TriBeCa World Premiere for The Trials of Muhammad Ali

Kartemquin's next documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali will world premiere with two screenings at the 2013 TriBeCa Film Festival this April. Directed by Oscar-nominee Bill Siegel (The Weather Underground), the film looks at Muhammad Ali's lifelong journey of spiritual transformation. From his Louisville roots, through his years in exile, to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Trials traces Ali’s path from poet to pariah to global ambassador for peace. At each stage, the challenges Ali faces go far beyond the boxing ring and ultimately encompass issues of power, race, faith and identity that confront us all. Continued

Ford Foundation funding for The Trials of Muhammad Ali

The Trials of Muhammad Ali has received a major grant of $160,000 from the Ford Foundation, through their Just Films initiative. The funds were sought by director/producer Bill Siegel and producer Rachel Pikelny to aid final production on the documentary, which is scheduled to be Kartemquin's first release of 2013. We are delighted to receive this endorsement from the Ford Foundation, which puts The Trials of Muhammad Ali in the company of some of the most acclaimed documentaries of recent years. Continued

Photos of Diverse Voices and Muhammad Ali

Head over to our Facebook page to view photos from the launch of Diverse Voices in Docs, our new professional development program from documentary makers. The snaps were taken last week at Community Film Workshop, our partner on the program. Thanks to all who came to the event and shared ideas and feedback with us. The informal gathering confirmed that there was great enthusiasm for the program and its goal of expanding opportunities for and within the Chicago documentary community, and also that there is a high level of unheralded talent already creating films in the city. If you missed the event, want to apply, or just want to find more information, visit the Diverse Voices in Docs page on our site. Continued

Making the Muhammad Ali Documentary

The Trials of Muhammad Ali will be our first release of 2013. The film covers Ali's tumultuous battle against being drafted into the Vietnam War. In a new interview for our newsletter, Director Bill Siegel (who has waited 20 years to make the film), Producer Rachel Pikelny and Editor Aaron Wickenden talk about unearthing forgotten archive footage, getting the blessing of Ali and his family, and how this documentary portrays Ali "as a fighter fueled by defiance, faith and a quest for justice." Continued

Excitement builds for our Muhammad Ali doc

Ahead of a sneak preview and discussion at the Chicago Humanities Festival on November 10th, Kartemquin's next release The Trials of Muhammad Ali is already generating buzz, possibly based on the launch of its Twitter account. IndieWIRE's Shadow & Act blog, already a fan our our work, said the film looked to be "yet another enthralling feature documentary." Due for release in 2013, The Trials of Muhammad Ali is about Ali's "fight not to fight" - the period in mid-1960's when he refused enlistment in the US Army during the Vietnam War due to his strong Islamic religious beliefs. Continued

See Muhammad Ali at Chicago Humanities Fest

Tickets are now available for the Chicago Humanities Festival special preview of The Trials of Muhammad Ali on Saturday November 10th. Get tickets here. The event will take place at Harold Washington Library from 10am - 11am. Exclusive clips will be premiered by director/producer Bill Siegel (The Weather Underground) and producer Rachel Pikelny (A Good Man), who will be in discussion with Laura Washington of the Chicago Sun-Times. 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

KTQ Labs Spring Showcase Video now online

It's finally here! The compilation video of our KTQ Labs Spring Showcase is now on the web, edited by KTQ sumer '12 intern Hillary Bachelder. Whether you made it or missed it, check out a few teaser clips from the four in-progress films featured at #KTQLabs and hear some of the feedback from our sold-out audience at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Please share, let us know what you think, and be sure to stay involved with the projects: Living Revolution; Almost There; Unbroken Glass and The Trials of Muhammad Ali. They still need your support! Continued

Justine Nagan's Mid-Year Letter

Happy summer from our cozy Victorian headquarters on the northside of Chicago.  We are so happy to have air-conditioning.  Despite the heat, our staff and filmmakers are working harder than ever and I felt compelled to check in with you and tell you a bit about all that's going on at Kartemquin.  Last fall as we were celebrating our 45th anniversary, I thought it was going to be a hard year to beat.  Now, almost 6 full months into 2012, we're a buzz with several exciting events and initiatives in the works to share. FILMS Continued

Celebrating a successful KTQ Labs Spring Showcase

Tuesday night's inaugural KTQ Labs Spring Showcase was a great success - or at least, that is the feedback we received from the sell out crowd! The new event, which previewed four new in-progress Kartemquin documentaries and then invited audience responses, featured great conversation, insights into the filmmaking process and tasty empanadas. We can't wait to do another one soon! We've got video of the event which we will be posting online soon, but for now please enjoy our Storify recap and gaze at our facebook photo album. Continued