Hoop Dreams voted in top 20 of Sight & Sound "Greatest Documentaries of All Time"

Hoop Dreams has placed at #17 on Sight & Sound magazine's first ever poll of the Greatest Documentaries of All Time. The prestigious cinema magazine hosts a noted poll of the best films every 10 years, but this is their first nonfiction-only poll. They solicited top 10s from 340 critics, programmers and filmmakers, including our artistic director and founder Gordon Quinn. On the filmmakers' poll, Hoop Dreams came in at #14. Here is the overall top 10: 1. Man With A Movie Camera, (Dziga Vertov, 1929) 2. Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985) 3. Sans Soleil, (Chris Marker, 1982) 4. Night And Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955) 5. The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1989) Continued

Moving The Ball: Where We're At On Fair Use

Censorship vs. free expression is an ages-old story, one that still plays on a daily basis the world over. We as Americans do not need to look as far as countries like Turkey (who recently banned Twitter and YouTube) to see that private interests consistently test the freedom and resolve of the people. Today, with the incredible amount of content that is available and shareable, and private interests that are committed to restricting that flow of information, a new ethical framework had to be built: a framework that pinned down what constitutes fairly utilized content. Kartemquin’s own Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Gordon Quinn, is at the vanguard of the recent revolution in fair use thinking and is a constant, outspoken sage of that revolution’s ideals and practices. Continued

How Hoop Dreams Changed the Game

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Hoop Dreams. We've already celebrated the landmark with screenings of a beautiful new digital master of the film at Sundance Film Festival and Full Frame Festival, and with a great Oral History of its making compiled by Jason Guerassio for The Dissolve. Now comes "Game Changer: The Enduring Legacy of Hoop Dreams," a great article in Canada's POV Magazine by Will Di Novi that recaps many of the film's influences on the documentary form since 1994. Continued

Al Jazeera America Announces Production of Documentary Series with Kartemquin Films on Realities of Low-Income Living

Kartemquin is proud to announce a collaboration with Al Jazeera America on Hard Earned, a six-part documentary series scheduled to air in early 2015. Production has already begun on the series, which will explore the lives of five American families striving to keep food on the table and their dignity intact despite the reality of high living expenses and low wages. “We’re pleased to bring this important documentary series to Al Jazeera America, which explores the economic realities that many Americans face,” said Shannon High-Bassalik, senior vice-president, documentaries and programs. “This series goes beyond the politics and policy discussions and immerses the viewer in the true day-to-day struggles individuals and families face, getting by in today’s economy.” Continued

Steve James reflects on the anniversary of Roger Ebert's death

April 4th marks the one year anniversary of the death of Roger Ebert. At Kartemquin this sad event left us stunned and shocked, both because we were still in production on Life Itself, and because Roger Ebert had been a champion of our work since our very first film, and most notably with Hoop Dreams. Below, Steve James, the director of Life Itself and Hoop Dreams, shares his thoughts on Roger Ebert's legacy, one year later. Continued

Documentary filmmaking tips from Steve James

In Toronto this past weekend Steve James presented a documentary filmmaking "masterclass" as part of the Documentary Organization of Canada's 2014 Masters Series. Talking with Sean Farnel, James discussed his approach to the craft of storytelling and the ethical considerations of his filmmaking style. Journalists from both Filmmaker Magazine and Realscreen attended the masterclass, and have recapped some of the best tips and anecdotes from the sessions. Here's Adam Benzine of Realscreen's breakdown of the key takeaways in brief (read them in full here): Continued

Steve James films & subjects to star at Full Frame

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has announced the full schedule of films for their 2014 edition, including a Steve James Tribute and Thematic Program curated by Lucy Walker. The tribute to Steve James will include appearances from many of the subjects of his films. Arthur Agee, Jr. (Hoop Dreams), Ameena Matthews (The Interrupters), and Reverend Carroll Pickett (At the Death House Door) will attend. Full Frame will also feature “Hoop Dreams at 20,” a panel conversation in celebration of the landmark documentary’s 20th anniversary that will feature outtakes, insider commentary, and special guests. Continued

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