News for March 2013

The Pursuit of Happiness and Inquiring Nuns

To coincide with the DVD release of cinema verite landmark Chronicle of a Summer, Chris Borrelli of The Chicago Tribune interviewed Kartemquin's Gordon Quinn about our 1968 film Inquiring Nuns, which was inspired by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's great documentary. Both films form around a crucial question, asked to members of the public: "Are you happy?" Read "A loaded question for you: Are you happy?" and find out more about how both films continue to inspire a diverse legacy of unusual tributes and cultural influence. Here are some highlights: Continued

Judith Helfand's Cooked receives MacArthur Funding

We are delighted to announce some very good news for our in-progress documentary Cooked. The film has received a post-production grant of $120,000 from the MacArthur Foundation. The funds will allow the Cooked team of Producer/Director Judith Helfand, Co-Producer Fenell Doremus and Editor David E. Simpson to keep the editing room stoked, fired up and literally cooking - as their rough-cut gets fine and their fine-cut gets done. Continued

TriBeCa World Premiere for The Trials of Muhammad Ali

Kartemquin's next documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali will world premiere with two screenings at the 2013 TriBeCa Film Festival this April. Directed by Oscar-nominee Bill Siegel (The Weather Underground), the film looks at Muhammad Ali's lifelong journey of spiritual transformation. From his Louisville roots, through his years in exile, to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Trials traces Ali’s path from poet to pariah to global ambassador for peace. At each stage, the challenges Ali faces go far beyond the boxing ring and ultimately encompass issues of power, race, faith and identity that confront us all. Continued

Mormon Movie Receives Sage Foundation Funding

Xan Aranda, producer/director of Mormon Movie, is "humbled and honored, thrilled" to have received a $50,000 grant from the Sage Foundation in support of what she describes as a "gathering year" of production for the film. "We approached the Sage Foundation fresh from the film's wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, letting them know we'd not only raised over $26,000, but also come away with an exciting sense of public interest in - and support for - the project," said Aranda. "It was our hope that the Sage Foundation would step forward as the major engine behind the film's strength during 2013, and they did. Because of the foundation, we will make major storytelling and fundraising strides this year. Impossible without them." Continued

Tribune Trumpets Good Pitch Chicago

Kartemquin's Executive Director Justine Nagan was featured on the print front page of the business section of today's Chicago Tribune due to her key role in bringing Good Pitch to Chicago later this year. The documentary pitching event, which brings in-progress projects in front of potential funders and outreach partners, will take place at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy on October 22nd, 2013. Read more about the event in Melissa Harris' article: "Good Pitch Chicago forum will connect documentary filmmakers with supporters." She notes that "pulling more funders and partners into the documentary industry is perhaps the last piece of a growing renaissance." Continued

Raising Bertie and Cooked Get MacArthur Foundation Documentary Grants

The MacArthur Foundation has awarded grants to nine new documentaries, including two being made at Kartemquin: Judith Helfand's Cooked and new project Raising Bertie, by Margaret Byrne. Awarded $120,000 for production, Raising Bertie is about an alternative high school in rural North Carolina with a focus on digital technology, and the challenges of preparing rural youth living in poverty to participate in the 21st Century economy. It will be director/producer Margaret Byrne's first project with Kartemquin and her feature documentary debut, after credits on Rada Film Group's American Promise and Slaying Goliath. Continued