Max joined Kartemquin as the Administrative and Data Coordinator in the fall of 2016, after spending the summer of 2016 in the internship program. Max’s duties include assisting our artistic director, Gordon Quinn, in managing his schedule, promoting his and Kartemquin’s media advocacy efforts, and generally coordinating his day-to-day activities. Max also supports our development director, Joanna Lakatos, by managing our databases, processing gift entry, and coordinating fundraising functions.
He was first welcomed into the Kartemquin community by original collective member, Judy Hoffman, who taught and mentored him in documentary production at the University of Chicago where he graduated from with a BA in Cinema Studies and a BA in English. It was in Judy’s class that Max was exposed to the ideas of cinema vérité, documentaries like Home for Life and Chronicle of a Summer, and the Kartemquin documentary style of being guided by a commitment to cinematic social inquiry and an honest and respectful relationship with a film’s subjects. Though his initial interest in film lay entirely in writing fiction films (which he still pursues in his free time), this exposure to the films of Kartemquin and the KTQ community made him fall in love with the documentary medium and it’s endless possibilities for uncovering the important, real stories in the world that are waiting to be told yet, for one reason or another, have been overlooked.
To that end, Max is currently working on his first documentary film, Within the Box, which shows his and his father’s journey to uncover the lost stories of their family who perished in the Holocaust through their discovery of a box of recently unearthed photographs from the 1930s. A short version of the film screened both at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner and the 2016 KTQ Fall Festival. He is currently in the process of working with Ingrid Roettgen, editor on the project and fellow KTQ staff member, to shoot more and turn it into a feature length documentary. Max is currently also working on outreach for two Kartemquin projects, Unbroken Glass and Saving Mes Aynak, and believes in the importance of outreach work for getting our films to the audiences and communities who need to see them.
Films by Max Asaf
- Unbroken Glass 2016
- Outreach Coordinator, Data and Administrative Coordinator, Kartemquin Intern
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.
Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Guidestar
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