Max joined Kartemquin's staff in the fall of 2016, after a KTQ internship following his graduation from the University of Chicago. Max’s duties as Development Coordinator provides strategic support for organizational fundraising alongside the Director of Development. These fundraising efforts include leading the KTQ Membership program, grant writing, special event planning, and corporate sponsorships. Max also supports the Director of Development in providing fundraising support to KTQ’s filmmaking teams.
He was first welcomed into the Kartemquin community by original collective member, Judy Hoffman, who taught and mentored him in documentary production at the University of Chicago where he graduated from with a BA in Cinema Studies and a BA in English. It was in Judy’s class that Max was exposed to the ideas of cinema vérité, documentaries like Home for Life and Chronicle of a Summer, and the Kartemquin documentary style of being guided by a commitment to cinematic social inquiry and an honest and respectful relationship with a film’s subjects. Though his initial interest in film lay entirely in writing fiction films (which he still pursues in his free time), this exposure to the films of Kartemquin and the KTQ community made him fall in love with the documentary medium and it’s endless possibilities for uncovering the important, real stories in the world that are waiting to be told yet, for one reason or another, have been overlooked.
To that end, Max is currently working on his first documentary film, Within the Box, which shows his and his father’s journey to uncover the lost stories of their family who perished in the Holocaust through their discovery of a box of recently unearthed photographs from the 1930s. A short version of the film screened both at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner and the 2016 KTQ Fall Festival. After a 2nd production trip to Israel in the summer of 2018, he is working with fellow KTQ staff member Ingrid Roettgen on editing the feature length doc ahead of a 3rd and final production trip to Poland in 2019.
Max has also served as the outreach coordinator for two Kartemquin projects, Unbroken Glass and Saving Mes Aynak, and believes in the importance of outreach work for getting our films to the audiences and communities who need to see them.
Films by Max Asaf
The People of Kartemquin
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
© 2019 Kartemquin Educational Films
Sign up for the Kartemquin newsletter
Get film updates and special deals