The Homestretch Opens Strong in Chicago

We're thrilled to kick-off the theatrical distribution of The Homestretch with a week-long run at Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center today.

Ahead of the screenings - many of which are already sold out - reviews and interviews with the filmmakers have been flowing in.

Here are some of the best:

"Its intimacy is a reflection of its compassion... The Homestretch invites you to empathize with its subjects, to worry with them, to laugh with them, to worry about them. It’s engaging and compelling viewing." - Glenn Kenny,

"Offers an unprecedented look into the day-to-day lives of three of the estimated 1.6 million homeless youth living in the United States." - Joe Erbentraut, Huffington Post.

"Directors Anne De Mare and Kirsten Kelly persuasively indict America's failure to assist homeless teenagers, which a title estimates at 1.6 million people. Yet the stories they present are genuinely uplifting, charting the lives of three homeless Chicago teens as they find housing, complete their high school educations, and ready themselves for the adult world. De Mare and Kelly are up-front about the challenges their subjects face—chiefly their memories of abuse and abandonment—though the tone remains optimistic. It's an impressive balancing act." - Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader.

"This is an important film that people need to see... It's very heartbreaking, but it's also very inspirational... five minutes in, I was a wreck. It's a great story, a great film." Richard Roeper, Windy City Live.

"An unstinting look at the reality... It doesn't exploit its subjects. In fact, it films each in such a way that you feel very protective of them." Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune.

"Dispiriting onscreen statistics include: “There are 2,000-3,000 homeless youth out on the streets of Chicago every night” and “There are more than 19,000 registered as homeless with the Chicago Public Schools.” This understated documentary, though, has no agenda to shame any one family or agency." Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times.

"Their compelling stories are presented in an unforced way that allows us insight into their lives and affords these teens the dignity and respect that they deserve." - Richard Knight, Jr. Windy City Times.

"Covers an important topic and has several stirring images." - Matt Pais, RedEye.

"The Homestretch is one of those documentaries that presents a social problem that can’t provide easy answers. Still, the strength of the film’s profiles is enough to give some hope — maybe not the hope of fixing our urban homelessness problems, but there is a clear awareness that there are people who are working really hard to make sure those who have fallen into this situation are cared for and have options to live a more comfortable life. Hopefully seeing these efforts sparks at least one viewer to do a little more." - Aaron Pinkston, Battleship Pretension.

"De Mare and Kelly's approach to the film's central figures is so compassionate that it branches out to everyone else we see (When they lose track of one of the teens, a text exchange shows that the filmmakers' connection to their subjects is genuinely felt). This is particularly true of the various people helping these youths... As affecting as these teenagers' stories in The Homestretch are, the accounts of their advocates are equally inspiring." - Mark Dujsik, Mark Reviews Movies.

The filmmakers have also given great interviews to Scott Duff of OutChicago Radio (part 1 and part 2) and Mike Thomas of the Chicago Sun-Times, and to WBEZ's Afternoon Shift with Niala Boodhoo and Milos Stehlik.

September 12-18 Chicago screenings of THE HOMESTRETCH:
Link for tickets:

Friday, September 12 at 8:15 pm
Co-presented by Kartemquin and Spargel Productions

Saturday, September 13 at 3:00 pm
Co-presented by DCFS and UCAN

Saturday, September 13 at 5:30 pm

Saturday, September 13 at 7:45 pm
Co-presented by Chicago Hopes

Sunday, September 14 at 3:00 pm
Co-presented by The Night Ministry

Sunday, September 14 at 5:30 pm
Co-presented by Teen Living Programs

Monday, September 15 at 6:00 pm
Co-presented by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Monday, September 15 at 8:15 pm
Co-presented by Teen Living Programs

Tuesday, September 16 at 6:00 pm
Co-presented by The Night Ministry

Tuesday, September 16 at 8:15 pm
Co-presented by National Runaway Safeline

Wednesday, September 17 at 8:30 pm
Co-presented by The Night Ministry

Thursday, September 18 at 6:00 pm
Co-presented by Teen Living Programs

Thursday, September 18 at 8:15 pm

Tweets about the film's opening weekend: