Announcing Diverse Voices in Docs

Diverse Voices in Docs, a new professional development and mentorship program for emerging documentary makers of color, launches with a free, public kick-off event at the Community Film Workshop of Chicago at 6:30-8:30pm on November 8th. Please join us.

Created through collaboration between Community Film Workshop and Kartemquin Films, Diverse Voices in Docs will enroll its first class of up to 20 documentary makers in January 2013.

“Our goal is to empower ordinary citizens in the use of media and to provide them access to resources to produce first-voice social issue documentaries,” said Margaret Caples, Executive Director of The Community Film Workshop, which has taught classes in video production and multimedia in under-served communities since 1971. “It is also imperative to distribute media made by and about people of color to an international audience to broaden the discussion on universal problems of inequities.”

At the core of the program are six intensive three-hour workshops held monthly at the Community Film Workshop, with creative advice provided by Kartemquin Films’ world-class staff and associates. Each session will provide practical skill-enrichment designed to help incubate the attendee’s next documentary project, as well as connecting them to an expert community, new collaborators, and a wider network of funders and distributors.

Workshop sessions will focus on applied learning and honing skills in areas such as fundraising, storytelling, production techniques, distribution and marketing. The program will culminate in exposure through a final public exhibition in late 2013.

Applicants should be filmmakers who have played a principal role in a completed production (producer, writer, director, editor, etc.) and have experience or work history that demonstrated their commitment to social issue documentary.

Interested filmmakers can find more information and should apply by December 17th via

"Community-building is at the heart of all our work, and so in this program, just as with our acclaimed internship, the goal will be as much on fostering collaborative connections between the filmmakers as it will be on honing skills,” said Tim Horsburgh, Kartemquin’s Director of Communications and Programs. “We’re aiming for nothing less than ensuring the healthy future of Chicago’s documentary scene. To do that, we need to make sure opportunities are provided in underserved communities.”

Further perks for enrolled filmmakers will include sessions introducing them to notable broadcasters, funders and distributors, access to Kartemquin’s invite-only “KTQ Labs: Feedback Screenings” program, where Kartemquin’s filmmaker community provides free rough-cut consulting to Midwest documentarians, and merchandise (supported by KatLei productions).

The program is also funded in part through grants from Joyce Foundation and the Academy for Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.


More information

Diverse Voices in Docs Launch Event:
November 8th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm.
Community Film Workshop; in residence at the Harris Park
6200 South Drexel Avenue
Chicago, IL

Networking begins 6:30pm, informational program and discussion at 7pm. Kartemquin filmmakers and staff and local community leaders attending. More info.

Diverse Voices in Docs webpage for information and application form:

Application deadline: Monday, December 17th

Workshop calendar:
Saturdays, 1-4pm: Jan 26, Feb 23, March 23, April 20, May 18, June 22.

1. Critique - learning how to view documentary critically. Led by a variety of filmmaking professionals including Artistic Director and Co-Founder Gordon Quinn.
2. Fundraising - research, prospecting, grantwriting, event planning and use of online tools such as Kickstarter led by Kartemquin Executive Director Justine Nagan.
3. Project Development Case study - discussion of demos, pitching and film pre-production assessment and planning led by Justine Nagan and Gordon Quinn.
4. Storytelling - screening of Kartemquin clips including 5 Girls and Hoop Dreams led by Gordon Quinn.
5. Sound and Lighting Workshop led by Director of Post-Production, Zak Piper and Technical Director Jim Morrissette
6. Distribution – how to find your audience led by our Distribution Manager Ian Kibbe and Director of Communications and Programs Tim Horsburgh.

Funder and distributor roundtable
- A panel discussion with a select group of Chicago funders in media arts and documentary distributors about the current industry landscape, documentary support and upcoming deadlines.

Production company site visit
- Site visit to Kartemquin Films to see a working production company in action and explore Kartemquin’s vast archive.

Location: All sessions except for the site visit will be hosted at Community Film Workshop, In Residence at the Harris Park, 6200 S. Drexel, Rm 201, Chicago, IL 60637: Phone: (773) 752-9335.

Eligibility Criteria
Applicants are evaluated solely by their application
Decisions will be based on applicant interviews and work samples.
Applicants must be a legal resident
Applicants must NOT be a full-time student
Applicants must commit to participating in all aspects of the program. This includes attending classes, etc.
There is no application fee. However a program fee of $110 is due upon
acceptance in the program.
Decisions will be based on finalist interviews and work samples.

Accepted applicants will also be automatically invited to Kartemquin’s monthly KTQ Labs: Feedback Screenings events.

The Diverse Voices in Docs program will not provide: project funding, equipment or post-production access.

This new initiative is provided with support from: The Joyce Foundation, The Academy for Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Kartemquin Films, The Community Film Workshop & Kat Lei Productions.