Almost There Chicago Premiere announced for January

On Saturday January 10th at 7:45pm and Sunday, Jan 11th at 3:00pm, Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of the Art Institute will host the Chicago Premiere of Almost There. Get tickets here: Almost There is a coming-of-(old)-age story about 83-year-old Peter Anton, an “outsider” artist living in isolated and crippling conditions whose world changes when two filmmakers discover his work and storied past. Shot over eight years, Almost There documents Anton’s first major exhibition, held in 2010 at Chicago’s INTUIT: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, and how the controversy it generates forces him to leave his childhood home. Each layer revealed reflects on the intersections of social norms, elder care, and artistic expression. Continued

Documentary Makers, Help us Fight for Your Fair Use Rights!

The fair use rights of documentary makers are under assault. Here's how we fight back. The International Documentary Association (IDA), Kartemquin, and other organizations are asking for all documentary makers to take this 2-minute survey. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to rip from DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and many other encrypted technologies. The law is blocking our ability to make fair use and could seriously harm documentary filmmaking. Why? Because even though fair use allows us to use copyrighted footage, the DMCA restricts our access to such material. Continued

Driehaus Foundation funds '63 Boycott

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation has awarded funding of $10,000 to '63 Boycott film, website and social media outreach campaign. We are very grateful to the foundation for this support. '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

More awards for Life Itself!

Life Itself has continued its run of year-end acclaim, garnering a nomination for Best Documentary of 2014 from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and also the following distinctions: Winner: Best Documentary - Chicago Film Critics Association. Winner: Best Documentary - Online Film Critics Association. Winner: Best Documentary - Washington DC Area Film Critics. Winner: Best Documentary - African-American Film Critics Association. Winner: Best Documentary - New York Online Film Critics. Winner: Best Documentary - Boston Online Film Critics. Winner: Best Documentary - Indiana Film Journalists Association. Runner-up: Best Documentary - Los Angeles Film Critics. Nominee: Best Documentary - Detroit Film Critics Society. Nominee: Best Documentary - St. Louis Film Critics. Nominee: Best Documentary - Phoenix Film Critics. Continued

Episode Two of The School Project set for January 22

The second episode of The School Project, a six-part documentary series on public education released in segments over the 2014-2015 school year, will premiere at The University of Chicago's Logan Center at 6:30pm on January 22nd, 2015. The free, public event (RSVP requested) will include a screening of "Chicago Public Schools: Closed,” as well as a presentation on new findings from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research on where the 10,000 students affected by the 2013 closings ended up and why. A subsequent panel discussion moderated by Laura Washington of the Chicago Sun-Times will engage the audience in a conversation about the school closings and what Chicagoans can do moving forward. Continued

Hoop Dreams Blu-ray announced for March 31, 2015

The Criterion Collection today announced that they will release the newly restored Hoop Dreams on Blu-ray disc on March 31st, 2015. The Blu-ray is available now for pre-order. Features on the Criterion Collection Hoop Dreams Blu-Ray will include: New digital restoration, with 4.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray Two audio commentaries: one by filmmakers Peter Gilbert, Steve James, and Frederick Marx, and one by the film’s subjects, Arthur Agee and William Gates "Life After Hoop Dreams", a new documentary catching up with Agee, Gates, and their families Additional scenes, never before released to the public Collection of excerpts from Siskel & Ebert tracking the acclaim for Hoop Dreams Continued

Hoop Dreams' 20th anniversary in sweet home Chicago

Chicago audiences will see a new digital restoration of Hoop Dreams this weekend at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Saturday December 13th at 7pm and Tuesday December 16th at 6:30pm. Get tickets here: The 1994 documentary, made over seven years by filmmakers Steve James, Peter Gilbert and Frederick Marx, chronicles the lives of two inner-city teenagers who hope of one day playing in the NBA. Star Arthur Agee, now in his early 40s, will attend both screenings with James, Gilbert and Kartemquin's artistic director Gordon Quinn. Continued