Life Itself nominated for Gotham Award

The Gotham Independent Film Awards have nominated Life Itself for selection as the Best Documentary of 2014. We are very honored to have the film recognized for this award, presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP). The awards ceremony is December 1st at Cipriani Wall Street in New York, NY. The other Best Documentary nominees were Actress, Citizenfour, Manakamana, and Point and Shoot. Life Itself first premiered to wide acclaim at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and has played at Cannes, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Telluride, and a host of other festivals, including a special screening just yesterday at Roger Ebert's hometown Chicago International Film Festival, which was attended by Chaz Ebert and the film's director, Steve James. Continued

Watch a first teaser trailer for The School Project

The School Project, a new documentary series that focuses on the public education system in Chicago, launches on October 28th simultaneously with a live event, online release via http://www.schoolprojectfilm.com and the website of the Chicago Sun-Times, and broadcast on two Chicago public TV stations, WTTW and CAN-TV. Along with its hybrid distribution, The School Project is notable for being an unprecedented collaboration between Chicago production companies and media institutions in documenting perhaps the most volatile issue of the city's recent political history. The collaborators are Free Spirit Media, Kartemquin Films, Kindling Group, Media Process Group, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, and producers Rachel Dickson and Melissa Sterne. Outreach partners include WTTW/Channel 11, the Chicago Sun-Times, Catalyst Chicago, the Chicago History Museum and Ebony.com. Continued

On Beauty's World Premiere is Sold Out! More festivals announced

On Beauty will play for a sold-out crowd on Saturday October 18th as part of the Chicago International Film Festival, which caps off a week of screenings that marked the film’s world premiere. The event starts at 1:15 p.m. at the AMC River East theater in Chicago. Audience members will not only get to see the film, but they will also be able to share their stories with director Joanna Rudnick, and stars Rick Guidotti and Jayne Waithera and other special guests who have helped make this film possible. There will be a post-screening panel that will address the challenges and importance of changing public perceptions, Rick’s work, the film and the filmmaking process. The panel includes Joanna, Rick, Jayne, the film's editor Liz Kaar, and Mike McGowan, the president of the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation. Continued

Gordon Quinn on documentary ethics

This weekend the 2014 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival will honor Kartemquin co-founder and artistic director Gordon Quinn with a career achievement award, while showing multiple Kartemquin films (see below for details). Ahead of the award ceremony and his Hot Springs masterclass on documentary ethics, Gordon spoke to IndieWIRE's Casey Ciprani about the topic. "We as documentary filmmakers, I feel, have a responsibility towards ethics," said Quinn. "You owe your audience to tell the truth, to get to the bottom of the story, to be accurate in what you're presenting." Read the full article, which contains more choice words of advice from Gordon Quinn. Continued

The Homestretch picked for SXSWedu; gets outreach grant

The Homestretch will screen for over 8,000 educators at the 2015 SXSWedu conference, held in Austin, Texas March 9-12, 2015. The film was one of just three titles announced this week for the conference. There was more great news for Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly this week as they received a $10,000 outreach grant from the National Institute for Healthcare Management's journalism fund. The NIHCM praised the film for exploring "broad social issues, including mental health, through the stories of three homeless teens." Continued

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