KTQ producers star in 2014 New City Film 50

Chicago's New City magazine has published it's 2014 list of Chicago's "Screen Gems" - an annual list of the top 50 film artists in the city - and for the second year in a row, a Kartermquin producer is at #1.

Steve James takes the top spot this year, receiving praise for his work on Life Itself and his long career of "explorations of the heart and humanity of Chicago."

Out of the 50 names, the list contains a total of 11 Kartemquin producers and associates. These are:
#1 - Steve James, director/producer of The Interrupters, and many more.
#7 - Aaron Wickenden, director/producer of Almost There, editor of The Trials of Muhammad Ali.
#10 - Peter Gilbert, of Hoop Dreams and At the Death House Door.
#14 - Gordon Quinn, our Artistic Director and Co-founder, and director of '63 Boycott.
#18 - Ruth Leitman, director of a story on our upcoming Hard Earned.
#21 - Usama Alshaibi, director/producer of American Arab.
#24 - Joshua Abrams, composer on Life Itself and Almost There, among others.
#26 - Dana M. Kupper, director of photography on Life Itself and many more of our films.
#35 - Dan Rybicky, director/producer of Almost There.
#38 - Maria Finitzo, director/producer of In the Game, and many more projects.
#41 - Margaret Byrne, director/producer of Raising Bertie.

Joining them are many of our close friends, including Bob Hercules, with whom we've collaborated on A Good Man and The School Project; KTQ Labs graduate Kevin B. Lee; and Lyra Hill, who was an essential part of our archives project. Read the full list.

We want to highlight a great quote by Dana Kupper from the article:
"Sometimes it’s not the extraordinary that we are capturing, but the ordinary observed. I get a real rush from filming things that will never happen again. It’s a lot of pressure, because if I screw up, all is lost! The cameraman who taught me so much is the super-talented Peter Gilbert, and he used to say, ‘Dana, you and I aren’t interested in beautiful shots. We are like the anti-camera camera people!’ What he means is that ‘beautiful’ shots can be empty, but we love the powerful, emotional shots.” She adds, “To decide to make a documentary film is deciding to give birth to a monster. The monster must be fed. It doesn’t care that you are out of money, time or people’s good will. It doesn’t care.”

We can only achieve what we do in birthing these "monsters" because of the support we get from those who believe in our work, many of whom are in Chicago. As Gordon Quinn is quoted saying in the article, "Collaboration comes naturally to the Chicago media community and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”