Justine Nagan

Executive Director

Since 2008, Justine has led Kartemquin Films as our Executive Director as well as being an Executive Producer on each new film. She is responsible, in concert with the Board of Directors, for creating and implementing the strategic vision for Kartemquin. Justine successfully transitioned to the ED role in a historic founder-led organization, and has made major strides in building a foundation for long-term sustainability.

With Kartemquin, she also directed Typeface, an award-winning documentary on American typography and graphic design and the doc short Sacred Transformations. Formerly she worked as the organization's Director of Communications & Distribution and as the Associate Producer on Kartemquin’s Peabody-Award winning documentary Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita, which was broadcast nationally on PBS’ Independent Lens in early 2008. She is currently Executive Producing several Kartemquin films at the busiest time in our history, most recently completing The Interrupters, directed by Steve James, which won the 2012 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary.Prior to these projects, she helped Kartemquin to develop the series The Learning Chronicles while earning her Master's Degree in the Humanities with an emphasis on Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago. Other Chicago experience includes teaching at the Hyde Park Art Center, as well as working as a Theatre Manager at the Cadillac Palace and Thorne Auditorium for the Chicago International Film Festival and as a summer Fellow for The HistoryMakers, an African-American video oral-history archive. 

Before moving to Chicago, she produced promotional spots for Public Television, directed the post-production department for a small media firm and worked for various other companies ranging from M&C Saatchi in Sydney, Australia to Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know? on National Public Radio. Justine received her Bachelor's Degree in Film and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and has been a distinguished young alum: featured in 2012 in their "Forward under 40" list and in 2010, as recipient of the Ralph O. Nafziger award for "distinguished achievement by an alumnus within 10 years of graduation." She was selected to join the 2012 Leadership Greater Chicago class of fellows and in 2013 was named a "40 under 40" leader by the national New Leaders Council. Additionally, Justine was one of three Chicago-area nonprofit executive directors to be awarded the 2013 Harvard Business School Club of Chicago Fellowship. 

She is an active volunteer in the community for such organizations as The Glass Slipper Project, the Hyde Park Art Center and WTTW. She is currently on the Advisory Board for Midwest Independent Film Festival, has served on the IFP Chicago Board, as the staff representative on Kartemquin’s Board of Directors, as an elected member of the Badger Herald Newspaper’s Board, and has acted on several other civic and community committees. Justine lives in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago, with her husband Matt and son Rhett.

Films by Justine Nagan

Hard Earned 2015
Executive Producers
In the Game 2015
Executive Producers
'63 Boycott 2015
Executive Producer
Cooked 2015
Executive Producers
On Beauty 2014
Executive Producer
The Homestretch 2014
Executive Producers, GoodPitch Chicago
Life Itself 2014
Executive Producers
Almost There 2014
Executive Producers
Saving Mes Aynak 2014
Executive Producer
American Arab 2013
Executive Producers, Kartemquin Films Executive Director
The Trials of Muhammad Ali 2013
Executive Producers
As Goes Janesville 2012
Executive Producers
The Interrupters 2011
Executive Producers
A Good Man 2011
Kartemquin Films Executive Director
Sacred Transformations 2010
Director
Typeface 2009
Director/Producer
In the Family 2008
PRODUCTION ASSOCIATE
At the Death House Door 2008
Kartemquin Staff
Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita 2007
Associate Producer, additional camera, Kartemquin Staff