Kartemquin's Response to COVID-19

Dear Kartemquin Community,

We wanted to reach out during this challenging, uncertain moment and share how Kartemquin is responding to COVID-19 — the current impact on our work and the anticipated after effects. 

Earlier this week, we began making preparations for a work-from-home protocol officially starting Monday, March 16. Our plan is to work remotely through the end of March, at the very least. We will continue to evaluate the local and national public health responses before making a decision on re-opening our building when we can ensure the safety of our staff and filmmakers, and that there is no possible negative impact on our neighbors and local citizens. To be clear, the KTQ building will be closed during this period and we will not be accommodating any visitors. 

What will this mean for our community and programming?

Our March Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) workshop next weekend will be held via teleconference. We will continue to monitor public health guidance in determining the viability of an April in-person DVID workshop.

We are currently working to have a remote edition of our March 24th installment of KTQ Labs, Scenes from a Glittering World. Please stay tuned for more details on how you can participate.

Finally, in the last week, COVID-19 has most directly affected the amazing slate of KTQ films planned for release in 2020. As many of you are aware, a number of festival cancellations have impacted the entire film industry. Among those affected are five Kartemquin films, including four world premieres, and three films that are the debut features by those directors, who are also graduates of our filmmaker development programs. We are devastated for the filmmakers involved in The Dilemma of Desire , Finding Yingying, Represent, Unapologetic, and City So Real.  These films have been denied, or at least delayed, some of the most enjoyable moments in filmmaking: their premiere screenings, with participants, crew, friends, supporters, and the public present to celebrate years of effort, craft, and investment. While we are saddened that our dedicated, passionate community will not have the opportunity to experience these incredible films and filmmakers at this time, we understand every festival has an obligation to protect the health and safety of all visitors, participants, and host cities at large. We regret having to delay the opportunity to celebrate our talented filmmakers and their hard work with the world. We do look forward to presenting this work to the Kartemquin community as soon as possible and will keep you posted on any developments for modified plans to share these new releases. We understand the decisions and stand in solidarity with the countless organizers and volunteers of SXSW, CIFF, Full Frame, and every other festival and major event being impacted by this turn of events. This is a disappointing and difficult situation for all involved. As the film industry looks towards this period of uncertainty, we want to pledge to be part of a collective response that allows all of this work to still have the exhibition they deserve.

As these filmmakers and their teams regroup, we ask the Kartemquin community grant us patience in a very uncertain moment and during a period with reduced staff capacity. We are grateful for your understanding, loyalty, and continued support. We know so many of you are impacted financially, physically and emotionally by this pandemic and hope you can continue to be mindful of your physical and mental health during this unprecedented situation.

Stay well and don’t hesitate to contact me or our staff if you have any questions or concerns. 


Jolene Pinder
Executive Director

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