Directed and photographed by
Steve James
Produced by
Alex Kotlowitz
Steve James
Co-Producer & Sound Recordist
Zak Piper
Edited by
Aaron Wickenden
Steve James
Original Music Composed by
Joshua Abrams
Music Supervisor
Linda Cohen
Executive Producers
Justine Nagan
Gordon Quinn
Teddy Leifer

Paul Taylor
Executive Producer for ITVS
Sally Jo Fifer
Vice President of Programming for ITVS
Claire Aguilar
Executive Producer For Frontline
David Fanning
Frontline Executive Producer for Special Projects
Mike Sullivan
Inspired by a New York Times Magazine article by
Alex Kotlowitz
Post-Production Supervisor
Aaron Wickenden
Assistant Editor
Nora Gully
Emily Hart
Additional camera
Dana Kupper
Adam Singer
Keith Walker
Zak Piper
Mirko Popadic
Damon Hennessey
Jackson James
Additional Sound Recording
John Mathie
Rich Pooler
Pat Tillman
Alex Kotlowitz
Technical Supervisor
Jim Morrissette
Technical Consultant
Liz Kaar
Dylan James
Joe Riina-Ferrie
Aaron McGrath
Lesley Onstott
Brittany Piper
Robby Sexton
Jennifer Wells
Shelly Hubman
Ian Kibbe
Lauren Makholm
Joshua Abrams- Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Percussion, Drums, MPC, Piano, Wurlitzer, MS20
Jason Adasiewicz- Marimba, Vibes
David Boykin- Bass Clarinet
Nicole Mitchell- Flute, Alto Flute, Bass Flute
Jeff Parker- Guitar
Tomeka Reid- Cello
Original music recorded by
Joshua Abrams
Neil Strauch
Original music mixed by
Neil Strauch
High Definition Finish
Nolo Digital Film
Digital Colorist
Michael Matusek
Engineer at Nolo Digital Film
Boris Seagraves
Producer at Nolo Digital Film
Joe Flanagan
Online Edit
Boris Seagraves
Elliot Rudmann
Assistant at Nolo Digital
Elliot Rudmann
Audio Post-Production
Vagabond Audio
Re-Recording Mixer
Drew Weir
Audio Producer
Risé Sanders

Audio Post Assistants
Martine Stebbing
Steven Aguilar
David O’Brien
Titles & Graphics Facility
Dizzy Giant
Graphic Designers
Dan Sharkey
Matt Sharkey
Director of Production for ITVS
Richard O’Connell
Series Senior Producer
Raney Aronson-Rath
Frontline Series Manager
Jim Bracciale
Frontline Contracts Manager
Lisa Sullivan
Production Assistant for RISE films
John Stack
Manu Pandey
Kartemquin Communications Manager
Tim Horsburgh
Kartemquin Bookkeeping
Yvonne Afable
Mia Capodilupo
Cate Ryan
Additional Kartemquin Films staff
Jacinta Banks
Elizabeth Neufeld
Leslie Simmer
Dinesh Sabu
Poster Design
Damon Locks
Poster Typesetting
Sheila Sachs
Still Photographer
Aaron Wickenden
Outreach & Civic Engagement
Sonya Childress
L. Anton Seals, Jr
Legal Council to Kartemquin Films
Holland & Knight LLP
Robert Labate
Jennifer Bjornberg
Legal Council to RISE films

Olswang LLP
Fair use consultant
Peter Jaszi
Kartemquin Interns
Ethan Barnowsky
Jessica Bradish
Ranjani Chakraborty
Kate Donalek
Michael Foley
LaToya Flowers
Nick Fraccaro
Kevin Fullam
Brett Hanover
John Kostka
Aubyn Niemi
Allison Pichert
Hannah Roodman
Ayesha Siddiqi
Philister Sidigu
Tristan Steinfeld
Emily Thomas
Shuling Yong
Stanzi Vaubel
Cassie Wierenga
Adora Wilson-Eye

Steve James

Steve James' affiliation with Kartemquin began in 1987 with the start of production of Hoop Dreams, for which he served as director, producer, and co-editor. He has since then become one of the most acclaimed documentary makers of his generation, with noted works being Stevie, The New Americans, The War Tapes, At the Death House Door, The Interrupters, Life Itself, and most recently the 2018 Academy Award®-nominated Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.

Alex Kotlowitz


Alex Kotlowitz is perhaps best known for the bestselling There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America. The book, which was published in 1991 and has since sold over half-a-million copies, was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Helen B. Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Carl Sandburg Award and a Christopher Award. The New York Public Library selected There Are No Children Here as one of the 150 most important books of the century.

Zak Piper

Zak is an Emmy and PGA award-winning documentary filmmaker who has made films for over 15 years.

Currently, Zak is producing several feature films: City So Real with producer/director Steve James; Until the Lion Speaks (working title), for Concordia Studio, with co-directors Bing Liu and Joshua Altman; and The Ants and the Grasshopper (working title), a film he is also co-directing/producing with Raj Patel and producer Rachel Wexler.

Aaron Wickenden

Aaron Wickenden is a multiple Emmy and ACE Eddie nominated editor with extensive professional experience in many aspects of the independent filmmaking process. He is regarded for bringing a tireless work ethic and playful spirit to each of his creative collaborations... including the Oscar nominated film Finding Vivian Maier.

Joshua Abrams

Joshua Abrams has composed scores for 7 feature films, 6 short films, and the themes for StoryCorps Animated Shorts. His music has appeared in Oscar-nominated and Emmy award-winning films by directors Steve James and Bill Siegel, as well as films by Aaron Wickenden, Dan Rybicky, Jamie Meltzer, Dinesh Sabu, and Simon Starling. Joshua's score for Life Itself earned him a nomination for best score of 2015 from Cinema Eye Honors.

Justine Nagan

From 2008-2015, Justine led Kartemquin Films as Executive Director as well as being an Executive Producer on each new film. She was responsible, in concert with the Board of Directors, for creating and implementing the strategic vision for Kartemquin. Justine successfully transitioned to the ED role in a historic founder-led organization, and made major strides in building a foundation for long-term sustainability.

Gordon Quinn

Founder and Senior Advisor

Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn has been making documentaries for over 50 years. Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun Times, called his first film Home for Life (1966) "an extraordinarily moving documentary." With Home for Life Gordon established the direction he would take for the next four decades, making cinéma vérité films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people. 

Emily Hart

Emily Hart is a director, producer and cinematographer with over two decades experience creating award-winning documentary films and television.  With Kartemquin Films, she produced Steve James’ No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, which screened at festivals including SXSW, Full Frame, and iDOCS International Documentary Forum in Beijing; was broadcast as part of ESPN Films’ “30 for 30,” winner of the 2010 International Documentary Association Award for Best

Keith Walker

Keith, co-owner and director of photography for Media Process Group, has shot hundreds of broadcast segments for shows like 60-minutes, Oprah’s Next Chapter, Dateline, and HBO Real Sports, as well as numerous award-winning documentaries for PBS, NBC and CBS. He also shot many corporate marketing and educational projects for clients like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Gates Foundation, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Starbucks.

Jackson James

Jackson James has worked as a director and cinematographer on over 55+ music videos primarily based in Chicago. He's worked closely with many of the rising musical acts from Chicago, including Ravyn Lenae, Chance the Rapper, Joey Purp, Twin Peaks, Knox Fortune, Towkio, and others, often featuring a wide variety of neighborhoods and settings around Chicago as the backdrop for each piece.

Liz Kaar

Liz Kaar is an independent documentary filmmaker, working in Chicago and Latin America. She edited Kartemquin’s feature-length documentary Typeface, as well as a slew of shorts, demos and trailers for the company.  She’s also produced and directed non-profit videos for the Illinois Department of Public Health, CDC, and The Newberry Library.  Most recently she edited and associate produced the feature-length music documentary Andrew Bird: Fever Year.

Ian Kibbe

Ian Robertson Kibbe is a freelance filmmaker, writer, producer and musician with over 10 years experience as a producer, director and editor. Ian was the engagement coordinator for the award-winning PBS documentary, The Calling, and its companion campaign, What’s Your Calling (The Kindling Group) and also the engagement coordinator for the Emmy nominated, designer cult hit, Typeface (Kartemquin Films). Ian is currently working on the upcoming Kartemquin documentaries, Raising Bertie and Unbroken Glass. Ian's work has appeared on PBS, CNN, G4, The Health Care Blog, Billboard Magazine and the Huffington Post.

Tim Horsburgh

Tim Horsburgh is an independent producer and consultant dedicated to the development, production, marketing, distributing, and impact of award-winning, impactful documentary films.

Serving on Kartemquin staff from 2009-2021, he was most recently Kartemquin’s Director of Film Strategy, leading the organization's original documentaries through their collaborative production model; industry outreach, strategic initiatives, and brand-building; and serving as the point of contact for Kartemquin Producers and Associates.

Yvonne Afable

Board Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair

Yvonne P. Afable was Kartemquin's Director of Finance from 2004-2012, before transitioning to the Board of Directors. A graduate of DePaul University, Yvonne has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting & Finance. She is a Certified Management Accountant with 16 years of accounting experience. She was an auditor for two years before beginning her career in the not-for-profit industry. She monitored the budget and assisted with investments for the American College of Surgeons before becoming the Assistant Accounting Manager.

LaToya Flowers

Latoya graduated from the School of Visual Arts and received an MFA in Social Documentary Film. She worked on the critically acclaimed documentaries; The Interrupters, A Good Man, and Running from Crazy during her internships at Kartemquin and Cabin Creek Films. Her short documentary Derby Girls, was featured in the group exhibition The Sports Show curated by the School of Visual Arts Alumni Society.

Shuling Yong

Shuling Yong is a Singapore-born, Chicago-based documentary filmmaker, sound recordist and DP with a passion for social change. She has worked on films like Radical Grace (Hot Docs, 2015, dir. Rebecca Parrish), America to Me (Sundance, 2018, dir. Steve James), and And She Could Be Next (dir. Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia).