Kartemquin Films Teams with Hulu on Accelerator Program for Filmmakers of Color

Today at the Sundance Film Festival Kartemquin Films and Hulu announced a two-year partnership that will offer an unprecedented opportunity for alumni of Kartemquin’s acclaimed Filmmaker Development Programs. Combining Kartemquin’s expertise in nurturing emerging, diverse midwest-based filmmakers and projects with Hulu’s groundbreaking support of original documentaries, the Hulu / Kartemquin Accelerator program will launch in March 2020.

The annual program will support two selected alumni of Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices in Docs, KTQ Labs, and KTQ Internship programs through the crucial development period when they are seeking major financial support for production and editing, and a potential commission or acquisition. 

The partnership between the two organizations builds upon a successful relationship and development path on the documentary Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu and produced by Diane Quon, which was acquired by Hulu after winning a Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Filmmaking at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Liu originally developed the film through Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices in Docs program, and then entered into Kartemquin’s celebrated collaborative production model, through which he met producer Quon after a KTQ Labs screening of an early rough cut. After its release on Hulu, the film went on to be the best reviewed documentary of 2018 and an Oscar and Emmy nominee.

The two filmmakers selected for the Hulu / Kartemquin Accelerator will each receive: 

  • A grant of $20,000 towards production
  • Guided support through the award-winning Kartemquin collaborative production model
  • Access to the Kartemquin office, production equipment, and editing facilities
  • Direct mentorship from an experienced Kartemquin associate / industry leader
  • A custom-designed “braintrust lab” designed to give an intense deep dive on their projects
  • A “first look” opportunity with Hulu 

Kartemquin programs alumni can apply today via www.kartemquin.com/accelerator. The program will begin in March 2020.

“With the Hulu / Kartemquin Accelerator, we see an opportunity to remove some of the formidable barriers to entry faced by many filmmakers who do not come from a background of privilege,” said Jolene Pinder, Kartemquin Executive Director. “as we have done with debut films such as Bing Liu’s Minding the Gap or Jiayan “Jenny” Shi’s Finding Yingying, the program will add to the filmmaker’s capacity while harnessing the strengths of the unique Kartemquin community to cultivate their growth, but will be taking that process to the next level.”

“With Hulu’s support of Kartemquin, underrepresented filmmakers are going to be given the guidance and grounding they need so they can deliver stronger material and participate more effectively in the current industry. We hope it will have a transformative impact on a generation of diverse and adventurous storytellers based in the midwest,” said Tim Horsburgh, Kartemquin Director of Film Strategy.


  • Applying filmmaker must identify as African/African American, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA).
  • Applying filmmaker must be either the director or producer of the project.
  • Applying filmmaker must apply as an individual, though principal collaborators (such as directing/producing partners) will be able to participate in key meetings and consultations.
  • Applying filmmaker must be a graduate of a Kartemquin Filmmaker Development Program (Internship, KTQ Labs, Diverse Voices in Docs) within the period 2014-2019.
  • Project must be a nonfiction feature or series at the production or post-production stage.
  • Filmmakers must be willing to abide by the terms of the Hulu / Kartemquin Accelerator agreement.
  • Filmmakers must be primarily based in the Midwest and able to travel frequently to the Kartemquin offices for the duration of the program. (Midwest defined as residents of these states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin). 
  • Alignment to Kartemquin’s mission of democracy through documentary.
  • Preference will be given to proposals for projects that were seeded in Kartemquin Filmmaker Development Programs.


Eligible filmmakers can apply at www.kartemquin.com/accelerator