Saving Mes Aynak follows Afghan archaeologist Qadir Temori as he races against time to save a 5,000-year-old archaeological site in Afghanistan from imminent demolition. A Chinese state-owned mining company is closing in on the ancient site, eager to harvest $100 billion dollars worth of copper buried directly beneath the archaeological ruins. Only 10% of Mes Aynak has been excavated, though, and some believe future discoveries at the site have the potential to redefine the history of Afghanistan and the history of Buddhism itself. Qadir Temori and his fellow Afghan archaeologists face what seems an impossible battle against the Chinese, the Taliban and local politics to save their cultural heritage from likely erasure.
The School Project is an independent cross-platform media project committed to the idea that a healthy public education system is essential to a vital American democracy. A collaboration between a group of Chicago filmmakers, the project will create media that contextualizes and humanizes issues such as standardized testing, charter schools, privatization, and the effects of school closings to promote an informed conversation about the past, present, and future of public education in Chicago, a city on the front lines of America’s education struggles. The transmedia project and feature documentary will look at how decisions are made and their consequences as they play out in our communities. The team includes Free Spirit Media, Kartemquin Films, Kindling Group, Media Process Group, Siskel/Jacobs Productions and freelancers Rachel Dickson and Melissa Sterne. Media partners include Catalyst Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times, and WTTW/Channel 11.
Based on his memoir of the same name, Life Itself recounts the surprising and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert – a story that’s by turns personal, wistful, funny, painful, and transcendent.
Three homeless teenagers brave Chicago winters, the pressures of high school, and life alone on the streets to build a brighter future. Against all odds, these kids defy stereotypes as they create new, surprising definitions of home. Can they recover from the traumas of abandonment and homelessness and build the future they dream of?
Almost There is a coming-of-(old)-age story about 83-year-old Peter Anton, an "outsider" artist living in isolated and crippling conditions whose world changes when two filmmakers discover his work and storied past. Shot over eight years, ALMOST THERE documents Anton's first major exhibition and how the controversy it generates forces him to leave his childhood home. Each layer revealed reflects on the intersections of social norms, elder care, and artistic expression.
Not simply a profile of a painter with a political conscience, but an investigation into the power of the artist to reflect our times and to change the way we think about our world.
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 45 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Guidestar
© 2014 Kartemquin Educational Films
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