October 14, 2015 4:36 pm
Kartemquin Films has been making waves in the community with Peabody Award-winning director Maria Finitzo’s latest film In the Game. Last week, the filmmakers hosted two screenings at the very place the documentary’s story centers--Thomas Kelly High School in Brighton Park, Chicago. Additionally, Harold Washington Library hosted a special screening on October 5th to kick off the popular One Book, One Chicago program for the Chicago Public Library.
The first of two screenings at Thomas Kelly High School took place at 11:00am on Thursday, October 1st. The film was screened to the entire student body through assemblies in the gymnasium and auditorium, and live-streamed into every classroom. A short panel discussion followed the screening with a panel that included filmmaker Maria Finitzo; Coach Stan Mietus (Kelly High School and in the film); Maria Garcia-Jimenez, Alicia Herrera, and Elizabeth Moreno (Kelly High School graduates and in the film); Nadia Flores (former College and Career Counselor at Kelly High School); Juan Martinez (College Advisor, Richard J. Daley Community College and in the film); and Luis Narvaez (College Access for Special Populations, Office of College and Career Success at CPS). The emotional resonance of the film and subject matter was felt throughout the whole audience, and the students were provided with words of encouragement and advice from the panelists, several of whom at one point sat in that very auditorium as the students themselves. The discussion included highlighting the importance of sports and how that can be the encouragement and team-building skills that students need to succeed academically and professionally. Another key highlight was the crucial nature of support from teachers, friends, and peers, and not being afraid to seek help if needed. The panelists proved to be terrific examples of how to use what was available to succeed in school and beyond.
The evening screening was free for public to attend and hosted by the Illinois Humanities Council. Prior to the film, over 80 Kelly High School Women’s soccer alum were recognized and celebrated. The moderator for the panel was Eddie Aruza (Correspondent and Segment Host for WTTW’s Chicago Tonight), and panelists included Maria Finitzo (a Peabody award-winner and director of In the Game), Beatriz Ponce de Leon (Executive Director of Generation All), and Elizabeth Moreno (Kelly High School alum). Read more about the screening via this blog at the Chicago Community Trust.
In partnership with One Book, One Chicago, a free public screening of In the Game was hosted at Harold Washington Library on the evening of Monday, October 5th. Panelists for the event included Terry Mazany (President and chief executive officer for The Chicago Community Trust), Patrick Brosnan (Executive Director at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council), Michael Rodriguez (executive director of Enlace Chicago), and Cristina Pacione-Zayas (Education Director for the Latino Policy Forum). The post-screening panel was moderated by Diana Palomar (VP of Community Affairs, ABC7). Issues discussed ranged from getting accepted into college to social support from the community and government at the local and federal levels. Attendees listened attentively to the speakers, having been drawn in from the powerful story of the Kelly High School soccer players depicted in the documentary. This was the beginning of a series of screenings that will occur through April 2016 as In the Game tours several library branches across the city of Chicago. The film has Spanish subtitles and a bi-lingual discussion guide that will be used to engage diverse audiences across Chicago. See a full list of upcoming In the Game screenings: https://kartemquin.com/films/in-the-game/events