MacArthur Foundation Funds new Steve James series

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded a grant of $200,000 towards the production of To Bridge the Divide, a new Kartemquin documentary series directed by Steve James. To Bridge the Divide follows, in-depth, the stories of a dozen students, representing different races, grade levels, socioeconomic classes and educational tracks within a suburban high school grappling with how to address what is commonly (and now controversially) called a "racial achievement gap." The Kartemquin documentary series features teachers, administrators, and community policy-makers with differing perspectives. It also delves into the history and impact of the community's efforts to tackle issues of race and achievement. Continued

#KTQ50: Watch Inquiring Nuns for free all week

In 2016, several organizations in Chicago and around the country will host a series of screenings and events to celebrate Kartemquin’s work, and the power of documentary to inspire action. We also invite you to watch all our films for free, week by week, at http://watch.kartemquin.com. From today until next Friday, January 15, the free KTQ50 film is our second film, Inquiring Nuns, long established as a popular favorite among the Kartemquin community. In the film, two young nuns explore Chicago, from a supermarket to the Art Institute and in front of churches on Sunday, confronting people with the crucial question, “Are you happy?” The answers they get range in sincerity and depth. The humor and sadness of these honest encounters lift the film beyond its interview format to a serious and moving inquiry into the concerns of contemporary man, and also into the circumstances in which men will actually express their concerns. Continued

American Arab to air on America Reframed

Usama Alshaibi’s documentary American Arab has its national television premiere on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, at 8 p.m. on WORLD Channel, as part of the fourth season of America ReFramed, public media’s newest documentary series. The film, made through Chicago production collective Kartemquin Films (makers of The Interupters), will be available for free streaming on www.worldchannel.org starting February 10, 2016. In American Arab, Iraqi-American Director Usama Alshaibi asks “Why is being an Arab suddenly the opposite of being a decent man?” Throughout the documentary, Alshaibi explores what it’s like to occupy the ‘space in between’ as a hyphenated American, specifically of Arab origin, during the surge of anti-Muslim sentiment that arose in post 9-11 America. Continued

Happy 50th New Year! Watch our first film Home for Life for free

Welcome to the 50th anniversary of Kartemquin! In 2016, several organizations in Chicago and around the country will host a series of screenings and events to celebrate Kartemquin’s work, and the power of documentary to inspire action. We also invite you to watch all our films for free, week by week, at http://watch.kartemquin.com. We begin with Kartemquin's first film, Home for Life (1966), an engrossing cinéma vérité depiction of the experiences of two elderly people in their first month at a home for the aged. A young Roger Ebert, reviewing the film at the 1967 Chicago International Film Festival for the Chicago Sun-Times, called it "an extraordinarily moving documentary." We've included Ebert's full review in the package, along with videos and documents that explain how Kartemquin began, got its name, and formed a philosophy of making films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people. Continued

Almost There ends year on top

For Almost There, 2015 comes to an end with the film hailed by critics as one of the year's best documentaries, after an award-winning worldwide festival run and US theatrical and VOD release. The story of Aaron Wickenden and Dan Rybicky's ethically complex seven-year relationship with reclusive elderly "outsider" artist Peter Anton is now available to watch on Fandor and Vimeo, and will soon be available on more VOD platforms thanks to distributor Factory 25. Continued

Saving Mes Aynak ends 2015 with Al Jazeera broadcast, distribution deal, and outreach funding

As 2015 draws to a close, the team behind Saving Mes Aynak is celebrating a successful year of reaching audiences all over the world, raising global awareness about the contentious fate of the Mes Aynak historic site. 2016 is shaping up to be an even bigger year for our film and its awareness and outreach campaign, as we can now announce fresh funding and distribution partners. Saving Mes Aynak will end the year with an encore holiday re-broadcast on Al Jazeera America at 7PM EST on Thursday, December 24, 2015 (Christmas Eve) and Saturday, December 26, 2015 at 7PM EST. Continued

Hard Earned wins 2016 duPont-Columbia Award

Hard Earned has won a 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, one of the highest honors in broadcast journalism. The filmmaking team will collect their 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award at the ceremony on January 17 in New York City. The film is one of 16 documentaries and news reports across several platforms honored with Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award Silver Batons this year. The awards are seen as the broadcast journalism equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards praised Hard Earned by stating: "The immersive verité filmmaking of this six-part series invested viewers in the lives of the struggling working class by creating compelling human portraits. Continued

Kartemquin Films announces 50th Anniversary plans and new funding for 2016

MacArthur Foundation and Sage Foundation to each provide $500,000 in support over next two years Special events to be held in partnership with the City of Chicago Chaz Ebert is Honorary Chair of “Milestones” Gala on June 24, 2016 Chicago, IL (December 4, 2015) -- Kartemquin Films today unveiled a calendar of events and activities that will occur throughout 2016 to mark the organization’s 50th anniversary. Continued

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