New American Arab video online!

Check out the first exclusive video clip from Usama Alshaibi's American Arab! The film has a fundraiser on August 5th in Chicago (tickets still available!) at which the filmmakers will show the world premiere of their latest demo of the film. The first video features a profile of Taqwacore musician Marwan Kamel of the band Al-Thawra in conversation with Usama Alshaibi. Taqwacore is an Islamic Punk music genre/movement taken from the words 'Taqwa' - meaning 'piety' or 'fear of god' - and 'Hardcore,' for the punk genre. The short video challenges a number of stereotypes of American Islamic culture, much like American Arab itself. Continued

Carmen Prieto joins Kartemquin Board

Carmen Prieto, the Associate Director of the Wieboldt Foundation, will become the newest member of the Kartemquin Board when she joins for the next meeting in September. “Carmen’s long-term involvement with the Wieboldt Foundation, which supports grassroots multi-issue community organizing, fits perfectly with Kartemquin’s mission of developing documentaries that focus on people who are often overlooked or misrepresented by the media,” says Justine Nagan, Executive Director of Kartemquin Films. “We are thrilled to have another person on our board whose work experience and philanthropic endeavors reflect our organization’s commitment to opening dialogue, both within communities and between the general public and policymakers to directly affect social and political change.” “I am honored to have been asked to serve on the board of Kartemquin Films,” says Prieto. “In my professional life I facilitate the provision of resources for grassroots community organizing for positive social change and am excited about the opportunity to engage with individuals who are committed to the creation of documentary films that tell personal stories that inspire, challenge, and move people to collective action.”  Ms. Prieto is the associate director of the Wieboldt Foundation, an eighty-nine year old private family foundation supporting grassroots, multi-issue, community organizing in the metropolitan Chicago area. She has been with the foundation for 20 years. In addition to her role at the foundation, Ms. Prieto has also served in a number of leadership positions within the philanthropic sector, both locally and nationally. She served on the board of directors of the Chicago Foundation for Women from 1998 through 2006, serving as board chair from 2003-2005. She was a member of the board of directors of the Donors Forum from 2004 through 2009, serving as a board vice-chair, co-chair of the board development committee, and co-chair of the Community Building Task Force. Ms. Prieto is a member of the executive committee of Chicago Latinos in Philanthropy and currently serves on the board of directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing and the Chicago Area Women’s History Council.  Past civic involvements have included serving as a former board member and vice-chair of Chicago Health Outreach, a clinic providing comprehensive physical, mental, and dental health services to underserved populations. In 2000 Ms. Prieto was honored by Mujeres Latinas en Accion with the Maria “Maruca” Martinez Community Service Award.  In October of 2003 Carmen was honored by the National Museum of Mexican Art with their 2003 Sor Juana Achievement Award. Continued

Free Speech award and Fair Use fight put KTQ in the news

On Saturday, Gordon Quinn and Justine Nagan will collect the 2010 Altgeld Award for Free Speech on behalf of Kartemquin. The award honors defenders of free speech. In advance of the event, Kartemquin has been profiled in the Chicago Tribune and ReelChicago. In relation to Monday's landmark DMCA exemption ruling - of which Kartemquin was a key instigator through testimonies to the US Copyright Office - Gordon Quinn was also quoted in articles by RealScreen and Documentary.org. Look for the print edition of Friday's Chicago Tribune, which will also contain photos of our humble abode! Edit: For more information read Peter Jaszi's in-depth blog on the ruling. Continued

Kartemquin’s Role in the DMCA Exemption

You might have heard about today’s ruling by the Copyright Office allowing people to “jailbreak” their iPhones. Less reported but perhaps more important was another part of the ruling which will “Allow… documentary filmmakers to break copy-protection measures on DVDs so they can embed clips for educational purposes, criticism, commentary and noncommercial videos.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/technology/27iphone.html). This exemption allows filmmakers to finally exercise their legal fair use rights. Kartemquin was integral in making this happen. Before today’s ruling, the act of breaking copyright protection alone was illegal under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, even if the ultimate use of the material was legal. It was impossible for a filmmaker or educator to use DVD material at all if there was copyright protection on the disc, even if the use of that material fell within the guildelines of the “Fair Use Doctrine,” In May of 2009 Kartemquin Artistic Director Gordon Quinn and Technical Director Jim Morrissette traveled to Washington DC to testify before the Copyright Office about how content scrambling systems on DVDs had a chilling effect on the documentary filmmaking community. They collaborated with a team of lawyers from the University of Southern California’s Intellectual Property Law Clinic led by Jack Lerner to file for the exemption. California IP Lawyer Michael Donaldson, the International Documentary Association, and the Center for Social Media were also instrumental in today’s exemptions.    “It is great that documentary filmmakers and other can now use their fair use rights without fear of running afoul of the DMCA. The restrictions inhibiting filmmakers from breaking DVD encryption for legal use should have never been included in the law,” said Gordon Quinn of the ruling. In a press release on the International Documentary Association website, Gordon Quinn was also quoted stating: "This exemption will affect documentary filmmakers across our community. The DMCA had made it difficult for filmmakers to exercise their fair use rights. Today's ruling removes the unwarranted threat to the exercise of those essential rights--rights that we must be able to use if we are to continue to play a vital role in our democratic culture as reporters, critics, commentators and educators."Pat Aufderheide adds in her blog at the Center for Social Media: “The rules are broader than many expected, but still involve strict restrictions…limited only to criticism and commentary, not to all potential fair uses; the excerpt must be "relatively short"; a new work must be created; and the maker must have a reason why an inferior quality (such as one shot off a screen or from a VHS) is not good enough.” (In the photo: Michael Donaldson, Jack Lerner, Christopher Perez, Kartemquin's Jim Morrisette and Ashlee Lin prepare for DMCA exception hearing in May 2009. Photo credit: Gordon Quinn).Listen to Gordon Quinn discussing Fair Use and the DMCA on NPR's On the Media from May 2009.   Continued

Typeface now available on iTunes!

Typeface is now available for pre-order on iTunes, before official release on July 27th. The film will also soon be available on Amazon VOD and Netflix. Please help us by adding the film to your queue, and don't forget to rate and review the film! Please note that the Kartemquin Store is still the only place from which you can order the limited edition DVD featuring a poster designed by Bill Moran of Hamilton Wood Type Museum. Here's a recent review of the film in advance of it's first screening in Yorkshire, England on July 29th in The Drum: "Typeface, a production by Kartemquin Films, shows the reality of the digital age as it challenges master craftsmen in their environment. The film opens up a very real life portrayal of the effects, changes and fight for survival in an age of throw-away creativity. From the onset, it shows a passion for creative skills, showcasing a place where international artists and retired craftsmen remain true to their heritage, but for how long and what can be lost? The historical and contemporary approaches in rural and urban America, combined with passion and logic makes for a fascinating film." Continued

Chicago Humanities Festival to host sneak preview of A Good Man

Mark your calendars for November 14 2010, when the Chicago Humanities Festival will host the first public preview of A Good Man. Kartemquin's upcoming 2011 film is about choreographer Bill T Jones' creation of Fondly do we hope... Fervently do we pray for performance at the 2009 Ravinia Festival. The film is a co-production with Media Process Group, ITVS, Americans Masters and Ravinia.A Good Man Co-Director Gordon Quinn and Janet Wong, Associate Artistic Director of the  Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company are already confirmed to attend for post-screening discussion. Tickets are available from the Chicago Humanities Festival. Watch the trailer for A Good Man and editor David E. Simpson discussing editing the film. Continued

Typeface's Australian premiere is SOLD OUT!

The Australian premiere of Typeface on July 24th in Melbourne is sold out. However, a second screening has been added by the organizers at 9:30pm that same day. Both screenings are presented by Letterbox as part of Character 6 and the 2010 State of Design Festival. The first screening will feature a conversation on the worldwide movement in reviving craft in the field of design featuring Carolyn Fraser (Idlewild Press) and David Lancashire (Lancashire Design), but the second will be a showing of the film only. Get tickets now! The DVD of Typeface was also released on Amazon today. You can help support the film by recommending the film and writing reviews! Please note that the limited edition DVD featuring a special poster from Bill Moran of the Hamilton Wood Type Musuem is still currently only exclusively available from the Kartemquin store. Continued

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