Chicago's Mayor wishes Kartemquin a Happy 45th Birthday

Here at Kartemquin we are all very excited about tonight's #KTQ45 celebration at the Metro (with literally a handful of last, last minute tickets still available on the door)! But we're not the only ones: we were delighted to receive a letter of congratulations from Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel this morning!


Here's the full text of the letter:


"September 15, 2011


Dear Friends,


As Mayor and on behalf of the City of Chicago, I write to welcome attending the 45th Anniversary celebration of Kartemquin Films.


Kartemquin has been a Chicago institution from its very start, responsible for turning the lens on the overlooked and misrepresented and telling their stories with compassion and honesty. Films like Hoop Dreams, The New Americans, In the Family and The Interrupters have far reaching effects on cultural understanding and empathy, and in policymaking as well. Kartemquin's films create a necessary social dialogue that often begins right here in Chicago, with Chicago stories from Chicago residents. Their films bring our stories to national and international audiences for civic conversation, conversation that is especially important during these tumultuous times.


I commend Kartemquin's staff, filmmakers and everyone else involved with this historic and prolific organization. I wish you all an enjoyable evening and much success in the future.




Rahm Emanuel



We also got some nice praise yesterday from Chicagoist, commending our history of "filmmakers doing their best to present life in as raw a form as they possibly could." Read the full article: "Kartemquin Films Celebrates 45 Very Good Years at Metro."

Related films: 
First exhibited at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the audience award for best documentary, Kartemquin's Hoop Dreams is the remarkable true story of two American dreamers; an intimate reflection of contemporary American inner-city culture, following two ordinary young men on the courts of the game they love.
Beginning with her story of testing positive for the familial breast cancer mutation (BRCA), Filmmaker Joanna Rudnick chronicles the lives of several women currently undergoing the process of genetic testing -- following them from their decision to seek testing, through the testing process, and in the aftermath when they are coming to terms with the information they receive.

In memory of Martha Haley

It is with great sadness we share the news of the passing of Martha Haley, featured in our 2008 film In the Family.

Martha fought triple negative breast cancer three times, and lived to watch all three of her children go onto have children of their own. She devoted herself to educating other African American women about BRCA genetic testing and was a tireless advocate for better treatment options for women of color.

Four years in the lives of a diverse group of contemporary immigrants and refugees as they journey to start new lives in America.
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