For Filmmakers

KTQ Labs

Once a month we gather members of the Kartemquin community together for the critique and discussion of a work-in-progress by an independent filmmaker. These intimate feedback sessions are open for incomplete projects at any stage of production, whether short fundraising demos or feature-length rough cuts. This free program, now in its 10th year, has helped over 100 projects progress towards completion. Films that have participated have gone on to play at festivals including New York Film Festival, SXSW, Hot Docs, DOC NYC, and True/False and to air on Netflix, PBS Independent Lens and the Sundance Channel. Notable titles include Making a Murderer, Louder Than a Bomb, What’s the Matter With Kansas?, Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists, The Atom Smashers, Spilled Water, Scrappers, Andrew Bird: Fever Year, Garbage: The Revolution Starts at Home, and more.

Learn more about KTQ Labs

Working With Us

While the majority of our work stems from our core group of associates, we are interested in building relationships with other social-issue documentarians and supporting independent filmmaking. To this end, we offer several avenues of possible collaboration.

Learn more about working with Kartemquin

Diverse Voices in Docs

Diverse Voices in Docs is a professional development and mentorship program for emerging documentary filmmakers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. DVID hones skills and unites filmmakers who share experiences and expertise across six monthly workshops as they develop new projects. Applications for the 2018 DVID term will open in fall of 2017.

Learn more


Applications are now closed for Spring 2016 and are currently being accepted for Summer 2016. The application deadline is May 1st 2016.

Learn more

Advocacy & Fair Use

To ensure a vibrant and diverse independent public media, Kartemquin regularly takes a lead position on policy issues affecting our field, such as issues of ethics and “fair use” rights for documentary filmmakers.

As representatives of the independent media arts community, we have led or been part of coalitions in support of public access TV, the successful renewal and extension of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemptions, and the PBSNeedsIndies campaign. We are also strategic partners in the activities of the Indie Caucus.

Rock the Docs

Rock the Doc connects Chicago’s documentary community. Recognizing the need for social events that allow emerging and veteran filmmakers and fans to meet in a relaxed and fun setting, we launched this series in 2010, partnering with hip venues across the city to create unique one-off social gatherings.