Saving Mes Aynak Takes Home Prize at CinemAmbiente

This past weekend, the Saving Mes Aynak team came home with the Best Documentary Award - International One-Hour Film Competition at the CinemAmbiente International Environmental Film Festival. The festival, in its 18th year, took place in Torino, Italy from October 6-11, 2015. CinemAmbiente serves as one of the leading environmental film festivals in the world. In awarding this prize, CinemAmbiente recognizes Saving Mes Aynak for its "balanced presentation and concise treatment of the political, cultural, human, social, and environmental issues in present day Afghanistan." Congratulations to the Saving Mes Aynak team and collaborators! Continued

Life Itself and The Interrupters music release coming soon

Composer Joshua Abrams' acclaimed music for Life Itself and The Interrupters will be released digitally for the first time on October 16th, 2015 on itunes and emusic, via Eremite records. For more information, including a personal essay on their collaboration from director Steve James, click here. Joshua Abrams' music for Life Itself was nominated for the Best Original Score award at the 2015 Cinema Eye Honors, and was listed as one of the best scores of 2014 by Continued

And the Winner is...

Last night, Kartemquin’s The Trials of Muhammad Ali won the Outstanding Historical - Long Form award at the 36th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. The event, attended by over a thousand industry executives, journalists, and producers, took place on September 28, 2015 at the Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall in New York City. Director Bill Siegel accepted the prestigious award and used his acceptance speech to highlight the ways Ali continues to impact our lives. Referencing the current #BlackLivesMatter movement, Siegel said, “Muhammad Ali has been representing Black Lives Matter for a long time now. That time is now." The film’s collaborators, including editor Aaron Wickenden, producer Rachel Pikelny, KTQ Vice President of Finance & Operations Suzanne Niemoth, KTQ Executive Director Justine Nagan, and KTQ Founder and Artistic Director Gordon Quinn appeared with Siegel on stage. The Trials of Muhammad Ali documents the boxer's toughest bout, his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service during the Vietnam War. Continued

In the Game stars get amazing surprise on WGN

A wonderful surprise happened to the stars of In the Game today, as they appeared alongside their Kelly High School soccer coach Stan Mietus and the film's director Maria Finitzo on WGN Morning News to be interviewed by Dean Richards. Unbeknownst to any of them in advance, Joe Trost, organizer of the PepsiCo Showdown, interrupted the segment to present Alicia, Maria, and Elizabeth with a check for $3,000 that had been raised to help them with their goal of going back to college. The unsolicited and incredibly generous donation had all of them stunned. Watch the full interview. Continued

Happy Birthday, Hoop Dreams, and the fight for fair use

A federal judge's verdict today marked a great victory for filmmakers and fair use champions everywhere. The ruling that the lyrics to “Happy Birthday to You” are not protected by copyright has special resonance for Kartemquin, as the injustice of having to pay $5,000 to license the song in our 1994 film Hoop Dreams directly inspired our long and ongoing fight to secure the fair use rights of all filmmakers. In one of the most infamous cases of the unfair "clearance culture" that existed before filmmakers began reclaiming their fair use rights to use copyrighted material, we were forced to pay to license this scene from Hoop Dreams, in which the Agee family sings to Arthur on the occasion of his 18th birthday. Continued

Kartemquin to be Documentary Partner for CILECT Global Post-Production Symposium

Around the world in places including the United Kingdom, Brazil and Australia, media professionals are coming together with educators to discuss the future of screen post-production. It's all part of a Global Post-Production Symposium series hosted by CILECT, the international organization of film, television and new media schools. In October, Kartemquin Films will enter that global dialogue as the official documentary partner for the first North American symposium at Columbia College Chicago. The three-day symposium, running October 8th through October 10th, 2015, aims to bridge the professional and academic worlds by facilitating an exchange of ideas and knowledge between those working in post-production and those who instruct it. Through joining forces and sharing ideas, educators will be able to design innovative curricula that prepares students entering a changing and developing field. Continued

All The Queen's Horses begins Ethics Town Hall Tour

The NASBA Center for Public Trust (CPT) has launched the Ethics Town Halls tour, a series of public discussions around Kartemquin's in-progress documentary All the Queen’s Horses. The inaugural tour takes place in fall 2015 on select university campuses in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, and is supported by the Daniels Fund and National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). The film's director Kelly Richmond Pope will present clips from the in-progress documentary and moderate a public discussion about white-collar crime and the importance of ethical decision-making in our society. The Ethics Town Hall tour will visit the following universities: University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT), September 2 Continued