In Select Theaters, On Demand & on iTunes August 22nd.

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Over seven decades, actor and activist George Takei boldly journeyed from a WWII internment camp, to the helm of the starship Enterprise, to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans. Join George and his husband Brad on this star's playful and profound trek for life, liberty, and love.

George Takei

Photo Courtesy of 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.


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.

EDITOR / CO-DIRECTOR BILL WEBER is a San Francisco based documentary editor. He directed and edited the documentary feature THE COCKETTES which premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and 2002 Berlinale. Bill co-directed and edited the documentary feature WE WERE HERE, which played at the 2011 Sundance and Berlinale festivals.

Bill recently edited THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR, which premiered in 2013 at the Telluride Film Festival and the Oscar nominated documentary short film, THE FINAL INCH. He also edited the award winning documentaries LAST LETTERS HOME and THE ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT amongst other projects.

PRODUCERS GERRY KIM & MAYURAN TIRUCHELVAM formed Dodgeville Films to produce humanistic narrative and documentary films. They are in post-production with the feature documentary FAREWELL, FERRIS WHEEL – an ITVS and LPB funded exploration of the H2B migrant work visa and the American carnival industry, and the romantic drama DENIZ SEVIYESI - funded by the Turkish Ministry of Culture. They are currently in development on NANCY, a narrative feature project directed by Christina Choe. NANCY was recently selected as one of twelve finalists for Venice Film Festival's Biennale College Cinema Program and participated in IFP's Emerging Storyteller's section.

Gerry produced the documentary THE HOUSE OF SUH, which premiered at the 2010 Hot Docs Film Festival, and aired on MSNBC in July of 2011. SUH won the Masters Series award for Non-Fiction at the 2012 CINE Awards.

Mayuran’s screenwriting and producing debut, THE GIRL IS IN TROUBLE was Executive Produced by Spike Lee and premiered at the 2012 Urban World Festival.

Gerry and Mayuran received MFA's from Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program, where they won the Arthur Krim Memorial Award for excellence in producing. Their work has been supported by the SYFY Imagine Greater Award, the Princess Grace Foundation and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship.

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS MILLION received a 2004 Northern California Emmy for the PBS historical documentary RETURN TO THE VALLEY, about Japanese Americans returning to the Santa Clara Valley and the California Central Coast after the internment. He shot and produced segments for all eight years of the Emmy-winning PBS educational show REAL SCIENCE! His broadcast credits include programs for ABC, Fox Sports, History Channel, A&E and interviews ranging from Baseball Hall of Famers to Presidents. Chris was Director of Photography on the 2009 feature documentary IT CAME FROM KUCHAR. Chris is also the Director of Photography/Co-Producer of the forthcoming documentary WITH YOU: THE MARK BINGHAM STORY. Chris has a BS in Film from Syracuse University.

COMPOSER MICHAEL HEARST is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and writer. His film scores include Magic Camp, The House of Suh, Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger, and The Good Mother. Hearst is co-founder of the band One Ring Zero, which has released nine albums. As a solo artist, his projects include Songs For Unusual Creatures and Songs For Ice Cream Trucks. He is also the author of the books Unusual Creatures and Extraordinary People.

To Be Takei Holdovers, New Openings, and Richard Roeper's Review

Aug 29, 2014 / Gerry Kim

Hello To Be Takei Fans,

Because of last week's successful theatrical openings in Detroit, Toronto, Seattle, Lanchaster, PA, Portland, OR, and San Francisco, CA, we've been held over in those cities for another week!  So if you live in any of these areas and didn't get a chance to see it in theaters, now's your chance to do so.

Our film will be also opening in Dallas, TX at the Texas Theater and Chicago, IL at Facets Cinémathèque this weekend, so please make sure to check out the film while you can! 

It will also be showing next week in:

Silver Springs, MD on 9/2 and 9/4 at the AFI Silver Theater

Gainsville, FL on 9/2 at the Hippodrome Theater

Bloomington, IN on 9/4 at Indiana University Cinema

Richard Roeper of Richard Roeper At the Movies and the Chicago Suntimes gave TO BE TAKEI an "A" rating!  Please check out his review here:

Finally, if you can't make it to a theater, or want to own a digital copy, the film is available across a variety of digital platforms, including iTunes and Amazon.  If you choose to watch it on iTunes, you'll have access to over a half hour of incredible deleted scenes. 

Please continue to help us spread the word about the film to your friends and family through your preferred social media channels.  You can Tweet or Instagram your viewing, wherever it may be, using our handle @tobetakei.  Our favorite photos will be reposted, and a lucky few will be mailed the official TO BE TAKEI button pins.

Happy Viewing!


Variety Sundance Film Review: ‘To Be Takei’

Apr 24, 2014 / Gerry Kim

Jennifer Kroot's documentary deftly showcases the many roles played by George Takei.

Ronnie Scheib

A unique blend of camp and conviction, “To Be Takei” deftly showcases George Takei’s eclectic personality and wildly disparate achievements, from “Star Trek” crewmate to gay-rights activist. Arguably more famous as himself than he was as Sulu, Takei goes from Comic-Con conventions to Congressional hearings, with stints as Howard Stern’s announcer in between. As with her delirious 2009 documentary “It Came From Kuchar,” director Jennifer Kroot grants her subject’s past and present endeavors equal vitality, effortlessly jumping backward and forward, and creating an alternate continuity that owes little to straight-ahead chronology. Results should wow auds of various persuasions. 

Kroot’s task is simplified by the fact that Takei’s activities at any given point incorporate earlier incarnations. On the simplest level, his role as Sulu in the original “Star Trek” TV series leads to his reprisal of the part on the bigscreen. Kroot briefly interviews fellow cast members, including a typically phlegmatic Leonard Nimoy and considerably more enthusiastic cohorts Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig. But by far the most amusing moments arise from William Shatner’s denial of friendship with Takei and his obvious discomfort with Takei’s homosexuality. It’s unclear whether it was Takei’s or Kroot’s idea to interpolate a veritable gallery of pornographic Internet artwork imagining Shatner and Nimoy locked in homoerotic clinches. 

On a deeper level, Takei’s childhood years in desolate internment camps during WWII and his family’s loss of their home, business and savings (Kroot supplies archival photos of the prison-like barracks and the hateful graffiti greeting Japanese-Americans upon their release) becomes the topic of Takei’s college lectures, his testimony before Congressional redress committees and a Broadway-bound musical called “Allegiance.” Likewise, his crusade for ethnic equality fuels his fight for gay rights after he triumphantly emerges from the closet in 2005. Ever one for self-reinvention, he now sees his Facebook followers numbering in the millions. 

Although Kroot structures her film around Takei, her focus is dual: Takei’s partner of 25 years, Brad Altman (or “Brad Takei,” as he has been known since their marriage, introduced as such in the opening credits) shows up in virtually every scene. A complementary part of Takei’s private and professional life (George as idealist, Brad as pragmatic worrier), he helps to give the picture its peculiar give-and-take rhythm. Thus Takei’s gigs at Comic-Con, where he signs autographs at $35 a pop, represent anything but a sad comedown, functioning instead as an object lesson in relationship interdependence: Acknowledging the camera, stage manager Brad sheepishly stuffs bills into his fanny pack, leaving a smiling George to exude charm to faithful fans. 

Throughout, Kroot blends in a plethora of well-chosen clips from Takei’s neverending career, from his first, promising TV appearance on the prestigious “Playhouse 90” (in an episode entitled “Made in Japan”) to his less expansive if not downright stereotypical movie roles in “Green Berets” or “Which Way to the Front,” as well as smallscreen standbys like “Perry Mason” or “Mission: Impossible.” Paradoxically, his career really caught fire after he came out, with guest shots on “Will and Grace,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “The Apprentice”; famously, he and Brad pioneered same-sex coupling on “The Newlywed Game.”  For sheer entertainment, however, nothing can top Kroot’s inclusion of campy “Star Trek” excerpts as Takei, impressively bare-chested, manically wields a fencing foil or fearfully edges away from an alien femme fatale bent on seduction.


Apr 24, 2014 / Michael Eades

January 20th, 2014

My parents came from a generation that didn’t have much tolerance for gay men and women. It may or may not have been intentional on their part, but they did their best to raise me to be a homophobe. They were both highly educated, and highly intelligent people. They were world travelers, students of history, frequented cultural centers all over the globe, and generally loving and generous. My father was even a straight ticket 80s Democrat, and my mother in her teens fought on the side of integration in a small Texas town in the 60s… yet they both taught me that “most gay people were turned that way by being molested as a child, and are most likely molesters themselves.” They also heavily subscribed to the “biblical abomination” theory, but would never go as far to say that any harm should come to gay people. They were just to be avoided in your personal life. 

The topic came up a lot in my family because I always asked why we never saw my father’s brother. They explained to me that they didn’t trust him around us kids, because he was gay. My parents didn’t say these things with any kind of hateful stereotypical redneck malice, to them it was a scientific, or at least cultural, fact that homosexuals were not only “sexual deviants”, but most likely deviants in general, and not to be associated with. They were… not like us. 

It wasn’t until college that I realized how much of this wrong headed thinking towards homosexuals they had managed to pass on to me on a subconscious level. I was a pretty cynical kid, so I never quite bought into their theories about gay men and women being molested/molesters, but I realized that I was severely shielded from any gay culture or images of loving gay couples my entire young life. It was to the point that well into my early 20s I still sort of internally cringed when I’d see two men kiss- but couldn't articulate why I had that reaction, or even why that was something I should work on. I had no ill will towards gay people at all, but I also didn't give much thought to their plight or my own inherited bigotries. 

Of course, by the time I was in my mid 20s, I had thought about it and had made friends with enough people that were gay to realize that even having that internal “cringe” was a bigotry I needed to squash. It didn't match up to my conscious thoughts on equal rights (which I was in favor of), or even the way I felt about my friends that were gay. It was a tumor that had to be actively removed with reasonable thought, self awareness, logic, and compassion. The biggest part of that was seeing gay culture start to emerge in TV and movies, and start bringing the ideas of normalcy and commonality to gay orientation and gay couples (something I think a lot of anti-gay movement people are very afraid of… if it becomes normal, then their bigotry becomes the abnormal). 

That’s what I loved most about TO BE TAKEI. It shows George and his husband Brad Takei in a very NORMAL marriage. They don’t try to sugar coat it or show the perfect version of their marriage. It has love, passion, but also little spats and disagreements that can get quite messy emotionally. It’s not “gay” marriage, it’s just marriage. That picture of commonness is very important for people that were raised to be homophobes, like me, to be exposed to. It opens up the mind and makes you actively question the premise of why these fellow humans were meant to be shunned or restricted in the first place. 

The movie is also as funny and charming as Mr Takei’s Facebook feed. For anyone that follows him there, you know how entertaining his daily muses can be. In this movie we get a behind the scenes look at where that insight and humor springs from. George Takei has faced hardships beyond most of our comprehension, from having to endure Japanese-American internment camps as an adolescent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, to fighting Asian stereotypes in Hollywood roles, to having to hide his sexual orientation for the majority of his working career, and, of course, working with William Shatner (who comes off as the biggest jerk in the world in his interviews for the movie… still, I love Captain Kirk.) He faced all of these challenges with humor and the personal motto of rejecting negativity in his life. It’s all very uplifting and inspiring. 

I do have to wonder what would have happened if Takei had decided to come out a little earlier in his career. I was a huge Trek fan as a child in the 80s, and to have one of the crew of the Enterprise come out as gay might have made me question my parents a little more. Perhaps even been an earlier advocate in my life for equal rights for homosexuals. Still, I can’t blame him for that. He even questions his own timing and if he should have done it earlier, but realizes that if he had, he wouldn't have been in the public light as much now to be such a strong advocate when history was ready to shift to the side of the righteous on this issue. 

I highly recommend seeking this documentary out for anyone that is a Takei fan, a Trek fan, and for people that still need a dose of seeing a loving gay couple as normal and deserving of the same respect and rights we all should be able to enjoy.

Want to see To Be Takei in a theater but don't see it playing near you? Set up a screening in your city with TUGG! View on

PUBLICITY CONTACT: Shannon Treusch • Falco Ink • (212) 445-7100 • shannontreusch [at]

SALES AGENT CONTACT: Josh Braun • Submarine Entertainment • 212.625.1410 • info [at]

FILM FESTIVAL BOOKING: Jeffrey Winter • Film Collaborative • 323.207.8321 • jeffrey [at]

GENERAL CONTACT: tobetakei [at] • info [at]

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