News for June 2015

Last chance: early bird #KTQSummerSoiree tickets end today

The Host Committee, Board of Directors, Staff and Filmmakers of Kartemquin Films invite you to join us on June 26th in Chicago for our 2015 Summer Soirée. Our signature celebration event for the year, the Summer Soirée supports all our filmmaking, programs and advocacy on behalf of documentary, while offering a chance to toast the vitality of Chicago's independent media community. Purchase early bird tickets through June 1 for $125. VIP tickets and sponsorships also available: please contact Nicole Gotthelf, Kartemquin Director of Development, for more information. Continued

Saving Mes Aynak and On Beauty Chicago doubleheader

Two great new Kartemquin films screen in our home town tonight, June 2. We hope you can join us for one of them! At 7:30pm the historic Music Box Theatre hosts the Chicago premiere of Saving Mes Aynak. Also at 7:30pm, Midwest Independent Film Festival at the Landmark Theater simultaneously hosts the return of On Beauty, in its first Chicago screening since winning the Audience Award at its Chicago International Film Festival world premiere last October. Continued

On Beauty is Best of the Fests

Joanna Rudnick's On Beauty returns to the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival for two "Best of the Fest" screenings today at 4:30pm and 7pm. Earlier this year, the film won the Sebastopol Audience Award for Best Short Documentary. The Sebastopol screenings follow On Beauty's appearance at Chicago's Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday in a collection of shorts for Female Filmmakers Night. On Beauty stole the show, garnering this fantastic review from Matt Fagerholm of Continued

Almost There heads to England

Directors Aaron Wickenden and Dan Rybicky will accompany Almost There on its first European foray this week, attending the International premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest on Sunday June 7 at 8pm. On Monday June 8 at 4pm, Influence Film Club at the Crucible will host an additional q&a, with Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden showing clips from the film. Check out Influence Film Club's excellent Almost There Discussion Guide. The directors will then head south for a special London screening at the new Bertha DocHouse on Wednesday June 10 at 8:30pm. Continued

Apply for the Chicago POV Hackathon

POV will host POV Hackathon 9, in Chicago the weekend of August 15-16, 2015, in partnership with Kartemquin Films, and The Chicago Innovation Exchange, the University of Chicago's new center to help scholars and entrepreneurs translate their ideas and new technologies into start-up businesses and products. We are now accepting applications for web-based documentary project ideas to enter. Apply by Friday, July 10, 2015, at midnight Central Time. There is one form for applicants proposing POV Hackathon project ideas (usually "media makers" - filmmakers, journalists, visual artists, etc.) and a second form for applicants not proposing ideas but who want to join a team (usually "technologists" - developers, designers, etc.). Add to your contacts list to prevent emails from going to your junk mail folder. Continued

Watch the offical trailer for Saving Mes Aynak

Yesterday IndieWire hosted the exclusive premiere of the new official trailer for Saving Mes Aynak. Saving Mes Aynak follows archaeologist Qadir Temori as he races against time to save this 5,000-year-old Buddhist archeological site from imminent demolition. So far only 10% of Mes Aynak has been excavated, though, and some believe that future discoveries there have the potential to redefine the history of Afghanistan and the history of Buddhism itself. Continued

In the Game to world premiere at Madrid International Film Festival

We're delighted to announce that our new film In The Game will world premiere this July as an official selection of the Madrid International Film Festival. The film is in competition at the festival, and is nominated for several awards: Maria Finitzo for Best Documentary Director, Peter Gilbert for Cinematography, Katerina Simic for editing, and Gordon Quinn for producing. Awards will be announced during the festival. We'll also update with exact screening times and more details when the festival announces them. Continued

Almost There Enjoys International Premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest

Directors Aaron Wickenden and Dan Rybicky presented the international premiere of Almost There to a sold-out crowd at Sheffield Doc/Fest on June 8. Following this well-received screening, Aaron and Dan held an intimate q&a hosted by Influence Film Club at the Crucible, along with Kartemquin's Director of Communications and Distribution, Tim Horsburgh. You can check out photos from the event from the film's Facebook page. A particular delight of Sheffield was the directors reuniting with the film's assistant editor Won Bae (pictured), who is now based in South Korea. Continued

Help William Gates support youth Hoop Dreams

William Gates, star of our 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams, has launched an appeal for support to "Team Hoop Dreams," an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball team he is coaching. Gathering a talented roster of 13 young stars for the team's inaugural season, Will was devastated when a promised sponsorship deal fell through on the eve of the Team Hoop Dreams April opener. The team - which Will says "includes 6 of the top twenty players in San Antonio area, and 3 of the top 50 players in Texas," including his son, Jalon - has continued to play through the spring despite this financial setback, but he cannot cover the $7,500 needed to support the team in travel, lodging and food to get them to 2 major summer tournaments and complete the remaining games of their season. Continued