Oscar Shortlist, CNN air date and National Board of Review Award for Life Itself

Life Itself has been named on the Academy Awards shortlist for Best Documentary Feature. Today CNN also announced that January 4th, 9pm ET will see the broadcast television premiere of the film, which depicts the life and last days of Pulitzer Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert. Life Itself was also honored today as Best Documentary of the year by the National Board of Review, and was yesterday nominated for Best Documentary of the year by the Producers Guild of America. Continued

NEA awards grant to Kartemquin's Filmmaker Programs

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded Kartemquin a $25,000 Art Works grant towards our ongoing field-building programs in service of documentary makers. Our Programs include: KTQ Labs, our free monthly service at which filmmakers present their demos and rough cuts to the Kartemquin community in return for constructive critique. KTQ Labs has helped improve over 100 projects in the past decade, including some of the best Midwest-made documentaries in recent years, such as What’s the Matter with Kansas?; Louder Than A Bomb; Andrew Bird: Fever Year; Tony & Janina’s American Wedding; Beneath the Blindfold, Scrappers, Spilled Water, and Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists and many more. Diverse Voices in Docs Continued

Tributes to Jerry Blumenthal

Jerry Blumenthal, a great filmmaker, colleague, and friend, passed away on November 13, 2014. Tributes to Jerry Blumenthal:Rick Kogan in the Chicago Tribune: Jerry Blumenthal left lasting memories on screen and in person. "He was so, so Chicago. He was street-smart, of working-class roots, but also so worldly. You could talk to him about anything. Just a couple of days before he died we had a long talk about the Bears … and about Baudelaire." - Judy Hoffman, Kartemquin associate. Continued

A sneak peek at Saving Mes Aynak ahead of IDFA world premiere

Kartemquin's 6th world premiere of 2014 will be this Sunday, as Saving Mes Aynak screens at IDFA. Tickets are now on sale for the film's five screenings at the world's largest documentary festival, with director Brent Huffman, producer Zak Piper, and executive producers Gordon Quinn and Julia Reichert attending. Ahead of the world premiere, we gave PBS NewsHour a sneak peek of footage from the finished film and a new interview with Brent Huffman about the Mes Aynak site. Continued

See The Homestretch during National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

The Homestretch is screening in theaters and community venues across the country this November, as our audience engagement efforts dedicated to raising awareness and opportunities for the more than 1.6 million homeless young people in the U.S ramp up for National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Theatrical dates include bookings at Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center, New York's Maysles Cinema, and Los Angeles' Downtown Independent. Many more screening dates are packed through November and December. Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly's documentary about three homeless Chicago teenagers will also be released on iTunes, Amazon and other digital platforms on Tuesday, November 25th. Continued

See Gordon Quinn & Al Maysles discuss Hoop Dreams and 50 years of documentary history

Kartemquin artistic director and founder Gordon Quinn will be in conversation with Maysles Documentary Center founder Albert Maysles at a special 20th anniversary screening of the newly restored Hoop Dreams at Maysles Cinema in Harlem, New York on Monday, November 17th at 6:30pm. Almost 50 years ago, Gordon Quinn bought the lens for Kartemquin's very first camera from another young filmmaker, Al Maysles. Their friendship and respective careers span from the dawn of cinéma vérité to today, when both can look back upon credits on hundreds of films, and legacies of inspiring and assisting thousands of documentary makers and viewers. Get tickets now for this special event. Continued