Justine Nagan interviews Spike Lee

In an entertaining and revealing Chicago Magazine interview, Kartemquin's Justine Nagan talks to acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee. Listen to the interview and read excerpted highlights.   The short podcast interview covers a vast range of subjects: storytelling; documentary; stereotypes of African-Americans; parenting; filming in Chicago; licensing archive footage & fair use; "double dolly-shots"; our upcoming film The Trials of Muhammad Ali; and of course, Spike's new film Red Hook Summer and his upcoming Michael Jackson documentary.   Continued

Serving the public interest since '66

Beyond producing and distributing social issue documentaries, part of Kartemquin's mission is to promote and protect the field of documentary itself. In a new interview with Reel Chicago's Carey Lundin: "Kartemquin at 46 still serving the public interest", our Co-founder and Artistic Director Gordon Quinn explains that “our mission has been to tell the story of an issue by starting at the bottom and burrowing our way to the top," and how this same practice is reflected in our advocacy work around issues such as fair use rights and the PBS Needs Indies campaign. Continued

Steve James Talks Crowdfunding on Indiewire

Generation Food director Steve James discussed the crowdfunding progress for his upcoming film on Indiewire this week. In the article, Steve weighs the benefits of involving an audience early on with the risks of over-exposing a doc in progress. Making comparisons to his earlier films with Kartemquin, Steve notes the intensive labor involved in crowdfunding but posits that it's the way of the future for marketing for independent documentary.   Continued

Hoop Dreams screening in Chicago for Patio Theater

Kartemquin will donate a special screening of Hoop Dreams to Chicago's historic Patio Theater as a fundraiser for its (already successful!) Kickstarter campaign to purchase a digital projection system and ensure the popular local cinema remains open.  Zak Piper, Kartemquin's director of production, will attend. The Patio is is his local theater and he organized the event with owner Demetri Kouvalis.   The screening takes place at 3:30pm tomorrow, July 14. Tickets are $5 and all funds go to Patio Theater. Get tickets and details for the screening. Continued

Hoop Dreams Reunion in New York

As part of its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center screened Hoop Dreams this week, leading to a memorable reunion for the filmmakers and subject Arthur Agee. Pictured here outside the Lincoln Center are (l-r) Fred Marx, Peter Gilbert, Ira Deutchman, Arthur Agee, and Steve James (sadly Will Gates couldn't make it). In 1994, they were present for the film's NYFF premiere, the first time a documentary had ever closed the renowned festival (which it did to great acclaim amid a stunning line-up of films). Continued

Independent Spirit Award Nomination for The Interrupters

The Interrupters has been recognized with a nomination for Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards. The honor will be Director Steve James' third nomination from Film Independent's Spirit Awards, with nods for Stevie in 2003 and a win for Hoop Dreams in 1994. The awards take place on February 25th in Santa Monica and will be broadcast by IFC. Get more information.   About.com's Documentaries Guide has put up a poll for the public to vote on who should win the documentary category.   Continued