November 30, 2016 12:30 pm
WTTW, Chicago's premier public television station, will broadcast Kartemquin's Peabody Award-winning Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita (2007) at 10PM on Thursday December 15, in honor of Kartemquin's 50th anniversary. This is the final broadcast in WTTW's monthly series of broadcasts of Kartemquin Films during our 50th Anniversary Year. Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita is a feature length documentary film and companion civic engagement campaign featuring the story of Dr. Jack Kessler, the former chair of Northwestern University's Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurological Sciences and current professor of Neurology and Pharmacology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and his daughter, Allison, an undergraduate student at Harvard University. When Kessler was invited to head up the Neurology Department at Northwestern, his focus was on using stem cells to help cure diabetes. However, soon after his move to Chicago, Allison -- then age 15, was injured in a skiing accident and paralyzed from the waist down. In the moments following the accident, Dr. Kessler made the decision to change the focus of his research to begin looking for a cure for spinal cord injuries using embryonic stem cells. Through Kessler's story, the stem cell debate is brought to the public for discussion. The film follows the constantly evolving interplay between the promise of new discoveries, the controversy of modern science and the resilience and courage of people living every day with devastating disease and injury. A winner of several awards at festivals around the world, Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita was broadcast on Independent Lens, PBS and in several other countries in 2008. Other highlights of Kartemquin’s 50th anniversary year included several retrospectives and screenings in Chicago and nationwide; an art exhibit; a book; workshops, panels, and master classes; and online streaming of the organization’s entire catalog of award-winning documentaries via http://watch.kartemquin.com. The full calendar, which will be updated throughout the year as new events and partners are added, is available at www.KTQ50.org. Join the conversation on Twitter at @Kartemquin or by using #KTQ50.