September 2014 Film Updates
After interviewing parent organizer Rosie Simpson this summer, we updated our work in progress and screened it at the Uri-Eichen Gallery in Pilsen, along with an American Friends Service Committee exhibit on boycott posters. Legendary photojournalist Art Shay shared his photos of the boycott with us, which we have in a slideshow up on our website 63boycott.com.
People continue to tag people they know in the pictures, and efforts to identify people and track them down continue. We continue to fundraise and hope to complete the project next year. As always, you can help us by spreading the word about our project to anyone who may have participated in the 1963 Chicago Public School Boycott.
The impact of Almost There's successful Kickstarter campaign was instantly felt. In advance of our Fall festival premiere (stay tuned for more details) we thought it was priority number one to produce a top notch trailer. One of our favorite trailer's of all time has to be the one edited by Stephen Garrett for Kartemquin's The Interrupters. So we tracked down Stephen and learned that he started a new company called Jump/Cut which is specifically geared towards the editing of trailers. We're happy to report that a deal memo has been signed and thus a new collaboration has been born. We're working on the trailer with their editor Travis Littlefield who has been cutting trailers for the past 3 years at Jump/Cut and we couldn't be more excited.
American Arab's DVD and digital release is approaching in early 2015! We're excited to share the DVD which will include Director Usama Alshaibi's first feature documentary Nice Bombs (about his trip to Iraq in the 2004 following the US invasion).
We have several local screenings to look forward to in the coming weeks including Big Bear Lake Film Festival, Arab Film Fest in San Francisco, United Nations Association International Documentary Film Festival in Monterey, and the film will be featured in the Human Rights Spotlight at the St. Louis International Film Festival.
Tragic events have unfolded in the Middle East these past few months and the current brutal situation in Iraq involving American journalists and the ISIS terrorist group has brought Arab and Muslim Americans in a negative spotlight yet again. Also, a recent hate crime in Michigan this past July involving a young Muslim American woman shows not much has improved since the assault on Amal Abusumayah who is featured in American Arab. To dispel the perpetual anger and misunderstanding it is important to continue to educate as well as inform audiences on this contemporary American story.
5 years in the making, Kartemquin's On Beauty is gearing up for an exciting world premiere in our hometown of Chicago as part of the Chicago International Film Festival. Please join us and invite your friends to our maiden screening at 1:15 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the AMC River East 21 theater. Director Joanna Rudnick and photographer Rick Guidotti will participate in a post-screening panel with other special guests to discuss the film, Rick’s work, and the importance and challenges of changing the mainstream definition of beauty.
Chicago Public School students will get a chance to attend a special sneak-peek screening on Oct. 15 as part of the festival’s education outreach program. This screening is a wonderful opportunity to reach young people and provide them with materials and information that will help them rethink the way we see and treat others. We hope it is the first of many to this important audience.
We are excited to use the Chicago premiere as a springboard into a busy fall full of festivals, special screenings, and more outreach campaigns. Stay tuned and follow the film on Facebook and Twitter.
Raising Bertie has had a great summer. We have officially finished filming! We are so proud of Davonte who graduated from Bertie High this June. His nephew came to visit Chicago for the summer and got to see the big city and visit the Kartemquin Headquarters.
We are currently developing our outreach plan and fundraising for the film. We've just completed a marathon of grant submissions and are editing in the meantime.
The Homestretch returned to Chicago in September for several major events. First, the film held its Chicago Premiere, hosted by the MacArthur foundation, at the Spertus Institute. A sold out crowd of 400 embraced The Homestretch, engaging with the subject matter and the film itself.
"TAKE ACTION" was the theme of the night, as The Homestretch team rolled out several initiatives that would allow viewers to make an impact. The most important of these is online drive to collect resources for the CPS Homeless Liaisons and service organizations that serve homeless youth on a daily basis. You can still contribute at the-homestretch.causevox.com and give homeless youth simple resources that could "mean the difference between success and failure."
Just four days after it's Chicago Premiere, The Homestretch opened at the Gene Siskel Film Center for a week-long theatrical run. Opening night was sold out, as were 7 of the remaining 12 screenings that followed from Sept. 12 through Sept. 18. This buzz was met with a flurry of reviews. Richard Roeper called the film "heartbreaking" and RogerEbert.com said "its intimacy is a reflection of its compassion."
The film's Chicago partners played a major in this theatrical run. Teen Living Programs, The Night Ministry, National Runaway Safeline, and Chicago Coalition for the Homeless had a major presence during this week at the Siskel. They brought staff, board members, and youth themselves to see the film, proving that individuals from all walks of life can benefit from viewing The Homestretch.
These Chicago screenings kickoff the film's national impact campaign. The Homestretch will now show across the country at conferences, community screenings, and theaters, with the goal uprooting stereotypes and raising awareness. For more information, visit Facebook and Twitter.
The School Project is halfway through post-production, and gearing up for the release of our first segment in late October - so stay tuned. The segment is about education reform in Chicago over the last thirty years. Plans are underway for a series of live events during the 2014-2015 school year. Read all about it here: https://kartemquin.com/news/world-premiere-announced-for-the-school-proj....
It’s been an exciting few months for Unbroken Glass. In June we had an event with the Eye on India Festival where we screened new clips and had a panel discussion about mental health in the South Asian community. The screening was in partnership with the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, director Dinesh Sabu’s alma mater.
Last week we had an incredible outreach event with the America India Foundation, where we screened clips to leaders in the South Asian philanthropic community. We’re looking forward to doing even more outreach as we work towards the completed film and beyond.
We’d like to take some space to congratulate our editor Matt Lauterbach who is getting married later this month. Matt’s been perhaps the earliest supporter of the documentary, back when he and Dinesh were Kartemquin interns in 2008. Congrats Matt!
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