Nantucket Film Festival to honor Steve James

Nantucket Film Festival will honor Steve James with the Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling Award at the festival's 19th edition, taking place June 25-30, 2014. Steve will attend the festival to present a Spotlight screening of his new film Life Itself, about film critic Roger Ebert. Life Itself was announced today as an official selection of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and will also screen at Ebertfest today. The film's New Zealand premiere has also been confirmed for the Documentary Edge Festival in May. The film will be released in US theaters in July. Continued

Life Itself to screen at Cannes Film Festival, with new Cannes footage

The 2014 Cannes Film Festival will host the European premiere of Life Itself, our new documentary about film critic Roger Ebert. Life Itself director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) said to "The film's selection is a thrilling first for me and for Kartemquin. Beyond that, its also a statement about what Roger meant to the festival. He loved Cannes and Cannes loved him. We were so inspired by his writing about the festival, that we've created a new section in the film devoted to his adventures there over the years. Roger was a student of great cinema and of the dreams and spectacle that for him defined Cannes. We can't wait to share his story and our film with everyone there." Continued

Steve James reflects on the anniversary of Roger Ebert's death

April 4th marks the one year anniversary of the death of Roger Ebert. At Kartemquin this sad event left us stunned and shocked, both because we were still in production on Life Itself, and because Roger Ebert had been a champion of our work since our very first film, and most notably with Hoop Dreams. Below, Steve James, the director of Life Itself and Hoop Dreams, shares his thoughts on Roger Ebert's legacy, one year later. Continued

Documentary filmmaking tips from Steve James

In Toronto this past weekend Steve James presented a documentary filmmaking "masterclass" as part of the Documentary Organization of Canada's 2014 Masters Series. Talking with Sean Farnel, James discussed his approach to the craft of storytelling and the ethical considerations of his filmmaking style. Journalists from both Filmmaker Magazine and Realscreen attended the masterclass, and have recapped some of the best tips and anecdotes from the sessions. Here's Adam Benzine of Realscreen's breakdown of the key takeaways in brief (read them in full here): Continued

Studs Terkel Awards celebrate Kartemquin

Last night in Chicago, the Community Media Workshop honored Kartemquin's Gordon Quinn and Steve James with 2014 Studs Terkel Awards. The Studs Terkel Community Media Awards honor outstanding media professionals for excellence in covering and reflecting Chicago’s diverse communities. The awards highlight communicators who take risks in covering social issues by offering new or unusual perspectives on topics of general concern, from housing to neighborhood safety and beyond. Also honored were Fred & Nikki Will Stein; Steve Bogira of The Chicago Reader; and Alejandro Escalona of Telemundo, as well as Community Media Workshop founder Thom Clark. Continued

Get advice on crowdfunding and interactive storytelling from KTQ filmmakers and staff

Chicago Filmmakers is offering three free workshops this March featuring "local industry leaders in association with the 2014 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund." A bevy of Kartemquin staff, producers and KTQ Labs graduates will be offering advice at the sessions. Check out the details, presenters and featured films below: NET VIRALITY: Getting It Seen Sunday, March 2nd // 11AM - 2PM Continued

LIFE ITSELF Premieres at Sundance to a Worldwide Audience

On Sunday, January 19, Life Itself world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Playing in the MARC Theater to a packed house, Life Itself also streamed worldwide to over 1,600 Ebert fans who contributed to the film’s recent Indiegogo campaign. “Roger was all about community, the democratization of film, film viewing, and the film experience,” director Steve James recently said, and to stream the film to Ebert fans worldwide was a way for the filmmakers to honor Ebert’s egalitarian beliefs. Continued