Six new summer interns join Kartemquin's team!

This summer we are lucky to have six talented and passionate interns join our team! The Kartemquin internship program is acclaimed by students, colleges and the film industry. Throughout the summer term, interns attend education workshops with staff members and filmmakers working with Kartemquin who teach various aspects of the documentary field and answer questions about their given project or area of expertise. These workshops include: camera and lighting, sound, dubbing, editing, ethics and fair use, project fundraising and financing, an intern demo pitch and feedback session.

Meet our 2017 Summer Interns:

Kai Allen Blakely

  • Kai is a Chicago filmmaker, cinematographer, and veteran. He is currently studying under the MFA Documentary Media Program at Northwestern University and has spent over a decade traveling Europe and Asia while serving in the US military. He attributes the experiences during this period as having influenced his approach to cinematic storytelling and interest in complex issues. He enjoys films that are able to tackle such issues with a degree of sophistication, neutrality and depth.
  • Serena Hodges

  • Serena is a videographer and documentarian based in Chicago. She currently organizes with Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR), a collective of radical South Asians looking to address racial, economic and other social violence and injustice through youth voices. Additionally, Serena is a network artist in For The People Artist Collective, a squad of black and brown artists which believe in art as a necessary tool in liberation movements. Serena uses the art of documentary filmmaking to combine her passions of film and social justice and hopes to continue collaboration in such realms after graduating from DePaul University in Cinema Production.
  • Lakshmi Karuparthy

  • Lakshmi is a recent alum of Northwestern University who majored in Radio/TV/Film and minored in Global Health while on the pre-med track. She is interested in blending her interests in medicine and filmmaking by using film as a platform to educate others on health related topics. She recently directed, filmed, and edited a short documentary about lead poisoning in Chicago residential areas victim to environmental racism. Currently, she is working on editing another short documentary about HIV in South Africa which she directed and filmed while studying abroad in Fall of 2016.
  • Connor O'Keefe

  • Connor hails from the wintery tundra of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Connor is currently working towards a major in Documentary Studies at DePaul University. His passion for filmmaking began with an interest in editing videos as a kid, and he later learned to hone his voice by sharing his experiences as a trans man on YouTube. He turned this interest towards documentary once he began studying at DePaul. His dream is to make films featuring Queer Stories told by Queer People and hopefully own a corgi (or five).
  • Joel Rao

  • Joel is a filmmaker from Chicago, Illinois. He is an alumni of Chicago Academy of teh Arts and a filmmaking in training (student) at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. An avid lover of all things cinema-related, (yes, even movies that break past an hour and thirty minutes) Joel can often be found early in the morning at movie theaters around Chicago getting half price tickets.
  • Evan Staley

  • Evan is a senior studying film production at Columbia College of Chicago. He is director and principal videographer for More Than A Bullet, a feature length documentary on Chicago's South Side which has generated over 350,000 views on YouTube and a feature in the Chicago Tribune. In addition, he has produced over 50 book trailers as a creative team member of the national author marketing company Where Writers Win, distinguishing himself as one of the first to infuse dramatic narrative film techniques into a staple of author marketing strategies.

Welcome new interns!

To learn more about our internship program, and how to apply, go to