News for June 2011

Union protests bring Taylor Chain films back into focus

With the recent protests by union workers in Wisconsin and Indianapolis again stirring discussions of the relevance of unions and the value of collective bargaining, Kartemquin's 1980 and 1983 films Taylor Chain I & II have come back into focus. The Times of Northwest Indiana recently interviewed Kartemquin co-founders Gordon Quinn and Jerry Blumenthal about their memories of filming the Taylor Chain docs. Gary Hubbard, public affairs director of the United Steelworkers Union who was instrumental in securing union clearances for the film was also interviewed on the ongoing relevance of the films. Read the full article "Filmmakers: Recent protests akin to union's fight to save Hammond plant." Continued

Great Sight & Sound review for Kartemquin Early Years DVD

The esteemed film magazine Sight & Sound gave our recently released DVDs The Kartemquin Collection: The Early Years Volumes 1 & 2 a great review in its May 2011 issue. The review by critic Michael Atkinson isn't online, but the magazine is out now. However, we thought we'd share it with you here since it is such a nice vindication of our mission to release our entire back catalog on DVD so new audiences can see the continued relevance of our early films. Continued

The Interrupters wins Audience Award at Little Rock Film Festival!

The Interrupters took home the Audience Award from the Little Rock Film Festival yesterday. Co-Producer Zak Piper accepted the award after attending two screenings that weekend where audiences stayed for long and thoughtful discussions of the issues presented in the documentary. The Little Rock award follows on from festival honors the film has received from True/False, Miami, Phiadelphia Cinefest, Full Frame and Minneapolis / St.Paul. Zak also took part in a special community outreach event at the festival as part of the LRFF Youth! Filmmaking Panels, hosting a 75 minute presentation to high school aged aspiring filmmakers at the Argenta Community Theater in Little Rock. Zak showed 5 clips from the film, discussed our approach to making the film, and then answered questions. Continued

The Ongoing Impact of At the Death House Door

The impact of At the Death House Door is highlighted by two very different events this week. A compelling profile of Rev. Carroll Pickett, former Prison Chaplain of the death house at "Walls" Prisoner in Huntsville, Texas, who presided over 95 executions, Peter Gilbert and Steve James' Kartemquin film for IFC has changed many people's thinking over the merits of the death penalty since it's 2008 release. This Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina, the film will be screened and discussed as part of an event designed to defend the 2009 North Carolina Racial Justice Act, due for a repeal vote in the N.C. Senate. A panel discussion will follow with Darryl Hunt, who spent nearly 19 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Continued

Prisoner of Her Past clips tackle ethics, secondary symptoms and treatment of PTSD

Last November, Kartemquin hosted a special screening of Prisoner of Her Past at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago. Filmmakers Gordon Quinn, Howard Reich, and Joanna Rudnick were joined for a post-screening discussion by clinical psychologist Dr. Mark Oster and human rights activist Dr. Mario Venegas. It was lively and moving event, with discussion ranging from the ethics of documentary filmmaking to the symptoms and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder related to Hurricane Katrina. Continued