American Arab on video and in Chicago

On November 12th Kartemquin Films and the City of Chicago Council on Human Relations Advisory Council on Arab Affairs will host a panel discussion on issues relating to current events affecting American Arab experience and identity. The discussion will be stimulated by exclusive clips from Kartemquin's in-progress film American Arab. Get more information here. A new video from American Arab's last fundraiser, held in Chicago this summer, is now available online. Watch the video to hear director Usama Alshaibi's thoughts on why he is making this documentary and how you can help support the film. Continued

Usama Alshaibi interviewed in the Chicago Reader

American Arab director Usama Alshaibi is profiled in today's Chicago Reader, in advance of tonight's party fundraiser at Chicago's Stan Mansion at 6pm. Bring a copy of the Reader article to tonight's event to receive $10 off your entry to the event. Please come out to support Usama and the completion of this important film! And if you can't wait until tonight, here's another sneak peak clip from the demo, which will world premiere tonight! Continued

New American Arab video online!

Check out the first exclusive video clip from Usama Alshaibi's American Arab! The film has a fundraiser on August 5th in Chicago (tickets still available!) at which the filmmakers will show the world premiere of their latest demo of the film. The first video features a profile of Taqwacore musician Marwan Kamel of the band Al-Thawra in conversation with Usama Alshaibi. Taqwacore is an Islamic Punk music genre/movement taken from the words 'Taqwa' - meaning 'piety' or 'fear of god' - and 'Hardcore,' for the punk genre. The short video challenges a number of stereotypes of American Islamic culture, much like American Arab itself. Continued

World Premiere of clips from American Arab to screen at August 5th fundraiser

Director Usama Alshaibi will premiere exclusive clips from his in-progress Kartemquin documentary American Arab at a fundraising party for the film in Chicago on August 5th at the Stan Mansion. The event will also feature music by Black Bear Combo, Middle Eastern Food, a Cash Bar (with 1 free drink on entry), Raffle, Belly Dancing, and Henna Tattoos. Tickets are available now and cost $40 in advance, $50 on the door.American Arab questions what it means to be an Arab living in America today by telling Usama's own story and that of others, sparking a frank conversation about the identity of, and perceptions about, Arab-Americans. Seamlessly weaving historical footage, animation, as well as real-life scenes of people living as Arabs in the U.S., the film will put a human face on the vague complexities of racism in post-9/11 America. If you are unable to attend but would like to support the film, click here to donate. Continued

Ways to support American Arab, Kartemquin's newest film

Producer/Director Usama Alshaibi and Co-Producer Rachel Pikelny have launched new fundraising initiatives for their project American Arab, the first film to be made as part of Kartemquin's Diversity Fellowship. The film now has a new donation page to complement a fundraising challenge on Indiegogo, and today Usama and Rachel created a Facebook Fan Page for the project. Production has already begun on the project; get involved now and help this important film reach completion! Continued

Kartemquin goes tapeless with the SONY HD PMW350

This week Kartemquin Films took delivery of the newest Sony tapeless HD video camera, the PMW350. The camera is one of the first in the country (serial #33) to be in service. Featuring a shoulder mount design with 2/3 inch chips, the camera replaces a tape based Panasonic HD camera. The 350 uses the same memory card based workflow as our smaller EX3 camera, thus allowing producers to shoot many hours of high quality HD footage with no tape or digitizing costs. Due to the larger chips, the new camera features a very high light sensitivity of ASA 850 at "0" gain to allow available light High Definition shooting in almost any setting. With a low power draw of only 16 watts, fewer batteries are needed for a full day of shooting. The camera is full 1080x1920 resolution, and shoots 24P, 30P, and 1080i. Continued

Announcing two new Kartemquin films!

Kartemquin is proud to announce two groundbreaking new documentaries, currently in development in Chicago. The Interrupters, directed/produced by Steve James (Hoop Dreams, No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson) and produced/written by acclaimed journalist Alex Kotlowitz (There Are No Children Here, Never a City So Real), tells the story of a group of men and women, many of them former gang leaders, who now work for the group CeaseFire and risk their lives by intervening in violent situations across the city of Chicago. Continued