Happy 50th New Year! Watch our first film Home for Life for free

Welcome to the 50th anniversary of Kartemquin! In 2016, several organizations in Chicago and around the country will host a series of screenings and events to celebrate Kartemquin’s work, and the power of documentary to inspire action. We also invite you to watch all our films for free, week by week, at http://watch.kartemquin.com. We begin with Kartemquin's first film, Home for Life (1966), an engrossing cinéma vérité depiction of the experiences of two elderly people in their first month at a home for the aged. A young Roger Ebert, reviewing the film at the 1967 Chicago International Film Festival for the Chicago Sun-Times, called it "an extraordinarily moving documentary." We've included Ebert's full review in the package, along with videos and documents that explain how Kartemquin began, got its name, and formed a philosophy of making films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people. Continued

Almost There ends year on top

For Almost There, 2015 comes to an end with the film hailed by critics as one of the year's best documentaries, after an award-winning worldwide festival run and US theatrical and VOD release. The story of Aaron Wickenden and Dan Rybicky's ethically complex seven-year relationship with reclusive elderly "outsider" artist Peter Anton is now available to watch on Fandor and Vimeo, and will soon be available on more VOD platforms thanks to distributor Factory 25. Continued

Saving Mes Aynak ends 2015 with Al Jazeera broadcast, distribution deal, and outreach funding

As 2015 draws to a close, the team behind Saving Mes Aynak is celebrating a successful year of reaching audiences all over the world, raising global awareness about the contentious fate of the Mes Aynak historic site. 2016 is shaping up to be an even bigger year for our film and its awareness and outreach campaign, as we can now announce fresh funding and distribution partners. Saving Mes Aynak will end the year with an encore holiday re-broadcast on Al Jazeera America at 7PM EST on Thursday, December 24, 2015 (Christmas Eve) and Saturday, December 26, 2015 at 7PM EST. Continued

Hard Earned wins 2016 duPont-Columbia Award

Hard Earned has won a 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, one of the highest honors in broadcast journalism. The filmmaking team will collect their 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award at the ceremony on January 17 in New York City. The film is one of 16 documentaries and news reports across several platforms honored with Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award Silver Batons this year. The awards are seen as the broadcast journalism equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards praised Hard Earned by stating: "The immersive verité filmmaking of this six-part series invested viewers in the lives of the struggling working class by creating compelling human portraits. Continued

Kartemquin Films announces 50th Anniversary plans and new funding for 2016

MacArthur Foundation and Sage Foundation to each provide $500,000 in support over next two years Special events to be held in partnership with the City of Chicago Chaz Ebert is Honorary Chair of “Milestones” Gala on June 24, 2016 Chicago, IL (December 4, 2015) -- Kartemquin Films today unveiled a calendar of events and activities that will occur throughout 2016 to mark the organization’s 50th anniversary. Continued

IDA Interview with Gordon Quinn about Career Achievement Award

On December 5th, 2015, the International Documentary Association (IDA) will be presenting Gordon Quinn, Kartemquin founder and artistic director, with the prestigious Career Achievement Award. In a recent interview with IDA’s Peter Kurie, Quinn reflected not only on the past five decades within Kartemquin, but also on the years preceding its founding and the experiences that ignited his passion for documentary, fair use and public media. Although narrative pieces initially drew him to film, Quinn was sold on documentary as a University of Chicago student after he watched Ricky Leacock and Joyce Chopra’s Happy Mother’s Day. Continued

KTQ in the Early Years: Taking On Industrial Filmmaking

A closer look at Kartemquin’s early history reveals an often forgotten period of time when the original filmmaking cohort took on industrial for-hire gigs to help support their own social issue-based documentaries and the growth of a developing organization. Co-founder and artistic director Gordon Quinn joined University of Chicago Cinema and Media studies professor and long-time Kartemquin member, Judy Hoffman (What's Happening at Local 70,HSA Hospital Strike '75,Chicago Maternity Center Story, Golub) back in April to reminiscence and reflect on the days of making these industrial films for clients such as McDonald’s and Pontiac. Continued

Betsy Steinberg Appointed Executive Director of Kartemquin Films

Kartemquin Films, the award-winning not-for-profit documentary production collective, today named Betsy Steinberg as the organization’s new executive director. Steinberg will begin at Kartemquin - best known for producing Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, and the Roger Ebert biopic Life Itself - on December 1, just ahead of its 50th anniversary year in 2016. Steinberg joins Kartemquin having served as the Managing Director of the Illinois Film Office from 2007-2015, guiding the local industry through an era of unprecedented growth. She will oversee all aspects of their filmmaking, programs, and operations, serving as executive producer on all new films. Continued