WTTW, Chicago's premier public television station, will broadcast a year-long series of award-winning documentaries from Kartemquin Films, the producers of HOOP DREAMS, TYPEFACE and the 2011 Sundance Film festival hit THE INTERRUPTERS, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the nonprofit Chicago studio.
The series will include the television premieres of three new films: PRISONER OF HER PAST, about late-onset PTSD, the “American Masters” premiere of A GOOD MAN, a profile of the controversial Kennedy-award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones as he creates a new performance on Abraham Lincoln for the Ravinia Festival; and THE INTERRUPTERS, a film by Steve James (HOOP DREAMS) and author Alex Kotlowitz (THERE ARE NO CHILDREN HERE) about former Chicago gang members who now intervene in violent conflicts, which will air on Frontline in the coming year.
“We are very happy that our films, old and new, will be showcased on WTTW during our 45th anniversary year,” said Justine Nagan, Kartemquin’s Executive Director. “While many of our documentaries have aired on the station over the years, it’s exciting to be building a more formalized partnership with them. It’s a natural fit for two established Chicago media institutions.”
“I am very pleased and excited that this partnership is happening,” stated Dan Soles, WTTW Senior Vice President and Chief Television Content Officer. “Kartemquin has been a pioneer of Chicago independent film for decades, and sharing their documentaries with our viewers in this way is very much in keeping with our mission of enhancing the cultural and intellectual life of the city. It makes sense for WTTW and Kartemquin to be working together.”
The series begins at 9pm on March 31 with Kartemquin's classic 1968 'Cinéma vérité' film INQURING NUNS, in which two nuns confront the people of Chicago with the question, "Are you happy?" Viewers are treated to a range of thought-provoking answers ranging from "avoiding people" and "raspberries" to discussions of the Vietnam War.
On April 28, PRISONER OF HER PAST will air at 9pm. The film follows Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich's search to uncover the events responsible for his Holocaust-survivor mother's Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In May, viewers will have a rare opportunity to see NOW WE LIVE ON CLIFTON, a 1974 look at gentrification and urban renewal through the eyes of two Wicker Park youths that Kartemquin will release on DVD for the first time this year.
Other films in the series will be the Regional Emmy-nominated TYPEFACE, about the preservation of art in the digital age; TAYLOR CHAIN, an unprecedented exposé of negotiations between unions,
workers and management at an Indiana steel plant; and the Emmy-nominated IN THE FAMILY, about predicting breast and ovarian cancer, the consequences of knowing, and the women who live with the risk.
Each film in the series will be preceded by an introduction from Kartemquin staff, including co-founder and Artistic Director Gordon Quinn, filmed by Kartemquin at their historic Victorian-era building in East Lakeview.
A force in documentary film since 1966, Kartemquin is best known for producing the classic documentary Hoop Dreams and for being a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Following its most productive year yet in 2010, the nonprofit Chicago organization will celebrate its anniversary year with a series of special local screenings and events, including collaborations with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Jane Addams Hull House Museum and the Chicago International Film Festival in addition to WTTW. Retrospectives at other film festivals across the nation will also be announced as the year progresses, and the celebrations will culminate with a Chicago gala in the fall. WTTW will also have a presence at several of these local events.
About Kartemquin Films
Founded in 1966 to produce documentaries that examine and critique society through the stories of real people, Kartemquin Films serves as a home for independent media makers who seek to create social change through film. This Chicago-based documentary powerhouse has won every major critical and journalistic prize, including an Emmy, a Peabody and an Oscar nomination. 2010 was the most productive year in Kartemquin’s history, with the wide-release of three new features (TYPEFACE, PRISONER OF HER PAST, and NO CROSSOVER: THE TRIAL OF ALLEN IVERSON), and production on five works-in-progress. The organization was also honored with the Altgeld Freedom of Speech Award for “unflinchingly holding up a mirror to American society,” and hailed as “a success story we should all celebrate” by Chicago’s WBEZ radio.
Kartemquin’s community of talent and socially engaged business model has long made it a sought after production and distribution partner. Their films move viewers, unite communities and live for years beyond their initial release.
In 2011, Kartemquin will celebrate its 45th anniversary with a series of special events, screenings and educational workshops across the country to engage audiences in a greater conversation about using film to create change. 2011 will also see the release of two high profile Kartemquin documentaries: THE INTERRUPTERS -- by Academy Award-nominee Steve James -- and A GOOD MAN, a profile of provocative choreographer Bill T. Jones.
A revered resource within the film community on issues of fair use, ethics, story structure and civic discourse, Kartemquin is internationally recognized for crafting quality documentaries backed by audience and community engagement strategies, and for its innovative media arts community programs. Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. www.kartemquin.com.
For more than 55 years, audiences have turned to WTTW for distinctive programming that informs, inspires, educates, and entertains. WTTW reaches 1.5 million weekly households over a four-state area, making it the most-watched public television station in America. Recognized for its award-winning local and national productions, WTTW is committed to presenting the very best in cultural, nature, science, public affairs, and children's programming across its four distinct television channels: WTTW11, WTTW Prime, its Spanish-language channel WTTW V-me, and WTTW Create, its "how-to" channel. For more information, please visit www.wttw.com.