WTTW to air 10 Kartemquin films for our 45th anniversary!

WTTW, Chicago's premier public television station, will broadcast a year-long series of Kartemquin's award-winning documentaries as part of our 45th anniversary celebration.

The series will include the television premieres of three films: PRISONER OF HER PAST, about late-onset PTSD; THE iNTERRUPTERS, about former Chicago gang members who now stop violence; and the “American Masters” premiere of A GOOD MAN, a profile of the controversial Kennedy-award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones as he creates a new performance on Abraham Lincoln for the Ravinia Festival.

“We are very happy that our films, old and new, will be showcased on WTTW during our 45th anniversary year,” said Justine Nagan, Kartemquin’s Executive Director. “While many of our documentaries have aired on the station over the years, it’s exciting to be building a more formalized partnership with them.  It’s a natural fit for two established Chicago media institutions.”

“I am very pleased and excited that this partnership is happening,” stated Dan Soles, WTTW Senior Vice President and Chief Television Content Officer. “Kartemquin has been a pioneer of Chicago independent film for decades, and sharing their documentaries with our viewers in this way is very much in keeping with our mission of enhancing the cultural and intellectual life of the city. It makes sense for WTTW and Kartemquin to be working together.”

The series begins at 9pm on March 31 with Kartemquin's classic 1968 'Cinéma vérité' film INQURING NUNS, in which two nuns confront the people of Chicago with the question, "Are you happy?" Viewers are treated to a range of thought-provoking answers ranging from "avoiding people" and "raspberries" to discussions of the Vietnam War.

On April 28, PRISONER OF HER PAST will air at 9pm. The film follows Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich's search to uncover the events responsible for his Holocaust-survivor mother's Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In May, viewers will have a rare opportunity to see NOW WE LIVE ON CLIFTON, a 1974 look at gentrification and urban renewal through the eyes of two Lincoln Park youths that Kartemquin will release on DVD for the first time this year.

Other films in the series will be the Regional Emmy-nominated TYPEFACE, about the preservation of art in the digital age; TAYLOR CHAIN, an unprecedented exposé of negotiations between unions, workers and management at an Indiana steel plant; and the Emmy-nominated IN THE FAMILY, about predicting breast and ovarian cancer, the consequences of knowing, and the women who live with the risk.

Each film in the series will be preceded by an introduction from Kartemquin staff, including co-founder and Artistic Director Gordon Quinn, filmed by Kartemquin at their historic Victorian-era building in East Lakeview.

A force in documentary film since 1966, Kartemquin is best known for producing the classic documentary Hoop Dreams and for being a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Following its most productive year yet in 2010, the nonprofit Chicago organization will celebrate its anniversary year with a series of special local screenings and events, including collaborations with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Jane Addams Hull House Museum and the Chicago International Film Festival in addition to WTTW. Retrospectives at other film festivals across the nation will also be announced as the year progresses, and the celebrations will culminate with a Chicago gala in the fall. WTTW will also have a presence at several of these local events.