Two new productions: The Homestretch and Generation Food

Kartemquin is booming with documentaries, as two new co-productions take us up to twelve films in-progress. That expands what was already a record for us, and we're immensely proud of the diverse selection of important topics they cover. The latest projects to join Kartemquin are The Homestretch and Generation Food.

Generation Food is a transmedia collaboration between Kartemquin veteran Steve James and acclaimed author and activist Raj Patel. Encompassing a documentary, a book, and online and mobile components, the project will focus "on the front lines of the food crisis in communities around the world." The film received early seed funding through the PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards from Channel 4 BritDoc Foundation. Now Steve, Raj and their team are set to embark on their first production trips to Cuba and Peru this summer, and will be hoping to gain your support with a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo launching next week. Stay tuned for more on Generation Food on Twitter and Facebook.

Documenting homeless youth within the Chicago Public School system, The Homestretch is a co-production with director/producers Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly of New York's Spargel productions. Filming has been progressing for the past year on what promises to be a moving and intimate study in the best Kartemquin tradition. Early support for the film came through a development grant from the Sundance Institute.

Another film that has been many years in the making is now finishing up at Kartemquin. Cooked, by documentary maven Judith Helfand (of Working Films and Chicken and Egg, and Blue Vinyl fame), takes the 1995 Chicago heat wave that killed 739 people in one week as a launching point into an examination of poverty and the politics of disaster. The film, which has been supported by Sundance, Tribeca and ITVS, is currently being given final editing here by David E. Simpson and is due for release in 2013.

Finally, one other Kartemquin film has had a change of focus and a subsequent change of (working) title. Encounters with the Other, which started life with director/producer Maria Finitzo looking at the Tsimane' people of Bolivia reacting to being increasingly drawn into the market economy, has now broadened in scope to encompass a wider look at "one of the world┬╣s most radical social and political experiments": the ongoing Bolivian revolution. Now known as Living Revolution, the film explores the revolution through the experiences of women's rights activists, politicians, opposition intellectuals and the Tsimane', and as anyone who saw a sneak peak at our successful KTQ Labs Spring Showcase can attest, it promises to be absolutely fascinating.