Tell us what you think about Kartemquin!

Visitors to will now be able to comment on all of our films, products, events and news stories. Please feel free to let us know about the impact of watching Hoop Dreams or Home for Life for the first time, the admiring looks you get when wearing the Kartemquin hoodie, and why you can't wait to attend the American Arab Fundraiser! The comments are open for all visitors who are logged in, and even those aren't (though those will have to provide us with an email and be subject to moderation). Users who register will also be able to see their order history from the store. This new comment feature is just one of a number of new developments at we'll be introducing over the next few months now that we're on drupal, and in advance of an upcoming snazzy redesign. All the new features will aim at making the site more engaging, interactive and filled with the things you want to see. Stay tuned, and if you have suggestions - we definitely want to hear them - please email Continued

Follow the Prisoner of Her Past filmmaker blog

The creative team behind Kartemquin's Prisoner of Her Past have launched a new blog to document their progress as they prepare to take the film "wherever there’s a screen, an audience and, if possible, a popcorn machine." Read Chicago Tribune journalist and Prisoner of Her Past subject/producer Howard Reich's opening post: "The Film Takes Flight." Subscribe to the blog to stay tuned to all the film's news as it travels the world over the coming months, with screenings already confirmed in Greece, Czech Republic, Texas and Illinois, and with many more in the works that we can't tell you about just yet! Continued

World Premiere of clips from American Arab to screen at August 5th fundraiser

Director Usama Alshaibi will premiere exclusive clips from his in-progress Kartemquin documentary American Arab at a fundraising party for the film in Chicago on August 5th at the Stan Mansion. The event will also feature music by Black Bear Combo, Middle Eastern Food, a Cash Bar (with 1 free drink on entry), Raffle, Belly Dancing, and Henna Tattoos. Tickets are available now and cost $40 in advance, $50 on the door.American Arab questions what it means to be an Arab living in America today by telling Usama's own story and that of others, sparking a frank conversation about the identity of, and perceptions about, Arab-Americans. Seamlessly weaving historical footage, animation, as well as real-life scenes of people living as Arabs in the U.S., the film will put a human face on the vague complexities of racism in post-9/11 America. If you are unable to attend but would like to support the film, click here to donate. Continued

Typeface and idsgn spread a little letterpress love!

In conjunction with the popular design blog idsgn, Typeface (@typefacefilm) launched a 24 hour twitter competition yesterday aimed at spreading the love for letterpress. idsgn sent out a call for fans to tweet them back with a message stating 'Why I love letterpress' with the hashtag #iloveletterpress. The prize for the best response: a limited edition Typeface DVD! The were some ingenious and heartfelt responses, and it was very difficult to pick a winner... but since we had to pick someone, we chose this pithy tweet for its humor and understanding of the craft: @Marc_FIMP: #iloveletterpress because it puts real meat on the letters' bones. Here's a selection of some of our other favorites:   @lost_found_blog #iloveletterpress b/c it makes us appreciate typography in its raw form- we often forget that as we type away on keyboards everyday. @armina_79: #iloveletterpress because it is the right way to learn typography @dcgglass: @idsgn #iloveletterpress bc it's so rich in history and uses all the senses: touch the type, smell the ink, hear the press,... @ sumitpaul  #iloveletterpress because of the textures and the rich colors. Also no two letterpress prints are ever the same, they're one of a kind! @the_junction: #iloveletterpress because it caries more meaning. You know whoever made it cared enough to kern every letter. @alxcooper: #Iloveletterpress because... it takes too long, is bloody frustrating but we wouldn't have it any other way! @SolvesDad: #Iloveletterpress because it puts energy on the page and makes love jump off into readers' eyes @johnfoley: #iloveletterpress because it’s fundamentally impossible for it to be unimpressive. @iglooletterpres #iloveletterpress because I get to use my grandad's press. The process reminds me of working with him. You can find more entries on this trendistic chart. Thanks to all who entered and especially to idsgn! Continued

THE INTERRUPTERS shines at Silverdocs

Kartemquin director Steve James took his upcoming film The Interrupters to the 2010 Silverdocs International Documentary Conference last week to participate in the prestigious Good Pitch event. Steve James, The Interrupters co-writer/producer Alex Kotlowitz, and violence interrupter Ameena Matthews together presented a short demo of the film and spoke to the crowd of philanthropists and media funders about their plans for community engagements initiatives around the film's release. They were well received by the group and a number of potential funders verbally expressed interest in assisting their efforts with the project. The next day, Steve participated in a conversation with Silverdocs head programmer Sky Sitney about his career. This report from the Center for Social Media about the event contains more information, including this quote about Steve's filmmaking style and the his relationship with Kartemquin: "[Steve] James noted that while his films always have a point of view, they avoid polemics. Rather, he said, he wants to take the viewer on a voyage of discovery. “The trick of making a good doc,” he said, “is to take the viewer through the revelatory process that the filmmaker went through—but in less time.” He noted that work like his—often exploring hard-to-fund characters and situations, conducted over long periods of times, tackling the complexity of experience—has benefited from his relationship with Kartemquin Films. The production house provides a structure within which talent can be nurtured and good projects can be sustained." Continued

New video: David Simpson editing workshop on A GOOD MAN

Check out the new video on the Kartemquin YouTube channel of David E. Simpson discussing his editing philosophy with Kartemquin interns and showing exclusive clips from our in-progress documentary A Good Man, about the award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones and his attempt to translate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln into modern dance. As part of our commitment to nurturing the next generation of documentary filmmakers, Kartemquin runs a respected internship program, featuring weekly educational workshops in which staff members and associates share their wisdom and experiences of working in the industry with the interns. We're also giving them the chance to cut their teeth on some of our web videos: this video of the workshop was filmed and edited by Spring '10 intern Lesley Onstott, who we think did a great job. A Good Man will air on PBS' "American Masters" in 2011, and is a co-production with Media Process Group and Ravinia. Continued

In the Family and Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz raising awareness of genetic testing for cancer

In the Family Director Joanna Rudnick received the 2010 FORCE 'Spirit of Empowerment Award' this past weekend at the 5th Annual Joining FORCEs Conference in Orlando, Florida. Here is a picture of Joanna Rudnick with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the FORCE conference. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz was the lead author on the EARLY ACT and remains an incredible support and advocate for all women facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Joanna and In the Family are committed to working with Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and FORCE on new campaigns to raise awareness and ensure that all women have access to genetic testing, including the Congresswoman's current fight to get the offices of Medicare and Medicaid to cover genetic counseling and testing. In the Family is available on DVD and iTunes. Continued