Stranded by the State parts 1 and 2 now available to stream on PBS.org

Stranded by the state, the two-part series chronicling the human impact of the Illinois budget impasse is now available to stream on PBS.org! Part 1 available here. Demonstrating how the Illinois budget impasse affects the availability of resources for young mothers and children in rural Illinois; its impact on Eastern Illinois University in central Illinois; and how the lack of state funding impacts efforts to help the homeless in Chicago. Part 2 available here. Watch how the Illinois budget impasse impacts at-risk youth and the organizations serving them in suburban Chicago; what it means for senior citizens receiving food assistance in southern Illinois; and how decreased state funding affects adult education and literacy programs in Chicago. Continued

Prisoner of Her Past broadcasts on WTTW April 23rd; now available to stream, download

Prisoner of Her Past is now available for streaming and download worldwide via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and VHX. The film tells the haunting story of a secret childhood trauma resurfacing, sixty years later, to unravel the life of Holocaust survivor Sonia Reich. Her son, Chicago Tribune arts critic Howard Reich journeys across the United States and Eastern Europe to uncover why his mother believes the world is conspiring to kill her. Continued

Watch the new trailer for Raising Bertie, in theaters June 9

Today Variety exclusively premiered the new theatrical trailer for our award-winning Raising Bertie. The film will begin its theatrical run through distributor Gunpowder & Sky on June 9th at the Maysles Cinema in New York City, with following theatrical runs in Chicago, San Francisco, Charlotte and New Orleans already confirmed. Watch the official trailer below and get tickets and information for upcoming screenings. Continued

Abacus wins awards at Sarasota and Ashland!

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, the latest film by director Steve James, enjoyed a triumphant weekend which included taking home the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sarasota Film Festival, and Best Editing: Feature Length Documentary at the Ashland Independent Film Festival. The weekend's highlights also included serving as the sold-out opening night film at the 20th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and screenings at the Hawaii International Film Festival and the Dallas International Film Festival as part of the film's 18-festival run during the month of April. Continued

Chicago's film community gathers to honor Roger Ebert; Kartemquin among 21 recipients of Ebert Foundation grant

On Tuesday, April 4, members of Chicago's film community, charity leaders and Chicago figures gathered outside of the Chicago Theatre to honor the late film critic Roger Ebert, who passed away on April 4, 2013. It was in that same spot outside of the Chicago theatre that Ebert delivered his famous quote about movies functioning as machines that generate empathy. Both Kartemquin Artistic Director and co-founder Gordon Quinn and director Steve James (director of the 2014 Life Itself) spoke as tribute to Ebert. Kartemquin was honored to receive one of 21 $1,000 grants awarded by the Ebert Foundation to organizations that are working to improve the lives of Chicagoans and advance the arts. Continued

PBS to bring Abacus to theaters nationwide from May 19

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail by acclaimed director Steve James will be theatrically released beginning May 19 at the IFC Center in New York City before spreading nationwide. PBS Distribution has acquired the North American distribution rights to Abacus and has planned a robust spring festival campaign leading into the theatrical release of the film, including the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival where Abacus is the Opening Night Film tonight, April 6, at 7:30PM. See a full list of upcoming festival and theatrical dates at www.abacusmovie.com/events. Continued

Minding the Gap director Bing Liu receives 2017 Garrett Scott Grant

Director/producer of the upcoming Kartemquin film Minding the Gap, Bing Liu has received the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival's Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant. The film follows Bing as he returns to his hometown and reconnects with two young men he used to skateboard with, uncovering a common thread of domestic violence rooted in their childhoods. Bing will present excerpts from Minding the Gap at the 20th annual Full Frame Documentary Festival on Saturday, April 8 at 1:00PM, prior to a screening of Quest, directed by 2016 grant recipient and KTQ Lab graduate Jonathan Olshefski. Continued

In the Game receives Christopher Award; heads to Morocco with AFS

In the Game, directed by Peabody Award-winning director Maria Finitzo has been chosen as a recipient of a 2017 Christopher Award in the TV/Cable category at the 68th annual Christopher Awards ceremony! Since 1949, the Christopher Awards have annually saluted media (TV programming, feature films, books for adults and children) that affirm the highest values of the human spirit and reflect the Christopher motto, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” The goal of The Christophers is to encourage artists to pursue excellence in creative arenas that have the potential to influence large audiences in a positive way. Continued

Minding the Gap team chosen as Film Independent 2017 Documentary Lab Fellows!

The team behind Minding the Gap, director/producer Bing Liu and producer Diane Quon have been selected as 2017 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellows! Film Independent's Documentary Lab Fellowship is an intensive five-week program designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary films. Film Independent seeks projects that are compelling, original and demonstrate a unique filmmaker vision. Continued

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