Gordon Quinn: Ethics Behind the Lens at Chicago Humanities Festival

Sunday, October 20, 2013 5:00 pm

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
915 E 60th St
Chicago, IL

UPDATE: tickets for this event are SOLD OUT. Please call the Chicago Humanities Festival box office at 312-494-9509.

Ethics Behind the Lens at Chicago Humanities Festival.
There are no set rules in documentary filmmaking, only decisions about where to draw the line. Pioneer documentarian and Kartemquin Films cofounder Gordon Quinn explores examples from films such as Hoop Dreams, Prisoner of Her Past, and The Interrupters to illustrate how the documentary process relies upon a constant negotiation of power relationships among the story, subject, and viewer. In an interactive session mixing video with audience discussion, Quinn will cover ethical issues ranging from how to protect subjects' privacy while intimately exposing their lives, to filmmakers’ responsibility to make their method and intent transparent to the audience. He will talk about what is often kept quiet, such as if—and how—subjects should be compensated. Quinn argues that, despite similarities between their codes of ethics, there are crucial differences between documentary and journalism that stem from factors such as trust and empathy. He also addresses pertinent intellectual property issues in the digital age, specifically the importance of ethics when exercising Fair Use.

University of Chicago film scholar Jacqueline Stewart will join Quinn for the discussion.

Gordon Quinn is the artistic director and founder of Kartemquin Films, a 47-year-old media arts organization, and the 2007 recipient of the MacArthur award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Recently he directed Prisoner of Her Past and A Good Man, a film about Bill T. Jones for American Masters. His latest project is '63 Boycott, about the Chicago Public School Boycott of 1963 when more than 200,000 Chicagoans, mostly students, marched to protest racial segregation in CPS.