Hot Docs to honor Steve James with 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award

Toronto's Hot Docs has chosen Steve James as the recipient of its 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award. As part of the honour, Hot Docs will screen a retrospective during the 23rd annual Festival, April 28 to May 8, celebrating James’s distinguished career as a director and producer. “It's an honour to celebrate a filmmaker of such depth, humanity and integrity as Steve James with the Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award,” says Hot Docs director of programming Shane Smith. “Over a career spanning three decades his body of exceptional work has demonstrated his commitment to illuminating stories of grit, honour and personal sacrifice; and solidified his status as a master of the documentary form.” Steve James produced and directed Oscar®-nominated Hoop Dreams (1994), universally acclaimed by critics and winner of several major awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award and Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. This began his 30 year affiliation with Kartemquin Films, with whom James has produced numerous award-winning films, including: Stevie (2002), winner of the Sundance Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary and the IDFA award for Best Feature-Length Documentary; The New Americans (2004), named Best Limited Series at the IDA’s Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards; The War Tapes (2006), winner of the Best Documentary Feature award at the Tribeca Film Festival; and The Interrupters (2011), winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Informational Programming - Long Form and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. James’s most recent documentary, Life Itself (2014), was named the best documentary of the year by over a dozen critics associations, Rotten Tomatoes, The Critic’s Choice Awards, The National Board of Review, and The Producers Guild of America. Steve is currently in production on To Bridge the Divide. Films in the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award Retrospective program will be announced in March, and Hot Docs is pleased to announce that James will be in attendance at this year’s Festival. We're delighted to Steve honored in this way during our 50th year. The Hot Docs Outstanding Achievement Award is presented annually by the Hot Docs Board of Directors in recognition of a filmmaker's enduring contribution to the documentary form. Past recipients and Hot Docs guests include Patricio Guzmán (2015), Adam Curtis (2014), Les Blank (2013), Michel Brault (2012), Terence Macartney-Filgate (2011), Kim Longinotto (2010), Alanis Obomsawin (2009), Richard Leacock (2008), Heddy Honigmann (2007), Werner Herzog (2006), Errol Morris (2005), Michael Maclear (2004), Nick Broomfield (2003), Frederick Wiseman (2002), D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus (2000) and Albert Maysles (1999). Industry registration for Hot Docs will open online (www.hotdocs.ca) January 26, 2016.
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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.
Based on his memoir of the same name, Life Itself recounts the surprising and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert – a story that’s by turns personal, wistful, funny, painful, and transcendent.

Kartemquin Films to announce inaugural grant recipients at 2018 Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon

Kartemquin will for the first time announce recipients of $150,000 in grants for up to 15 films at the 2018 Kartemquin Films Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon, taking place on November 1st at 11:30am at the Union League Club of Chicago.

Grants of up to $20,000 will be announced for eligible projects by debut or emerging filmmakers who are already receiving support through Kartemquin’s revered production process, which has guided over 65 award-winning, socially impactful films since the collective was founded in 1966.

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In 1995, filmmaker Steve James returns to Pomona, a beautiful rural hamlet in Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, for whom James once served as an advocate Big Brother.
On February 13, 1993, 17-year-old Bethel High School basketball star Allen Iverson entered a Hampton, Virginia bowling alley with several classmates. It was supposed to be an ordinary evening, but it became a night that defined Iverson's young life.
At the Death House Door follows the remarkable career journey of Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous "Walls" prison unit in Huntsville, Texas.
Four years in the lives of a diverse group of contemporary immigrants and refugees as they journey to start new lives in America.