Help William Gates support youth Hoop Dreams

William Gates, star of our 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams, has launched an appeal for support to "Team Hoop Dreams," an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball team he is coaching. Gathering a talented roster of 13 young stars for the team's inaugural season, Will was devastated when a promised sponsorship deal fell through on the eve of the Team Hoop Dreams April opener. The team - which Will says "includes 6 of the top twenty players in San Antonio area, and 3 of the top 50 players in Texas," including his son, Jalon - has continued to play through the spring despite this financial setback, but he cannot cover the $7,500 needed to support the team in travel, lodging and food to get them to 2 major summer tournaments and complete the remaining games of their season. Continued

Celebrate the Hoop Dreams Blu-Ray with a Full Frame Exclusive

Our classic documentary Hoop Dreams is available today on Blu-Ray for the first time, courtesy of The Criterion Collection. Besides a wealth of extras, including essays by author John Edgar Wideman and filmmaker and critic Robert Greene (who states: "There isn’t a better argument for the social value of long-form nonfiction filmmaking than Hoop Dreams"), two separate audio commentaries with the filmmakers and subjects, and additional footage taken during the five year recording process, the blu-ray boasts an incredible high-definition digital restoration and a 4.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Continued

Steve James to share documentary tips in Vancouver & Portland

Documentary filmmakers in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia can glean some tips of the trade from Steve James, as he offers upcoming masterclass sessions. On March 14, DOC BC, in collaboration with Creative BC and DOXA Documentary Film Festival, offers "A Day with Steve James" in Vancouver. Steve will host one-on-one feedback sessions with filmmakers with works-in-progress, teach a Documentary Filmmaking Masterclass, and then present a special screening Life Itself. Get more details and tickets. Continued

Kartemquin celebrated by POV and Meridian Hill

We've been honored to receive some remarkable tributes recently. On the blog of PBS' independent documentary series P.O.V., Heather McIntosh sung our praises as she announced she is a on a year-long mission to watch and write about every Kartemquin film. We've now made over 50, so she will need to watch over one a week to be done in time for our 50th anniversary in 2016! McIntosh writes: "whether the film subjects center on Chicago or not, Kartemquin Films focus on social justice and democracy. These are not buzzwords. They permeate not only the films, but also the fair use, filmmaker training and mentoring, and other advocacy activities." Continued

Hoop Dreams: where are they now?

A new article in The Guardian, "Hoop Dreams: where are the main figures now?", looks back at the lives of those featured in the legendary 1994 documentary. Describing the lives of Arthur Agee, William Gates, Gene Pingatore, Sheila Agee, Bo Agee, Curtis Gates, Emma Gates, and Luther Bedford, the article summarizes material drawn from interviews and news reports published since the release of Hoop Dreams, and shows the enduring impact of this beloved film. Continued

Hoop Dreams Blu-ray announced for March 31, 2015

The Criterion Collection today announced that they will release the newly restored Hoop Dreams on Blu-ray disc on March 31st, 2015. The Blu-ray is available now for pre-order. Features on the Criterion Collection Hoop Dreams Blu-Ray will include: New digital restoration, with 4.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray Two audio commentaries: one by filmmakers Peter Gilbert, Steve James, and Frederick Marx, and one by the film’s subjects, Arthur Agee and William Gates "Life After Hoop Dreams", a new documentary catching up with Agee, Gates, and their families Additional scenes, never before released to the public Collection of excerpts from Siskel & Ebert tracking the acclaim for Hoop Dreams Continued