Gordon Quinn

Founder and Artistic Director

Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn has been making documentaries for over 45 years. Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun Times, called his first film Home for Life (1966) "an extraordinarily moving documentary." With Home for Life Gordon established the direction he would take for the next four decades, making cinéma vérité films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people. 

At Kartemquin, Gordon created a legacy that is an inspiration for young filmmakers and a home where they can make high-quality, social-issue documentaries. Kartemquin’s best known film, Hoop Dreams (1994), executive produced by Gordon, was released theatrically to unprecedented critical acclaim. The film follows two inner-city high school basketball players for five years as they pursue their NBA dreams. Its many honors include: the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Chicago Film Critics Award – Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association – Best Documentary and an Academy Award Nomination. 

Other films Gordon has made include Vietnam, Long Time Coming, Golub, 5 Girls, Refrigerator Mothers and Stevie.  Gordon executive produced Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita and The New Americans (he also directed the Palestinian segment of this award winning, intimate, seven-hour series). Recently he produced a film that deals with the human consequences genetic medicine, In The Family, and executive produced two films, one about community based conservation in Africa, Milking the Rhino, and At The Death House Door on a wrongful execution in Texas.  In the role of director, he recently completed Prisoner of Her Past, about a Holocaust survivor suffering from late-onset post-traumatic stress disorder, and co-directed the 2011 release A Good Man, about the dancer Bill T. Jones. 

Gordon is a supporter of public and community media, and has served on the boards of several organizations including The Illinois Humanities Council, Chicago Access Network Television, and The Public Square Advisory Committee, The Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. A key leader in creating the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use, Gordon encourages filmmakers to educate themselves on the tenets of the fair use doctrine, frequently speaking to the media, legal, and educational communities about this fundamental right.

As well executive producing all our in-progress films, he is currently developing '63 Boycott.

Films by Gordon Quinn

'63 Boycott 2015
Producer/Director
Hard Earned 2015
Executive Producers
In the Game 2015
Executive Producers
Cooked 2015
Executive Producers
The School Project 2014
Executive Producers
The Homestretch 2014
Executive Producers
On Beauty 2014
Executive Producer
Life Itself 2014
Executive Producers
Almost There 2014
Executive Producers
Saving Mes Aynak 2014
Executive Producer
American Arab 2013
Executive Producers, Kartemquin Films Artistic Director
The Trials of Muhammad Ali 2013
Executive Producers
As Goes Janesville 2012
Executive Producers
A Good Man 2011
Directors, Executive Producers, Camera
The Interrupters 2011
Executive Producers
Sacred Transformations 2010
Executive Producer
Prisoner of Her Past 2010
Director
No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson 2010
Executive Producer
Typeface 2009
Executive Producer
In the Family 2008
Producer, Executive Producer, Cinematography
Milking the Rhino 2008
Executive Producer
At the Death House Door 2008
Executive Producer
Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita 2007
Executive Producer, Kartemquin Staff
The New Americans 2004
Executive Producers, Palestinian Story Directors/Producers
Golub: Late Works Are the Catastrophes 2004
Producers, Directors, Camera
Stevie 2002
Producers, Executive Producers, Cinematography
Refrigerator Mothers 2002
Co-Producers, Executive Producer, Camera
5 Girls 2001
Executive Producer
Vietnam, Long Time Coming 1998
Producers, Directors, Directors of Photography
Chicago Crossings: Bridges and Boundaries 1994
Production Associates
Hoop Dreams 1994
Executive Producer, Co-Producer
Higher Goals 1992
Executive Producer
Grassroots Chicago 1991
Producers, Camera
Golub 1988
Directors, Camera
Women's Voices: The Gender Gap 1984
Producers, Camera
The Last Pullman Car 1983
Producers and Directors, Writers, Camera
Taylor Chain II: A Story of Collective Bargaining 1983
Director, Camera
Taylor Chain I: A Story in a Union Local 1980
Directors, Camera
The Chicago Maternity Center Story 1976
Made by
Where's I. W. Abel? 1975
Producers, Director, Editors
UE/Wells 1975
Producers, Directors, Camera
HSA Hospital Strike '75 1975
Production Associates
Now We Live on Clifton 1974
Filmmakers
Winnie Wright, Age 11 1974
Filmmakers
Sports-Action Pro-Files 1972
Cinematography
Hum 255 1970
Filmmakers
Anonymous Artists of America 1970
Producers, Photography, Editor
What the Fuck Are These Red Squares? 1970
Camera
Marco 1970
Co-Producers, Cameraman, Editors
Parents 1968
Co-Producers, Camera
Thumbs Down 1968
Producers, Directors, Camera, Editor
Inquiring Nuns 1968
Directors, Camera, Editor
Home For Life 1966
Producers, Directors, Camera, Editor