Life Itself to be closing night film of AFI Docs

The closing night film of AFI Docs 2014 will be our documentary about Roger Ebert, Life Itself, at 7:30pm on June 21st at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. "Roger loved documentaries and, as a critic, had a profound impact on the success of so many of them over the years. To be honored at one of the very best festivals devoted to the art form would have greatly pleased him," said Life Itself director Steve James, who will attend the screening. AFI Docs to open with Hal Holbrook and close with Life Itself. Get ready to cry about Roger. http://t.co/RChZx2gnGv Continued

New website for Raising Bertie

Fresh from debuting footage in public for the first time at the Kartemquin Spring Showcase, Raising Bertie has launched a new website. The film is now formally in rough-cut stage, with director Margaret Byrne and editor Leslie Simmer hard at work putting it together, while fundraising continues. Byrne just returned from North Carolina on what may be one of the film's final shoots. It was the high school prom of one of the film's characters, and Margaret and director of photography Jon Stuyvesant were decked out in their finest corsages and boutonnieres. After four years of filming, there are just a couple more shoots this Summer and Fall still ahead on this story of the education of three young men growing up in rural poverty. Continued

New poster for Life Itself

"He embraced life. He embraced it when he was an only child growing up in Champaign. He embraced it when he got to the University of Illinois and became the editor of the newspaper. He embraced it when he first moved to Chicago and was living the life of a hard-drinking reporter. At every stage of his life, it was an adventure for him. He loved life. I think it’s why ultimately he titled his memoir Life Itself. He didn’t title it Movies Themselves or My Life in Movies. He titled it Life Itself because of the way in which he lived his life." - Steve James on Roger Ebert. Continued

Sheffield Doc/Fest to host UK premiere of Life Itself

Life Itself will premiere in the United Kingdom at Sheffield Doc/Fest this June. The film's director Steve James, whose The Interrupters won the festival's Jury Prize in 2011, will return to attend screenings on June 8th and June 10th. Kartemquin's Director of Communications and Distribution, Tim Horsburgh, is also attending Sheffield as a "Decision Maker" delegate of Doc/Fest's Meet Market and Crossover Market sessions. Continued

#SpringShowcase is Sold Out! Meet the Directors

The 3rd annual Kartemquin Spring Showcase is tonight! And it is completely sold out for the 3rd year in a row. The #SpringShowcase features exclusive previews of never-before-seen footage from four of our upcoming documentaries, with viewer feedback directly to the filmmakers in the theater and in a post-screening reception. Serving as both a window into our process and an opportunity to impact the future of these works-in-progress, this event embodies the Kartemquin spirit of collaborative creation and meaningful audience engagement. Since we can only fit so many people into Gene Siskel Film Center tonight, follow the conversation on Twitter: @Kartemquin and #SpringShowcase. Continued

Life Itself heads to Australia and New Zealand, with Magnolia acquiring worldwide rights

Following the international premiere of Life Itself in the "Cannes Classics" program at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival this May, the film will then head to dates in New Zealand and Australia. The film's director Steve James will attend the New Zealand premiere at the Documentary Edge Festival, which is also showcasing his classic Hoop Dreams, and our 2013 film The Trials of Muhammad Ali, directed by Bill Siegel. The dates for the films are as follows: Continued

The Trials of Muhammad Ali wins FOCAL International Award

The Trials of Muhammad Ali has won for Best Use of Sports Footage at the FOCAL International Awards. The FOCAL (Federation of Commercial Audio Visual Libraries) International awards are "the leading and most complete set of awards for the archive footage business in the world today." The 11th annual awards ceremony took place in London on April 30th 2014. One of our licensers of footage for the film, Massimo Moretti of Studiocanal Films (who licensed us the celebrated Eamonn Andrews Show clip that opens the film) accepted the award on our behalf this evening. Continued

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