Saving Mes Aynak comes to Kartemquin

Undiscovered for 2,000 years, it survived revolution, invasion and war. Now destruction looms again: this is the story of Saving Mes Aynak. Director/producer Brent Huffman, a documentary maker and film professor at Northwestern University, has been independently shooting at the Mes Aynak site in Afghanistan since 2011, and has now brought the documentary to Kartemquin Films. “As the premiere destination for complex social issue films that intend on making a global impact, Kartemquin is the dream home for Saving Mes Aynak,” said Huffman, who hopes to finish editing and premiere the film by the end of 2014. Continued

The Homestretch celebrates successful US premieres

Last week saw the back-to-back US premiere weekend of The Homestretch, with 4 different screenings in 48 hours, in 3 different states, in 4 different theaters, with AFI Docs 2014 hosting the film in Washington, D.C., and Human Rights Watch Film Festival hosting the New York premiere. The Homestretch follows three homeless youth in Chicago over multiple years as they strive to graduate high school. These festivals allowed our team and our audience to look at the issue of youth homelessness first, as a policy issue, and second, as a human rights issue - while also getting stunning audience feedback that really brought home how ready people are to embrace this documentary. Continued

Final class of Diverse Voices in Docs 2014 ends with funder pitches

Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) is a professional development and mentorship program for emerging documentary filmmakers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop​. At the core of the program are six engaging monthly workshops, with creative advice provided by Kartemquin Films’ world-class staff and associates. Each session provides practical, skills-based enrichment designed to help incubate and strengthen the participants' next documentary project​s. Continued

Net Neutrality Discussion with Patricia Aufderheide

Last week, Kartemquin board member Dr. Patricia Aufderheide - who is usually based in Washington, D.C. as co-director of Center for Media and Social Impact (CMSI) - visited us for an informal discussion on net neutrality, co-hosted by In These Times. Through her work at CMSI, Dr. Aufderheide has long been on the front lines of the fair use fight on behalf documentary makers and a range of other artistic disciplines, and in advocating for the health of public media. Her debrief to our producers and staff this week was another step in this mission, filling us in on what the key issues around net neutrality are for independent media makers and postulating where they’re headed in the future. Continued

"Potent" American Arab gets new review, festivals

American Arab continues to generate critical acclaim and festival buzz, including two upcoming festival appearances and a glowing review from the American Library Association. In a new review published in the ALA's Booklist magazine earlier this month, author Donald Liebenson called American Arab "a potent discussion starter," writing, "this perceptive video tells a universal story about immigrants’ struggles to assimilate and seek the often elusive promise of the American dream." American Arab is available for distribution to educational institutions via The Cinema Guild. Continued

Buzz builds for The Homestretch US & NYC Premieres

We are very excited that AFI Docs 2014 will host the US Premiere of The Homestretch tomorrow, June 19th. The film's New York City premiere will then be the next day, June 20th, at the 2014 Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Ahead of these screenings, more early reviews of the film have emerged - and they are superb! In the Village Voice, the film was called "a humane accomplishment," and The Washington Post called it "heart-wrenching," and picked it out as one of 'six to see' at AFI Docs. Continued

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