“I actually think we did a few things right,” says Kartemquin co-founder and artistic director Gordon Quinn. “We’ve tried to stay true to our core mission but we’ve tried to change with the times. We talk about reinventing ourselves … (and) we have the ability to be flexible and respond to the period of history we live in.”
“As much excited as I am when one of our films receives accolades, I’m even more so when the historical achievements of Kartemquin are lauded,” says Justine Nagan, Kartemquin executive director. “We have a real collective focus on mission and quality and high ethics – and getting people thinking and talking about the world we live in.”
“You hear a lot of cynicism about the younger generation, but that’s not what I perceive,” says Quinn. “The young people at Kartemquin are dedicated, focused, mission-driven and are trying to make a change.”
Kartemquin is honored to be the first organization ever to receive the RiverRun International Film Festival’s Master of Cinema Award.
The award will be presented following a screening of Bill Siegel’s documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali at Wake Forest University on April 9.
Read more about the festival, and our reaction to the award, in Yes Weekly.
“Hoop Dreams ain’t going nowhere, honey.”
Original intermission card for Hoop Dreams PBS broadcast, 1995.
Questions a documentary maker had to face at the start of interviews in 1968.
Taken from an interview with Kartemquin co-founders Gordon Quinn and Jerry Temaner in A Search for Values, a discussion guide for the films Parents and Thumbs Down. A PDF of the full 96 page (!) book is included on the DVD of The Kartemquin Collection: Early Years, Volume 1 1967-68, which contains both films.
I think purity can become a dead end. In other words, we saw how important emotion was in changing people’s minds [about a subject]. What we saw with Hoop Dreams was that if you could really get someone, grab them by the heart, and create that emotional power, then you can reach out to audiences who aren’t already sympathetic necessarily to your characters.
Gordon Quinn, Co-founder and Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films