In the Game Screens at Thomas Kelly High School and Harold Washington Library

Kartemquin Films has been making waves in the community with Peabody Award-winning director Maria Finitzo’s latest film In the Game. Last week, the filmmakers hosted two screenings at the very place the documentary’s story centers--Thomas Kelly High School in Brighton Park, Chicago. Additionally, Harold Washington Library hosted a special screening on October 5th to kick off the popular One Book, One Chicago program for the Chicago Public Library. Continued

Applications now open for 2016 Diverse Voices in Docs

On Sunday, October 11th, the 2015 fellows of the Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) program celebrated their graduation from the esteemed program at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on the University of Chicago campus. Now in its third year, DVID aims to help filmmakers of color increase their skillset and network as well as provides them with a venue to screen their works in progress and aid in completing their own documentary projects. Continued

On Beauty Announces Fall Education Initiatives

Following a successful summer of events, On Beauty has announced several new educational initiatives. The film, directed by Joanna Rudnick, challenges us to rethink the way we see differences and norms while also redefining beauty. On Beauty’s distribution partner, Women Make Movies, will assist in creating educational DVDs for schools and other institutions to screen. Not only will this bring the film to students across the country, but also serve as a perfect pair with the film’s other educational materials. DVDs will be completed by early 2016. You can pre-order here. Continued

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 Emmy Winner is... Trials of Muhammad Ali

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