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UCLA Film & Television Archive and the International Documentary Association present

Kartemquin Films at 50

Raising Bertie
September 16, 2016 -
September 26, 2016
Margaret Byrne, Ian Kibbe, Jon Stuyvesant (9/16); Gordon Quinn (9/23, 9/25, 9/26); Steve James (9/26).

Read our interview with Kartemquin co-founder Gordon Quinn.

Operating from its home base in Chicago where it was founded in 1966, Kartemquin Films has become an internationally-recognized beacon for engaged and engaging nonfiction filmmaking dedicated to affecting democratic change.  Activist in stance, at the heart of its success and at the core of its mission has been its principled commitment to telling human-scale stories from intimate and disarming perspectives.  Union halls, college campuses, board meetings and courthouses appear throughout Kartemquin’s five decades of production but more present and more powerful are the dramas that unfold in living rooms, kitchens, front porches and backyards where its filmmakers take us.  From its earliest films produced as a form of “cinematic social inquiry,” such as Home for Life (1966) and Now We Live on Clifton (1974), to its groundbreaking, longitudinal masterworks, such as Hoop Dreams (1994), 5 Girls (2001) and Raising Bertie (2016), the recognizable struggles of ordinary people help illuminate the intersections of race, gender and class with social, cultural and economic concerns.  What emerges from across this body of work is not only a grassroots history of these issues as they have evolved over the years, but also, through Kartemquin’s unique relationship to the Chicago area and its residents, a sprawling and enthralling cinematic city symphony like no other.  Guided by co-founder and artistic director Gordon Quinn, the non-profit collective has also helped democratize the non-fiction production process by providing institutional support to filmmakers from concept to distribution, including forging strong relationships with community partners to extend the impact of their work.  UCLA Film & Television Archive, in partnership with the International Documentary Association, is proud to present this selection of titles from Kartemquin Films on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary.

The International Documentary Association (IDA) also celebrates "Kartemquin at 50" on opening night of the Getting Real 2016 documentary film conference (September 27-29) in Los Angeles.  For more information about the IDA’s Kartemquin event and conference, please visit:

Special thanks:  Margaret Byrne; Gordon Quinn, Tim Horsburgh—Kartemquin Films; Simon Kilmurry, Ken Jacobson—International Documentary Association.

Past Programs & Events

Title Date and Time Location
The Interrupters

The Interrupters

Monday, September 26, 2016 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater

Golub  /  Inquring Nuns

Sunday, September 25, 2016 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
The Last Pullman Car

The Last Pullman Car  /  Taylor Chain I & II

Friday, September 23, 2016 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
5 Girls

5 Girls

Monday, September 19, 2016 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
The Chicago Maternity Story

The Chicago Maternity Center Story  /  Home For Life

Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Raising Bertie

Raising Bertie

Friday, September 16, 2016 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater