Kartemquin previews four new films at “Spring Showcase” at Gene Siskel Film Center May 19

Tickets are now on sale for the 2013 Kartemquin Spring Showcase!

Enjoy exclusive previews of never-before-seen footage from four of our upcoming documentaries, and give your feedback directly to the filmmakers in the theater and in a post-screening reception. Serving as both a window into our process and an opportunity to impact the future of these works-in-progress, this annual event embodies the Kartemquin spirit of collaborative creation and meaningful audience engagement. Get tickets.

2013 Kartemquin Spring Showcase
Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 164 N State St.
May 19, 2013 at 5 p.m, with a filmmaker reception following for all ticketholders.
Tickets are now available: http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/kartemquin-spring2013.

“Last year’s Spring Showcase sold out very quickly, and the audience feedback was very positive. We are delighted to again show our fans a special sneak peek of these films,” said Justine Nagan, Kartemquin’s Executive Director. “This event is really about community-building and democratic discussion – two of the values that have driven our work for four decades.”

The Spring Showcase documentaries are all at various stages of completion but will likely be released within the next 18 months. The films this year are:

Director/Producer: Judith Helfand. Producer: Fenell Doremus.

Peabody Award-winner Judith Helfand (Blue Vinyl) takes audiences from one of the most extreme heat waves in US history deep into the politics of disaster. Cooked analyzes the 1995 heat wave in which 739 Chicago residents – most of them poor, elderly and African American – died over the course of one hot July week, to begin an exploration of community preparedness against the "unnatural" disaster of poverty.

Judith and Fenell will be in conversation with Natalie Moore of WBEZ.

Mormon Movie
Director/Producer: Xan Aranda

Inspired by Mormon educational films starring her mother during the 1960s, Xan Aranda (Andrew Bird: Fever Year), explores the stories that shaped generations of her ancestors - the pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As the tales and tenets of their controversially clean-cut community are uncovered, Xan tests the seemingly unshakeable cornerstones of her family's beliefs, and re-examines her own story of leaving the faith sixteen years ago.

Xan will be in conversation with Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune.

The Homestretch
Directors/Producers: Anne de Mare, Kirsten Kelly.

To be homeless and in high school is a challenge that no young person should have to face. Yet each year, over 1.6 million young people find themselves homeless, many without parental support. In Chicago, there are almost 17,000 homeless students registered in the public school system. The majority of them are adolescents fighting to make it through the final years of high school. The Homestretch is their story.

Kirsten and Anne will be in conversation with author Alex Kotlowitz.

American Arab
Director/Producer: Usama Alshaibi.

Iraqi-American filmmaker Usama Alshaibi (Nice Bombs) shares his own story of experiencing racism in post-9/11 America. Introducing us to other people living as Arabs in the U.S., the film sparks a frank conversation about identity and perception, and argues for giving people "the space to be complicated."

Usama will be in conversation with punk musician Marwan Kamel, who is featured in the film, and Kartemquin Artistic Director Gordon Quinn.

Watch a recap of the sold out 2012 Spring Showcase and check out our Storify of viewer reactions to the films.

This event is inspired by our regular KTQ Labs: Feedback Screenings Program. KTQ Labs is a monthly program that gives local documentary filmmakers a chance to screen their works- in-progress and receive constructive feedback from Kartemquin staff and associates, free of charge. The wait-list is often six months long with doc makers eager to receive feedback.

To date, KTQ Labs has helped almost 100 films progress towards completion, some of which have gone on to screen at festivals such as SXSW, Hot Docs, and True/False, and to air on PBS Independent Lens and the Sundance Channel.

Notable program graduates include Louder Than A Bomb, What’s the Matter With Kansas?, Scrappers, and Andrew Bird: Fever Year. Interested in applying? Email KTQLabs@Kartemquin.com.