Running Time: 90 min

Jennifer M. Kroot

United States

Film Website

Audience Award: Documentary Spotlight

Audience Award: Best Documentary
FilmOut San Diego

Jury Award: Best Documentary
Out Shine Film Festival Miami

“Armistead,” describes longtime friend Sir Ian McKellen, “loves the world but does find it hilariously funny.” McKellen is just one of many famed artists recruited to help tell the tale of author Armistead Maupin in Jennifer Kroot’s vibrant and frank documentary. While readers and viewers around the world have fallen in love with the outlandish characters in Maupin’s Tales of the City, such as the enigmatic pot-smoking trans landlady Mrs. Madriga, few know about the complicated and contradictory life of the man behind the books.

As Kroot reveals, the humor and love Maupin sees in the world is a hard-won perspective. How did the proud great-grandson of a confederate general in the Old South became a gay rights pioneer and un-official chronicler of San Francisco’s counter culture in the 1970’s? With candor and honesty, Maupin describes his life from the jungles of Vietnam, to the raucous streets of the Castro, and eventually into televisions across the country.

In his rise to literary acclaim, Maupin provided more than just entertainment, but role models and representation for LGBTQ individuals at a time of limited mainstream representation. Animator Grant Nelleson’s poppy ‘70s-style graphics add to the upbeat tone of UNTOLD TALES that will leave you smiling and perhaps inspired to go pick up a copy of Tales of the City.
— Julia Youngs

Community Partner