LOADING DOC: A Double Oscar Nomination, Sundance News and More

LOADING DOC: A Double Oscar Nomination, Sundance News and More

LOADING DOC is thrilled to announce two Oscar nominations for non-fiction films from Chicago's own Kartemquin Films! Nominated for Best Documentary feature is ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL, a suspenseful, courtroom drama about a Chinese family's David and Goliath struggle. Directed by Steve James, Produced by Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman, Edited by John Farbrother and David Simpson, ABACUS is Executive Produced by Chris Clements, Betsy Steinberg, Gordon Quinn, Justine Nagan, Raney Aronson-Rath for Frontline and Sally Jo Fifer for ITVS. Nominated for Best Documentary short is EDITH + EDDIE about America's oldest interracial couple by Director, Producer, Editor Laura Checkoway. Executive Producers for Checkoway's romantic yet cautionary tale are Cher, Steve James, Gordon Quinn and Betsey Steinberg.

A national treasure and non-profit media arts organization Kartemquin acts as a home base, production studio and civic community for documentary filmmakers whose projects fit their mission. As this history video shows (click here to view), for more than 50 years Kartemquin has collaborated with Chicago's indie documentary filmmakers and their production teams, providing guidance, advocating for fair use, nurturing the next generation of talent and connecting indie producers to organizations that want to use documentary to improve understanding about real issues.

Currently Kartemquin has two other films premiering at Sundance, both previously featured here in the Loading Doc, MINDING THE GAP by Bing Liu and Diane Quon and AMERICA TO ME, a 10- hour series focusing on one suburban high school, by Steve James and his largest team yet. AMERICA TO ME broke new ground by being the first production to premier in Sundance's new category for Indie Episodic projects. Just prior to its premiere, Kartemquin announced that the Starz Network purchased television rights for AMERICA TO ME. The first five hours will be shown at Sundance. The remainder is still in post-production.

The Doc Talk Show #11: The Witness is coming up this Thursday, January 25th (7pm - 9:30pm) at Uncommon Ground (3800 N. Clark St.). Enjoy food, drinks and great convos with filmmakers and audiences hungry for our form of art. This small room fills fast so click here to reserve your seats on Eventbrite. The free program offers a variety of non-fiction films organized around a theme.

Thursday's line up:

Vincent Martell: LSD (featuring Jamila Woods and Chance The Rapper)

Michael Caplan: ALGREN

Mario Tharpe & Bob Hercules: FIGHTING ON BOTH FRONTS: THE STORY OF THE 370TH

AJ Spitz & Josh Jones: IS THIS ENOUGH?

Dan Rybicky: ACCIDENT, MD

Joe Winston: PUNCH 9: HAROLD WASHINGTON FOR CHICAGO

Contact me if you would like to submit your short film, clip from a longer film, or work-in-progress (demo-teaser) under 10 minutes.

JEFF SPITZ is a Chicago-based Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Sundance Film Festival honoree and Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago. Jeff curates and hosts THE DOC TALK SHOW – a monthly non-fiction showcase with filmmakers, food and drink presented by Groundswell Films.