Filmmaker Development Programs

KTQ Labs

Once a month we gather members of the Kartemquin community together for the critique and discussion of a work-in-progress by an independent filmmaker. These intimate feedback sessions are open for incomplete projects at any stage of production, whether short fundraising demos or feature-length rough cuts. This free program, now in its 10th year, has helped over 100 projects progress towards completion. Films that have participated have gone on to play at festivals including New York Film Festival, SXSW, Hot Docs, DOC NYC, and True/False and to air on Netflix, PBS Independent Lens and the Sundance Channel. Notable titles include Making a Murderer, Louder Than a Bomb, What’s the Matter With Kansas?, Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists, The Atom Smashers, Spilled Water, Scrappers, Andrew Bird: Fever Year, Garbage: The Revolution Starts at Home, and more.

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Working With Us

While the majority of our work stems from our core group of associates, we are interested in building relationships with other social-issue documentarians and supporting independent filmmaking. To this end, we offer several avenues of possible collaboration.

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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. DVID hones skills and unites filmmakers who share experiences and expertise across six monthly workshops as they develop new projects.

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Kartemquin’s internship program is acclaimed by students, colleges and the film industry, and is renowned for its high educational value. Interns are quickly immersed in all aspects of the organization. Throughout the term, interns attend educational workshops with staff members and producers who teach various aspects of the documentary field and answer questions about their given project or area of expertise. These workshops include: camera and lighting, sound, dubbing, editing, ethics and fair use, project fundraising and financing, an intern demo pitch and feedback session, and a "lunch with Gordon."

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Advocacy & Fair Use

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 led or been part of coalitions in support of public access TV, the successful renewal and extension of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemptions, and the PBSNeedsIndies campaign. We are also strategic partners in the activities of the Indie Caucus.

Rock the Docs

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.