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.

In a new video interview with a great supporter of our organization, The MacArthur Foundation, Kartemquin Director/Producer Steve James also explains why public media is so important to him, and the vital role he feels it plays in democratic society. Steve says of his work at Kartemquin: "We want to tell true stories, complicated stories, real stories, in which we get you as a viewer to grapple with the complexities of people's lives, and what those lives have to say about the world."