Assistant Professor Mayuran Tiruchelvam has admired superheroes his whole life — both in American popular culture and his family of human-rights activists. He combined the two influences to become an award-winning screenwriter and producer, after beginning his career in community organizing and activism.
“Film and television provided a world where good people could do things to make the world a better place,” he said in a new video profile produced by the College of Liberal & Creative Arts. “Where heroes could triumph over evil and save the day. Where people changed and grew and became better.”
Born in the United Kingdom and raised in the United States and Sri Lanka, Tiruchelvam values stories that empower underrepresented communities. His feature screenwriting debut, the neo-noir “The Girl Is in Trouble,” was released theatrically in 2015. His producing credits include the documentary features “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin” (Audience Award, SXSW 2017), about the acclaimed San Francisco author, and “To Be Takei” (Sundance in 2014), a portrait of actor, activist and pop-culture icon George Takei.
Tiruchelvam joined San Francisco State in fall 2020 as the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in Social Justice Fiction Filmmaking. This new tenure-track position is one of four endowed chairs established by SF State’s George and Judy Marcus Funds for Excellence in the Liberal Arts.
— Video by Ying Wencie Hoang