Roger Ebert: a visionary, a champion and a friend.

Kartemquin Films is devastated by the loss of Roger Ebert. He was a visionary, a champion and a friend. In his first year as a film critic in 1967, he reviewed our very first film, Home for Life. In 1994, he and Gene Siskel became early impassioned, vocal supporters for our film Hoop Dreams in such an unprecedented way that it not only changed our lives, but forever altered public perception of the potential for documentary film. We were honored last year when he agreed to trust us to create a documentary based on his memoir, Life Itself. In the wake of his death, we are further humbled and proud to be telling his story and celebrating the impact of his life. Production will continue. Continued

Film Streams in Omaha to present Steve James retrospective

Film Streams in Omaha, NE will welcome award winning documentary filmmaker Steve James as part of their Visiting Artist Series. Many of James’ exceptional films, dealing with a range of issues, will be screened from Saturday, May 4 – Thursday, May 16, 2013 at the Ruth Sokolof Theatre at 1340 Mike Fahey St. in Omaha, NE. The series kicks off with Steve James’ and Kartemquin Films’ award winning documentary Hoop Dreams, noted by Roger Ebert as "one of the great moviegoing experiences of my lifetime." Also included in the series are: Stevie Reel Paradise Continued

Meet Legendary Filmmakers and Critics at SCMS Chicago

From March 6-10, the world's largest gathering of cinema experts will be in Chicago. The Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) 2013 Chicago Conference brings together global film academics and critics to discuss the past, present and future of cinematic arts. So, of course, Kartemquin is involved! The showpiece opening night event of the conference is also open to the public: Urban Documentaries and Social Change: Where Are We? Asking the question of "how do we socially understand urban media and how has the contemporary political landscape impacted documentary filmmaking?", the event, hosted by the MCA Chicago, features a very strong and rare meeting of acclaimed panelists. Continued

Steve James Brings his Docs to USC & BYOD

This Friday, Steve James will present a special screening of The Interrupters at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, followed by discussion with USC alum Shaft director John Singleton, and The Interrupters stars Ameena Matthews and Eddie Bocanegra. The event is now sold out. Tomorrow, Steve will also present Stevie at USC SCA (get more info & RSVP). But if you can't attend, perhaps an online video interview of Steve James by award-winning documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner (Dig! and We Live in Public) will help compensate! Continued

Peace Basketball Tournament Brings Together Community

NBA star Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls was first introduced to Cobe Williams when he watched The Interrupters. The son of a tennis player and a supermodel, Noah grew up with opportunity and wealth, but his heart made him reach out to Cobe. “After seeing The Interrupters, he got my number and asked how he could help,” Williams explained. “He’s from New York City, but he loves Chicago and was disturbed by the news of all the youth violence that’s been going on.” Continued

Steve James to direct Roger Ebert documentary

Steve James will direct a documentary based on the life of Roger Ebert, to be executive produced by Steven Zaillian and Martin Scorsese. As you can imagine, we at Kartemquin are delighted to announce this new production; as was Roger Ebert today on Twitter. Ebert also told Matt Singer at IndieWIRE: "I believe Steve James' Hoop Dreams is one of the greatest documentaries ever made, and my hopes for this [new documentary] are high." Continued

Justine Nagan interviews Spike Lee

In an entertaining and revealing Chicago Magazine interview, Kartemquin's Justine Nagan talks to acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee. Listen to the interview and read excerpted highlights.   The short podcast interview covers a vast range of subjects: storytelling; documentary; stereotypes of African-Americans; parenting; filming in Chicago; licensing archive footage & fair use; "double dolly-shots"; our upcoming film The Trials of Muhammad Ali; and of course, Spike's new film Red Hook Summer and his upcoming Michael Jackson documentary.   Continued

Serving the public interest since '66

Beyond producing and distributing social issue documentaries, part of Kartemquin's mission is to promote and protect the field of documentary itself. In a new interview with Reel Chicago's Carey Lundin: "Kartemquin at 46 still serving the public interest", our Co-founder and Artistic Director Gordon Quinn explains that “our mission has been to tell the story of an issue by starting at the bottom and burrowing our way to the top," and how this same practice is reflected in our advocacy work around issues such as fair use rights and the PBS Needs Indies campaign. Continued

Pages