US and New York Premieres set for The Homestretch

AFI Docs 2014 will host the US Premiere of The Homestretch on June 19th. The film's New York City premiere will be the next day, June 20th, at the 2014 Human Rights Watch Film Festival. The Homestretch, which follows three homeless youth in Chicago over multiple years as they strive to graduate high school, will screen at AFI Docs on 6:45PM on Thursday, June 19th at the AFI Silver Theatre. A second screening will take place at 11AM on June 20th at The Naval Heritage Theatre in Washington DC. Get tickets and information. Continued

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. 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