IDA Awards nomination for The Trials of Muhammad Ali

The Trials of Muhammad Ali has been nominated by the International Documentary Association (IDA) for the ABCNews Video Source Award, given for the best use of archival footage. This nomination means a great deal to the The Trials of Muhammad Ali team of director Bill Siegel, producer Rachel Pikelny, and editor Aaron Wickenden, who spent countless hours searching for rare and unseen archival footage to tell the story of the most famous athlete of the 20th century's fight to exercise his religious and personal beliefs. Kudos also goes to Carolyn Faber, Hillary Bachelder, Nora Gully, Matt Lauterbach, Amy Boyd and Shayla Harris as well for their archival prowess on this project. Continued

A very Good Pitch for The Homestretch

The first Good Pitch Chicago was in itself an amazing event for Chicago documentary makers, but was especially great for our upcoming film The Homestretch. The film, about homeless youth in Chicago, and directed by Kirsten Kelly and Anne de Mare, received pledges of support and enthusiasm from the CPB, MacArthur foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Ford Foundation, POV, Facing History and Ourselves, the Chaz and Roger Ebert foundation, True Colors Fund and more. A highlight was seeing Roque, one of the film's stars, speak in front of 300 people. The support from the day has left the filmmakers inspired and in a great position to finish the film and mount an ambitious outreach campaign for 2014. Continued

'63 Boycott brings history alive at 50th anniversary event

This Tuesday, October 22nd, marked the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Chicago Public School Boycott, when nearly 250,000 students, parents, and teachers protested the segregationist policies of racist school Superintendent Benjamin Willis. To commemorate the event, our ’63 Boycott transmedia project flooded local media with stories of the Boycott, undertook an ambitious web campaign, and held a massive community event at the DuSable Museum in the evening. Continued

The Homestretch readies for Good Pitch Chicago

Directors Kirsten Kelly and Anne de Mare and editor Leslie Simmer have been working intensively all week on preparing their short video clip and presentation of The Homestretch for tomorrow's inaugural Good Pitch Chicago. Ahead of the big day, Kirsten spoke to Emily Morris of about how the homeless teens in the film challenge stereotypes, and how she discovered the story through a program aimed at teaching Chicago Public Schools students to act out Shakespeare plays. Continued

Applications now open for Diverse Voices in Docs 2014

Applications are now open for the second year of Diverse Voices in Docs, Kartemquin and Community Film Workshop's mentorship program for filmmakers of color. The first class of graduating fellows from Diverse Voices in Docs (#DVID) 2013 will be celebrated at a free, public event at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center at 6:30-9:30pm on October 30th. Host Robin Robinson (FOX 32) will present a screening of short excerpts of works-in-progress created with the support of the program. A reception with light hors d'oeuvres will follow. The link to RSVP to the event, and to apply for 2014, can be found at Continued

ITVS gives first funding to Mossadegh & Me

The Independent Television Service (ITVS) has awarded a Special Projects Development Grant of $15,000 to Mossadegh & Me, a new Kartemquin film currently in development from director Gita Saedi Kiely. ITVS had also previously supported the film with $15,000 grant through their Diversity Development Fund (DDF). Gita previously worked with us as the Series Producer on our International Documentary Association award-winning series The New Americans (2004). We are excited for her to continue developing this film, which is an intimate revisiting of an unprecedented politically free time in Iran's history. The project description: Continued

American Arab to World Premiere at IDFA

Usama Alshaibi's American Arab will have its World Premiere at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), the world's largest documentary film festival. Our acclaimed film The Trials of Muhammad Ali will also play at IDFA, in its European Premiere. Usama Alshaibi and The Trials of Muhammad Ali director Bill Siegel will attend the festival, as will Gordon Quinn and Justine Nagan (executive producers on both films), and Kartemquin associate Dinesh Sabu (cinematographer on American Arab). Continued