Comments submitted in DMCA exemption case

Without a DMCA exemption for filmmakers, many important documentaries currently in production could not be made. This argument is at the core of official comments submitted to the US Copyright office yesterday, which you can now read in full online.   The official comments are the first step in the case asking for a renewed exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that would allow filmmakers and multimedia content creators to rip content from DVDs, Blu-Ray and digital video transmission (streaming video) for the purpose of "fair use" incorporation in their work. This would extend the victory for filmmakers secured in 2010 and protect the future of documentary film.   Continued

Celebrating 45 years of Chicago storytelling

Kartemquin Films marks its 45th year with a celebration of the power of storytelling this Thursday, September 15th at The Metro.   The event is the first of many this fall in recognition of this unique and often unheralded indie film success story – best known for producing Hoop Dreams – including retrospectives by the Milwaukee Film Festival; the University of Chicago’s Doc Films; Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox cinema; and the Virginia Film Festival, in addition to an ongoing monthly showcase on Chicago’s WTTW11 PBS station.   Continued

MacArthur awards American Arab

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded Kartemquin's American Arab (WT) a production grant in the amount of $75,000.  Director/Producer Usama Alshaibi and the film's production team are thrilled to announce this news and publicly thank the MacArthur staff for their hard work and belief in the project.  The funding will allow the team to continue production into 2011, begin post production and to foster key partnerships with a variety of advocacy organizations nationwide.  The grant will also set in motion planning for an extensive outreach campaign working to break stereotypes of Arab-Americans and to engage and support Arab-American youth. Filmmaker Usama Alshaibi is Kartemquin's first Diversity Fellow, a program launched in 2009 with support from the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. Continued

Kartemquin week in Chicago!

Our films American Arab, A Good Man, Prisoner of Her Past and Typeface are all getting a chance to shine in our hometown of Chicago this week. Usama Alshaibi will present clips from American Arab at a panel discussion at Columbia College Chicago from 7pm-9pm tonight. Panelists inlcude Marquette University sociologist Louise Cainkar, author of Homeland Insecurity: The Arab-American and Muslim Experience After 9/11; and Roosevelt University professor David Faris, who studies social and political change in the Middle East. Roxane Assaf of the Advisory Council on Arab Affairs will moderate. The event is free and open to public: Get more information. Continued

American Arab "can't be released soon enough"

BadLit, the online journal of underground film, sent out a call for support today for Kartemquin's in-progress documentary American Arab. Praising Kartemquin for supporting director and Kartemquin Diversity Fellow Usama Alshaibi in making this "important film," BadLit's Mike Everleth writes: "In Bad Lit’s opinion, with a media that seems especially gung-ho promoting manufactured divisive and falsely controversial topics such as the hideously nicknamed “World Trade Center mosque” and a far-right media that plants fake news stories such as claiming that Sharia law has taken over local governments so that national politicians can campaign against such topics, a film like American Arab can’t be released soon enough." Continued