Gordon Quinn and Kartemquin Named "The Best"

gordon quinn

We are honored to announce that our founder, artistic director, and all-around documentary and fair-use guru, Gordon Quinn has been chosen in a reader poll by the Chicago Reader as the best Chicago filmmaker for their Best of Chicago 2016 series. Gordon, along with the rest of the Kartemquin family, just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the company he founded back in 1966 as a young, hopeful, and ambitious filmmaker who had just graduated from the University of Chicago along with fellow co-founders Jerry Temaner and Stan Karter.

Roger Ebert called his and Kartemquin’s first film Home for Life (1966) "an extraordinarily moving documentary." With Home for Life Gordon established the direction he would take for the next four decades, making cinéma vérité films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people.  At Kartemquin, Gordon created a legacy that is an inspiration for young filmmakers, and a home where they can make high-quality, social-issue documentaries through programs such as Diverse Voices in Doc, KTQ Labs, and the Internship Program. In addition, we are honored to have been named the Group Behind America’s Best Documentaries by the Chicagoist who just recently also ran a in-depth look at Kartemquin’s most critically-acclaimed film Hoop Dreams. For the article, Stephen Gossett sat down with Gordon to talk about the past, present, and future of the group. “We were looking for a way to create an organization that could create media that would engage with the democratic process. Something that would help people see across various kinds of class, racial and economic lines to tell different kinds of stories…It’s not preaching to the converted, it’s trying to make an analysis that is really useful for people who are on the ground trying to change things.” Reflecting on Kartemquin’s legacy as it turns 50, Gossett writes “Perhaps Kartemquin’s most impressive feat over those five decades has been that from day one it has never wavered in its dedication to social justice, even as trends in documentary filmmaking have evolved.”