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.

Kartemquin is the production home of America to Me and Minding the Gap - respectively, 2018’s best reviewed original TV series and documentary feature film - and 2018 double Academy Award® and Emmy® Nominees Abacus: Small Enough to Jail and Edith+Eddie, along with many more acclaimed films over its history, such as Hoop Dreams, Life Itself and The Trials of Muhammad Ali.

The organization is also granting funds for the first time to filmmakers enrolled in its Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) program, a nine-month professional mentorship and development program for documentary filmmakers of color organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago that launched in 2013. Kartemquin will award up to three 2018 DVID fellows funding ranging from $5,000-$10,000 for a total of $20,000, and will increase that funding to a total of $50,000 for up to six DVID filmmakers in 2019.

Kartemquin’s filmmaker development programs serve over 40 filmmakers annually and have launched over 500 alumni into careers in documentary filmmaking. The organization is a committed advocate for the sustainability of the documentary field.

Tickets to the Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon are available now at www.ktqbenefit.com. The event will bring together 275 filmmakers, partners and champions of impact storytelling to celebrate America to Me, the 10-part docu-series directed by Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Steve James, produced by Kartemquin Films and Participant Media, and now airing on STARZ. The focal point will be a dynamic conversation about education, featuring the filmmakers and special guest participants featured in the series. The event will also showcase the achievements of and upcoming projects by Kartemquin’s filmmaking community.

“Our Empowering Truth event on November 1st will be the culmination of one of the most successful years in our history, celebrating double Oscar and Emmy nominations, new films gaining unprecedented acclaim, and previews of others that will be soon to world premiere, ” said Betsy Steinberg, Executive Director.

“These film-specific grants are part of both a next step in our evolution, but also a continuation of our philosophy, which has always been built on mentorship of young filmmakers, and building an inclusive, supportive community,” said Gordon Quinn, founder and Artistic Director.

"Kartemquin has been a leading voice in the documentary world for 52 years, and these grants will help empower a new generation of storytellers to create social impact and advance democracy through truth. We are proud and excited to celebrate with the community on November 1st,” said Jason Stephens, Kartemquin Board Chair.

Support for Kartemquin’s new film granting initiative comes from the Sage Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Voqal Fund, Chicago Community Trust and the Forum Fund.

ABOUT KARTEMQUIN FILMS
Sparking democracy through documentary since 1966, Kartemquin is a collaborative community that empowers documentary makers who create stories that foster a more engaged and just society.

Kartemquin's films have received three Academy Award® nominations and won many more major prizes, including five Emmys® and two Peabody Awards. Recognized as a leading advocate for independent public media, Kartemquin has helped hundreds of artists via its filmmaker development programs and championing of documentary. Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Chicago. www.kartemquin.com

ABOUT THE 2018 EMPOWERING TRUTH BENEFIT LUNCHEON
The 2018 Kartemquin Films Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon takes place on November 1, 2018 at 11:30AM-1PM at the Union League Club of Chicago. Valet parking provided. Business attire required.

The event will bring together 275 filmmakers, partners and champions of impact storytelling to celebrate Kartemquin’s new grantmaking initiatives and upcoming work from its co-productions and filmmaker development programs. The focal point will be a dynamic conversation about education, featuring the filmmakers and special guest participants featured in the series America to Me, the 10-part docu-series directed by Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Steve James.

Tickets are available at www.ktqbenefit.com. Sponsorship packages are also still available.

ABOUT AMERICA TO ME
Steve James’ America to Me, an epic, ten-part documentary series that The New York Times has deemed “a searing lesson in school inequity,” explores America’s charged state of race and education through a year with students, families, faculty and administrators at one of the country’s most diverse high schools. The series is produced by Kartemquin Films and Participant Media, airing on STARZ every Sunday night at 9pm ET / 8pm CT. In congruence with the series’ nationwide release on STARZ, Participant Media has launched a nationwide impact campaign already sparking thousands of conversations with educators, students, parents, and community leaders across the country. Learn more about the series here.

Related films: 
Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) examines racial, economic and class issues in contemporary American education in the ten-part unscripted documentary series America to Me. Poignant and funny, epic and intimate, America to Me spends an academic year at Chicagoland's elite Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF), allowing its students, families, faculty and administration to tell stories of the pressures and challenges teens face today in their own words.

Kartemquin and Freep Film Festival Partner on Midwest Documentary Filmmaker Sustainability Conversation


We're excited to share that Kartemquin Films is partnering with Freep Film Festival, held April 10-14 in Detroit, to host a conversation on filmmaker sustainability and a special rough cut lab. Both events bring to Detroit for the first time initiatives and expertise Kartemquin has pioneered as part of its acclaimed filmmaker development programs and advocacy on behalf of the documentary field.

Continued
Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail tells the incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle.
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.

Continued
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.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers the explosive crossroads of Ali’s life. When Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali, his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War leave him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence. Ali’s choice of belief and conscience over fame and fortune resonates far beyond the boxing ring, striking issues of race, faith and identity that continue to confront us all today.