in October 2011. She also wrote, directed, and produced the sci-fi, feminist camp feature satire Sirens of the 23rd Century. The Japanese American Museum of San Jose, will provide Kroot access to academic advisors, archival footage of Japanese American internment, and a venue for test screenings. The museum’s mission is to collect, preserve, and share Japanese American art, history, and culture with the general public.