The Trials of Muhammad Ali is a champion, say critics

A big couple of weeks start today for The Trials of Muhammad Ali - and the film has come out swinging! The film opens this weekend in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Philly, Baltimore, Pasadena, Denver, Hartford, Santa Fe, and Claremont. Within the following week, the film's director Bill Siegel will also attend special one-off screenings in New York (already SOLD OUT), Louisville (at Muhammad Ali Center), and in Chicago. The film will also open in Nashville and Portland that week, and many more dates in major cities will follow across the rest of 2013. Get more information and tickets here. A wave of buzz has built up ahead of this run of screenings, with some knockout reviews and growing word of mouth. Here's a selection of highlights: Continued

Remembering Ronn Pitts

All of us at Kartemquin are sad to learn of the passing of Ronn Pitts. A legend of the Chicago film scene who shot some of the great events of the civil rights era and inspired many young filmmakers as the first black cinema professor appointed by Columbia College Chicago, his presence will be greatly missed. Here are remembrances from Kartemquin producers who knew him well. Gordon Quinn: "Ronn was a very old friend who was beloved by the Chicago film community. One of the first people in the business I met as I was trying to become a filmmaker in the 1960's. He worked at Behrend's, an early rental house. Ronn was always generous with knowledge and support showing us how to use what we had rented. Over the years I saw him nurturing generations of aspiring filmmakers as a teacher at Columbia College." Continued

Truth, lies and personal revelations in making a first documentary

"There was and is a real moment of worry that after I make this film, what of myself will be left? What more can I hope to do, now that this story, so essential to my identity is given to the public?" Kartemquin filmmaker Dinesh Sabu is making his debut film, Unbroken Glass. A personal story about the parents he lost as a young child, immigration, and mental illness, Dinesh has been actively working on the film since he was 22. Continued

Fewer than 10 tickets remain for Kartemquin gala!

Less than 10 tickets remain for the 2013 Kartemquin Gala, which is being held at an exclusive private venue in Chicago this Friday September 20th. Don't miss your last chance to join us for our annual fundraising gala in celebration of collaborative documentaries that spark democracy. Get tickets now! The Kartemquin 2013 Gala will unite Chicago changemakers who believe in the power of independent media, for wonderful food and drink, stimulating conversation, and unparalleled views of the Chicago skyline, the lake, and Millennium Park. Continued

The Interrupters is a PUMA Impact Awards finalist

PUMA and The BRITDOC Foundation today announced the five finalists for the 2013 PUMA Impact Award. We are delighted that our film The Interrupters has been selected alongside the great documentaries The Invisible War, Give up Tomorrow, Bully, and Act of Killing. With a core belief in the power of film to change the way people, governments and corporations behave, the €50,000 award honors, celebrates and supports the documentary film that has made the most significant positive impact on society or the environment. PUMA supports documentary film because the medium can catalyse change and deliver impact. The final winner will be announced on 13th November 2013. Continued

Watch Hoop Dreams on Netflix UK

"Steve James's landmark 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams is by far the best title to join Netflix's ever-expanding catalogue this week" - Guy Lodge, The Observer. Documentary fans in the UK can now watch our classic documentary Hoop Dreams via Netflix UK. Watch it here. For fans in the US, the film is also available on Netflix here. Enjoy the film (looks like you do...)! Hoop Dreams is on Netflix, everyone! Hoop Dreams in on Netflix! Continued

Watch a new Steve James short documentary: A Place Called Pluto

A Place Called Pluto is a new short documentary by director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters), co-produced by Kartemquin. Made for the Living with Alzheimer's project, the film is one of four shorts commissioned by bestselling author and Alzheimer's expert David Shenk in partnership with Cure Alzheimers Fund and MetLife Foundation. The project aims to raise public awareness of the disease. Continued

'63 Boycott sneak preview at Chicago Social Change Film Fest

On September 27th, the Chicago International Social Change Film Festival will host a sneak preview of select scenes from '63 Boycott, followed by a q&a with director and Kartemquin co-founder Gordon Quinn. '63 Boycott chronicles the Chicago Public School Boycott of 1963 when more than 200,000 Chicagoans, mostly students, marched to protest the segregationist policies of CPS Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who placed mobile school units on playgrounds and parking lots as a “permanent solution” to overcrowding in black schools. The project will offer a modern perspective on the impact and legacy of this forgotten history 50 years later as it reconnects the participants to each other and the event itself. Continued