Multiple distribution partners join The Homestretch

Kartemquin Films and Spargel Productions are proud to announce multiple rights deals for The Homestretch, our new documentary about homeless youth in Chicago produced and directed by Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly.

The film, which premiered at Hot Docs 2014, will be released on digital platforms in North America by The Orchard on November 21st.

Kartemquin are expanding their role and handling theatrical distribution in partnership with social impact strategists Picture Motion, and theatrical-on-demand web platform Tugg. An opening week premiere theatrical run, just ended yesterday at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center, sold out 9 of 13 screenings, grossing over $17,000. The film will open in New York on November 21st.

Leading independent DVD publisher Bullfrog Films has taken the North American educational and non-theatrical rights. The DVD release is scheduled for early 2015.

France-based Java Films, one of leading independent documentary distributors in Europe, has taken all worldwide sales rights outside of North America.

Independent Television Service (ITVS) previously signed on as Executive Producers, and the film was selected for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate Initiative. PBS Independent Lens will broadcast The Homestretch in April 2015 and host free screenings in as many as 50 cities through their Community Cinema program.

“After working on this film for so long, it is gratifying to know that we will be reaching a wide, diverse audience across multiple platforms,” said Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly. “Our goal is to get this film to the people who need it most.”

“All through production, Anne and Kirsten were building local and national partnerships and thinking about the impact this film could have on homeless youth,” said Justine Nagan, executive director of Kartemquin Films. “We’re really confident that this is the right strategy for achieving their goals, and pleased to have assembled a group of distribution partners who believe in the film as passionately as we do.”

The filmmakers have listed multiple goals for the film’s Impact Campaign, ranging from raising funds to gives supplies to homeless youth and shelters, to urging U.S. Senators and Representatives to Authorize The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA). Their campaign is being spearheaded by Impact Producer Erin Sorenson, in partnership with the filmmakers, Picture Motion and Kartemquin.

Shot over the course of five years with unprecedented access into the Chicago Public Schools and youth homeless service organizations, The Homestretch follows three teens—Roque, Kasey and Anthony-- through a complex and haunting landscape of couch-hopping, emergency shelters, makeshift homes, and a school system that is struggling to cope with this crisis.

A co-production of Chicago’s Kartemquin Films and New York’s Spargel Productions (Asparagus! Stalking the American Life), The Homestretch received high praise earlier in 2014 at Toronto’s Hot Docs International Festival, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York, and AFI Docs Festival in Washington DC. The film will continue to make select festival appearances through the fall and winter, including playing in the Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival.

Early reviews describe the film as “unprecedented” (Huffington Post), “a humane accomplishment" (The Village Voice), “engaging and compelling viewing" (Glenn Kenny,, “an important film that people need to see... It's very heartbreaking, but it's also very inspirational,” (Richard Roeper, Windy City Live) and "heart-wrenching" (The Washington Post).

Initial funding for the film was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, Bertha Fund, Chicago Community Trust, Pierce Family Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation and Chicken & Egg Pictures, and through a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The deals were negotiated by the filmmakers, Tim Horsburgh for Kartemquin, Danielle DiGiacomo for The Orchard, Kathryn Bonnici for Java Films, John Hoskyns-Abrahall for Bullfrog, and Darcy Heusel for Picture Motion.


The Homestretch press kit, trailer, and stills:

Media Inquiries:
Tim Horsburgh | Kartemquin Films | 773.8472.4366 |