Bill Siegel was a valued member of the Kartemquin community for several decades, beginning as a researcher on Hoop Dreams, through to his masterpiece The Trials of Muhammad Ali, and up to his passing in December 2018.
Bill was an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He was director, producer and researcher for the Emmy-winning, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and has screened worldwide. Siegel co-directed and produced The Weather Underground, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2004, had its worldwide premiere at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and was selected for the Whitney Biennial.
As an educator, Siegel worked for 23 years with The Great Books Foundation (GBF), a non-profit dedicated to literacy and lifelong learning. Siegel rose from National Training Instructor to Vice President of School Programs and led more than 1000 professional development workshops in Socratic seminar. Siegel co-founded GBF’s Digital Media department where he led the creation of GBF’s online professional development webinars and directed and produced dozens of instructional and advocacy videos. As founder of Projecto Willis LLC, Bill Siegel applied his skills as an educator and documentary filmmaker; offering consulting, video production and training services to schools, businesses, non-profits and community organizations across the country and directing and producing a variety of commercial and educational media.
before his passing, Siegel was directing a feature length documentary film, America Sells Itself (ASI). ASI investigated the role of the United States Information Agency in the US government’s effort to sell democracy, American-style, to the world and the impact of that work now during a new Cold War of information control. Siegel also collaborated with WETA television in Washington DC, building upon a discussion guide Siegel wrote for the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary series, The Vietnam War. The guide accompanies a webinar where teachers can learn how to use Socratic Seminar with non-fiction, media, to build students' critical thinking skills. Siegel earned a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University in New York.
Films by Bill Siegel
- The Trials of Muhammad Ali 2013
The People of Kartemquin
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 50 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
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