The honor comes as Kartemquin approaches our 50th anniversary in 2016 (and just in time for tonight's #KTQSummerSoiree!). Gordon founded the organization in 1966 with fellow University of Chicago graduates Stan Karter and Jerry Temaner. Reviewing their first film, Home for Life (1966) a young Roger Ebert praised the film as "an extraordinarily moving documentary." With Home for Life Gordon established the direction he would take for the next five decades: making intimate, thought-provoking films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people.
Said Kartemquin Executive Director Justine Nagan: "We couldn’t be more excited that the Quinn of Kartemquin has been invited to join the documentary branch of The Academy. Gordon has an incredible legacy of generosity and creativity in helping filmmakers improve their work and find their voice, that it’s great to get this very public recognition of his role in the industry. "
Through his career Gordon has been a mentor and inspiration to the hundreds of filmmakers and friends who have passed through Kartemquin in Chicago. A longtime activist for public and community media, Gordon spearheaded such movements as the push for the creation of ITVS, the creation of public access TV in Chicago, the reclaiming of fair use rights for documentary filmmakers, and the Indie Caucus. Gordon has shaped his life and career around two guiding principles: “Democracy and Documentary.”
Gordon’s 50 years of award-winning documentaries include Home for Life, Inquiring Nuns, The Chicago Maternity Center Story, Taylor Chain, The Last Pullman Car, Golub, Hoop Dreams, Vietnam, Long Time Coming, Stevie, and The New Americans. Other Executive Producer credits: 5 Girls, In The Family, Typeface, Milking the Rhino, At The Death House Door, and No Crossover: The Trial of Alan Iverson. Recently he directed Prisoner of Her Past and A Good Man (about Bill T. Jones), and Executive Produced The Interrupters, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, As Goes Janesville and American Arab. Currently he is EP on Kartemquin’s The Homestretch, Almost There, On Beauty, Life Itself, Saving Mes Aynak, In the Game, and the 6 part series Hard Earned, plus all our current in-progress films.
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 50 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Guidestar
© 2018 Kartemquin Educational Films
Sign up for the Kartemquin newsletter
Get film updates and special deals