WTTW celebrates 50th Anniversary of Kartemquin Films with monthly broadcasts through 2016

WTTW, Chicago's premier public television station, will broadcast a year-long series of Kartemquin's award-winning films in honor of our 50th anniversary. The monthly series will feature films from each decade of Kartemquin’s history, including the classic Hoop Dreams (1994), which will air in June 2016, to coincide with a Kartemquin “Milestones” gala celebration at the Chicago Cultural Center and Harris Theater on June 24, and an art exhibition running May-August at Expo 72. Continued

Hot Docs to honor Steve James with 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award

Toronto's Hot Docs has chosen Steve James as the recipient of its 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award. As part of the honour, Hot Docs will screen a retrospective during the 23rd annual Festival, April 28 to May 8, celebrating James’s distinguished career as a director and producer. “It's an honour to celebrate a filmmaker of such depth, humanity and integrity as Steve James with the Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award,” says Hot Docs director of programming Shane Smith. “Over a career spanning three decades his body of exceptional work has demonstrated his commitment to illuminating stories of grit, honour and personal sacrifice; and solidified his status as a master of the documentary form.” Continued

Kartemquin Films announces 50th Anniversary plans and new funding for 2016

MacArthur Foundation and Sage Foundation to each provide $500,000 in support over next two years Special events to be held in partnership with the City of Chicago Chaz Ebert is Honorary Chair of “Milestones” Gala on June 24, 2016 Chicago, IL (December 4, 2015) -- Kartemquin Films today unveiled a calendar of events and activities that will occur throughout 2016 to mark the organization’s 50th anniversary. Continued

IDA Interview with Gordon Quinn about Career Achievement Award

On December 5th, 2015, the International Documentary Association (IDA) will be presenting Gordon Quinn, Kartemquin founder and artistic director, with the prestigious Career Achievement Award. In a recent interview with IDA’s Peter Kurie, Quinn reflected not only on the past five decades within Kartemquin, but also on the years preceding its founding and the experiences that ignited his passion for documentary, fair use and public media. Although narrative pieces initially drew him to film, Quinn was sold on documentary as a University of Chicago student after he watched Ricky Leacock and Joyce Chopra’s Happy Mother’s Day. Continued

Columbus College of Art and Design celebrates Steve James

Steve James will be a visiting filmmaker at the Columbus College of Art and Design in November through the Visiting Artists and Scholars Series. Three of Steve James' documentaries will be screened the first week of November for students, followed by a discussion with James on Thursday, November 5 at 6:30 pm. The following Steve James documentaries will be screened Tuesday, November 3, 2015 through November 5, 2015 in the Canzani Auditorium: The Interrupters - Tuesday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m.Hoop Dreams - Wednesday, November 4 at 6:30 p.m.Life Itself - Thursday, November 5 at 4:30 p.m. The aim of the Visiting Artists and Scholars Series is to engage students with different professional artists, ranging from filmmakers to poets. Find out more at: http://www.ccad.edu/events-2015/steve-james. Continued

International Documentary Association to honor Gordon Quinn with Career Achievement Award

The International Documentary Association (IDA) will present its prestigious 2015 Career Achievement Award to Gordon Quinn, Founder and Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films. Gordon will receive the honor at the 31st Annual IDA Documentary Awards at Paramount Pictures' Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday, December 5, 2015. Previous winners of the illustrious award include Robert Redford, Werner Herzog, Barbara Kopple, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Ricky Leacock, Albert Maysles, Frederick Wiseman, Henry Hampton, Robert Drew, Michael Moore, Marcel Ophuls, Jean Rouch, Walter Cronkite, and Bill Moyers. Continued

Happy Birthday, Hoop Dreams, and the fight for fair use

A federal judge's verdict today marked a great victory for filmmakers and fair use champions everywhere. The ruling that the lyrics to “Happy Birthday to You” are not protected by copyright has special resonance for Kartemquin, as the injustice of having to pay $5,000 to license the song in our 1994 film Hoop Dreams directly inspired our long and ongoing fight to secure the fair use rights of all filmmakers. In one of the most infamous cases of the unfair "clearance culture" that existed before filmmakers began reclaiming their fair use rights to use copyrighted material, we were forced to pay to license this scene from Hoop Dreams, in which the Agee family sings to Arthur on the occasion of his 18th birthday. Continued

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