Early LGBTQ Author Fritz Peters Getting Doc Treatment


A documentary about the life and work of author Fritz Peters is underway from director William Gazecki. 

The Emmy winner and Oscar nominee behind New Yorker Films’ “Waco: The Rules of Engagement” and “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker” is currently in production on the project, set up by Hirsch Giovanni Entertainment. Peters was a trailblazer in his frank and intimate depictions of homosexuality, spirituality and mental illness in the 1950s.

Despite selling big in his time, his catalogue has fallen into relative obscurity compared to the celebrated literati who were his peers. Hirsch Giovanni acquired Peters’ complete works and are also mounting a scripted adaptation of his book “Finistère.” Creative executive Alexandra Carbone is overseeing the doc for the production company. 

As Peters was born in 1913, Hirsch Giovanni underscored the need for timeliness in interviewing the author’s contemporaries. A featured subject in the doc include Edward Field, a poet who has been out since the 1960s and was a noted member of the Greenwich Village bohemian scene. Through his friendship with Peters, he archived the writer’s personal letters and relationships. In addition to identifying as homosexuals, Peters and Field had military service and post-traumatic stress in common, topics both have touched on in their writings.

Peters’ daughter, Katharine Rivers, is another key interviewee who is also the heir to the estate. She was interviewed in her family’s former hometown of Santa Fe, N.M. Eric Neagle, the former head of Fritz’s fan page, is also contributing, as are archives at Boston University and the New York Public Library.