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Kartemquin Films to Host Third Annual Empowering Truth Benefit

Last updated: September 29, 2021

Kartemquin Films, the award-winning Chicago-based documentary not-for-profit organization, will host its third annual Empowering Truth Benefit, taking place virtually on November 3rd at 7:00pm CT, streaming live on YouTube. Click here to purchase your tickets to this event.

In celebration of our 55th anniversary, we are excited to celebrate Kartemquin’s Past, Present and Future with our host, Board President and Civic Leader and Principal Director Elevate, Sylvia Ewing and a combination of seasoned and emerging filmmakers from the Kartemquin community, including co-founder and Artistic Director Gordon Quinn, Academy Award® -nominated filmmakers Steve James and Bing Liu, capped with a keynote conversation featuring New York Times best-selling author of the 2021 National Book Award longlist contender How the Word Is Passed, Clint Smith III.

Kartemquin is the production home of 2018’s best reviewed original TV series and documentary feature film, America to Me, and Minding the Gap; 2018 double Academy Award® and Emmy® nominees Abacus: Small Enough to Jail and Edith+Eddie; and, more recently, the critically lauded Finding Yingying and Unapologetic; along with many more acclaimed films over its history, such as Life Itself, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, and Hoop Dreams

Celebrating the voices and work of KTQ filmmakers and drawing on the rich organizational history, the Empowering Truth Benefit will explore themes of equity and representation in the media field through a series of dynamic conversations and a reflection on Kartemquin’s contributions as a leading advocate for independent nonfiction media for over 50 years. 

Tickets to the Empowering Truth Benefit are available now at ktqbenefit.org. The event will bring together filmmakers, partners and champions of impact storytelling to celebrate Kartemquin’s 55 years of indelibly shaped contemporary filmmaking and a continued unflinching commitment to nonfiction storytelling as an art form. The keynote of the event will be a timely conversation with poet and journalist Clint Smith III on his newest work How the Word Is Passed, discussing his journey of exploring familiar historical events from startling new perspectives and how our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view. The event will also showcase upcoming projects by Kartemquin’s filmmaking community. The event is free and will be hosted virtually on YouTube. Donations are encouraged.

“I am thrilled that Kartemquin is able to celebrate its 55 years in documentary filmmaking as we move beyond the pandemic. It will be a moment to celebrate the past, share our vision for the future, and welcome the next generation of diverse voices and stories,” said K. Sujata, Interim Executive Director.

“Our Empowering Truth Benefit will allow insight into the filmmakers’ creative process and the thoughtful work of Clint Smith III,” said Kartemquin Films Board Chair and event host, Sylvia Ewing. “The team has come up with a unique way to celebrate our 55 years, showcasing our commitment to being an antiracist organization. Most importantly, we will provide an opportunity for people with diverse viewpoints to learn and grow together. That’s what documentary filmmaking is all about.”

”As we look back at our 55 years, we have simultaneously been building towards our future,” said co-founder and Artistic Director Gordon Quinn. “We have been through a year of reflection that has allowed us to reimagine our role in pushing the field of documentary film production to be more inclusive as we confront issues of equity and power in our own organization.”

ABOUT THE 2021 EMPOWERING TRUTH BENEFIT 

The 2021 Kartemquin Films Empowering Truth Benefit takes place on November 3, 2021 at 7PM CT and will be live streamed on YouTube.

The event will bring together filmmakers, partners and champions of impact storytelling to celebrate Kartemquin’s 55-years of indelibly shaped contemporary filmmaking and a continued unflinching commitment to nonfiction storytelling as an art form.  The focal point of the event will be a timely conversation with poet and journalist Clint Smith III on his newest work How the Word Is Passed, discussing his journey of exploring familiar historical events from startling new perspectives and how our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view.

Here is a brief introduction to How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith III:

Tickets are available at ktqbenefit.org. Sponsorship packages are also still available.

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