Filmmaker Development Programs

Kartemquin’s filmmaker development programs serve over 40 filmmakers annually and have launched over 500 alumni into careers in documentary filmmaking. The organization is a committed advocate for the sustainability of the documentary field. Find out more about working with us.

KTQ Labs

A free monthly service at which filmmakers present their demos and rough cuts to the Kartemquin community in return for constructive critique. The “KTQ Labs: Feedback Screening” program has helped improve over 100 projects in the past decade, including some of the best Midwest-made documentaries in recent years. Notable titles that have been through our process include Making a Murderer; Quest; Louder Than a Bomb; What’s the Matter With Kansas?; The Prison in 12 Landscapes; Shot in the Dark; Scrappers; ¡Las Sandinistas!; Andrew Bird: Fever Year; and The Blood is at the Doorstep.

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Educational workshops with our staff and award-winning producers form the core of our acclaimed internship. Interns are recognized as essential members of our team and are quickly immersed in all aspects of the organization. Their experience closely follows the progress of the films under construction, making each internship term unique and exposing students to sample a range of activities including, but not limited to, fundraising, production, distribution and marketing.

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Diverse Voices in Docs

Diverse Voices in Docs is a professional development and mentorship program for emerging documentary filmmakers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. The program hones skills and unites filmmakers who share experiences and expertise across six monthly workshops as they develop new projects.

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Rock the Doc

Rock the Doc connects Chicago’s documentary community. Recognizing the need for social events that allow emerging and veteran filmmakers and fans to meet in a relaxed and fun setting, we launched this series in 2010, partnering with hip venues across the city to create unique one-off social gatherings.

Media Advocacy

To ensure a vibrant and diverse independent public media, Kartemquin regularly takes a lead position on policy issues affecting our field, such as issues of ethics and “fair use” rights for documentary filmmakers.

As representatives of the independent media arts community, we have also led or been part of coalitions in support of public access TV, the successful renewal and extension of Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemptions, and the PBSNeedsIndies campaign.

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KTQ in the Classroom

KTQ in the Classroom highlights activities Kartemquin has done throughout our 46 year history: working with educators to enhance media literacy and understanding of the power of documentary storytelling through in-classroom visits, educational screenings and discussions, special teaching materials, and on-site tours and practical workshops.

Want to start using Kartemquin films in the classroom, or to share tips on how we can better help you do it? Please email for more information.

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Kartemquin Archives Project

Founded in 1966, our organization spans a fascinating time in American history and the KTQ archive contains film, videotape, paper archives and ephemera that we think will be of great use to film scholars, filmmakers and historians for years to come. The first task, however, is identifying what exactly is in there, and what condition it is in.

Kartemquin's 46-year archive of production materials is a collection of (conservatively estimated) 12,000+ different film reels, video tapes, hard drives and more. The painstaking inventory work is unraveling a hidden history of Kartemquin and Chicago filmmaking that has never properly been noted, let alone made public.

The KTQ Archives project is being funded in part by a generous grant from the Reva and David Logan Foundation. If you would like to contribute, please do so here.