Peace Basketball Tournament Brings Together Community

NBA star Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls was first introduced to Cobe Williams when he watched The Interrupters. The son of a tennis player and a supermodel, Noah grew up with opportunity and wealth, but his heart made him reach out to Cobe. “After seeing The Interrupters, he got my number and asked how he could help,” Williams explained. “He’s from New York City, but he loves Chicago and was disturbed by the news of all the youth violence that’s been going on.” Continued

Internet Archive offers transformative tool for docmakers

A resource has launched that could transform documentary filmmaking: an expansive collection of broadcast TV news, hosted by the Internet Archive. One of the early beta testers of the new service was Kartemquin Producer Emily Hart (she was responsible for archival research on At the Death House Door and The Interrupters, among other projects). In May 2012, Emily met with other experimental collaborators at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. Below, Emily offers her thoughts on why this could be an invaluable tool for documentary filmmakers and other journalists, researchers, scholars and anyone with an interest in media, and how producers can best take advantage of its features. Continued

CeaseFire is now Cure Violence

CeaseFire, the Chicago organization profiled in the award-winning Kartemquin documentary The Interrupters, will now be known as Cure Violence. A new blog post and video from founder and executive director Gary Slutkin explain the re-branding as part of an effort to create "a movement of people who understand violence is a disease." You can find more information at The move reflects the increased global focus of the organization and wider acceptance of their strategy for treating violence as a disease, something which the success of The Interrupters has helped spread. Read more about the film's impact so far. Continued

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

Four countries in one week for The Interrupters

This week The Interrupters adds to its passport, screening in national premieres in South Africa, Ireland, Mexico and again back home in Chicago. The trip to Mexico is in conjunction with the State Department sponsored American Film Showcase, an international cultural diplomacy initiative that brings people together worldwide through film. Director Steve James will take part in the showcase, as the festivities kick-off in Mexico on Sunday, August 19th 9PM at The Monterrey International Film Festival. The showcase continues through the end of the week as Steve James travels to Nuevo Laredo & Piedras Negras, holding workshops and screening the film for audiences as diverse as recovering ex-gang members, at-risk youth, deported immigrants as well as government officials. Continued

The Interrupters' newest fans: Joakim Noah and Ireland

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has become the latest of many high-profile figures inspired by The Interrupters. “I recommend everyone, especially Chicagoans, see this documentary,” Noah said in the Chicago Sun Times, “It is moving, and very important.” The five-year Bulls veteran, who runs a foundation that exposes underprivileged youth to art and sports, was so inspired by the film that he reached out to violence interrupter Cobe Williams. Noah and Williams have since met and talked about ways to work together to reduce inner-city violence, becoming good friends. In his Sun Times op-ed, Noah published a number of responses about solutions to urban violence that Williams collected from kids that he interacts with. Continued

The Interrupters: One Year of Impact

July 29th marks the first anniversary of The Interrupters theatrical release. Just one year later, the film has left its mark on international policymakers and local community members alike. The CeaseFire method for violence prevention has caught Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s attention as well, with the City of Chicago recently announcing an unprecedented $1M grant to the organization and its “violence interrupters” to work in collaboration with Chicago Police Department for the first time. That relationship starts today; in itself an amazing development from just one year ago. Continued