February 26, 2015 5:16 pm
We've been honored to receive some remarkable tributes recently.
On the blog of PBS' independent documentary series P.O.V., Heather McIntosh sung our praises as she announced she is a on a year-long mission to watch and write about every Kartemquin film. We've now made over 50, so she will need to watch over one a week to be done in time for our 50th anniversary in 2016! McIntosh writes: "whether the film subjects center on Chicago or not, Kartemquin Films focus on social justice and democracy. These are not buzzwords. They permeate not only the films, but also the fair use, filmmaker training and mentoring, and other advocacy activities."
That kind sentiment was echoed by the fillmmakers at Meridian Hill Pictures in Washington, D.C., as they described our long relationship in helping them produce their new film City of Trees through our KTQ Labs program, fiscal sponsorship, and in ongoing consultation.
In a post titled "Kartemquin Films: Inspiring New Generations of Filmmakers for Over 48 years," they write of first visiting 1901 W Wellington:
“Through KTQ Labs, the whole Kartemquin staff weighed in and really helped push us to say yes, you can make a simplified version of the film, but what you guys have in these people and their stories is something deeper. You look at the film now and you really have a depth that shows each person’s journey and contradictions. I don’t think we would have had the courage to walk down that road without their guidance.
Kartemquin has this beautiful old house in Chicago. You open the door and all the bedrooms are edit suites and films are getting made. Going through the KTQ screening, seeing the staff and the work they’re doing, made me so grateful that that house exists. It’s a production house but I see it as a university or a school with a very specific pedagogy or approach to documentary storytelling that’s vibrant, growing and incredibly supportive to people like us."
We're grateful to them for taking the time to write such generous compliments, and excited for everyone to see City of Trees when it is completed.
One final little bit of Kartemquin celebrating, since we are here! We are very grateful to Robert Loerzel, writing for Chicago Magazine, who placed 4 Kartemquin films on a list of "The 10 Best Chicago Documentaries." At #1 was Hoop Dreams (Steve James, 1994), with The Interrupters (Steve James, 2011) at #4, Inquiring Nuns (Gordon Quinn & Jerry Temaner, 1968) at #8, and Now We Live on Clifton (KTQ Collective, 1974) at #10.
Thanks to everyone who supports, watches and believes in our work!
Photo: Meridian Hill's Edwin Martinez, Lance Kramer, and Brandon Kramer with Gordon Quinn at Kartemquin.