It’s a green light for two Chicago filmmakers, with backing from two cornerstones of the film world. Kartemquin Films announces the two projects that will participate in the second year of the Hulu / Kartemquin Accelerator: Freedom Hill by director Resita Cox and Still Searching by director Latoya Flowers.
The Accelerator program offers two alumni of Kartemquin’s acclaimed Filmmaker Development Programs $20,000 each towards production, and mentorship through 2021 within the award-winning Kartemquin collaborative production model.
The Accelerator program builds upon a successful relationship between Hulu and Kartemquin on the Oscar and Emmy nominated documentary Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu and produced by Diane Quon, which also won a Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Filmmaking at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. This relationship continued in the accelerator’s first year in 2020 supporting directors Colette Ghunim and Reveca Torres. Ghunim and Torres originally developed their projects through Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices in Docs program, while this year’s selected participants, Resita Cox and Latoya Flowers, are alumni of Kartemquin’s Internship program.
“Kartemquin is thrilled to continue the partnership with Hulu to support two more filmmakers this year, who are telling deeply personal stories that resonate on a much larger scale, the impact of climate change and gender-based violence.” said K. Sujata, Interim Executive Director at Kartemquin Films.
Introducing the Two New Hulu / Kartemquin Accelerator Projects
Freedom Hill Directed by Resita Cox
In Freedom Hill, Princeville, NC is the first town incorporated by freed, formerly enslaved Africans in America. This historical significance sits on a precipice: it is gradually being washed away.
Resita is a North Carolina-born, Chicago-based independent filmmaker and artist. Resita launched her career in journalism at WTVD-TV in Raleigh, NC as a multimedia journalist. Resita transitioned to documentary film in 2018, where she was named a Chicago Filmmakers Digital Media Production Grantee for her film, Regrowth, which is about food and environmental justice on the West Side of Chicago. Resita has worked with Kartemquin Films as the Impact Producer on their Emmy-nominated docu-series produced with The Marshall Project, We Are Witnesses. She is the founder of Black Archive Media, a creative film collective archiving the Black experience through doc media. She holds an MFA from Northwestern University in Documentary Film and is a 2021 Sisters in Cinema Documentary Fellow.
“I am super excited that Kartemquin and Hulu chose two Black womyn filmmakers to invest in this year,” said Freedom Hill director Resita Cox. “I look forward to developing this project with someone who has similar lived-experiences as a Black woman navigating a majority white film industry. I can’t wait to learn from KTQ and Hulu. Extremely excited and grateful for this opportunity to continue to uplift my home, North Carolina, and the 252 (Eastern NC stand up!).”
Still Searching Directed by Latoya Flowers
In 2020 Damon Lamar Reed, a Chicago hip-hop artist and muralist, started painting an eye-catching vivid series of portraits titled The Still Searching Project of missing Black women and girls in the Chicagoland area for the past two decades. Due to their lack of local, national, and global media coverage, he is utilizing his artistry as social justice bringing awareness to their cases and hope to their families that they will be found.
Latoya graduated from the School of Visual Arts and received an MFA in Social Documentary Film. She worked on the critically acclaimed documentariesThe Interrupters, A Good Man, and Running from Crazy during her internships at Kartemquin and Cabin Creek Films. Her short documentary Derby Girls, was featured in the group exhibition The Sports Show, curated by the School of Visual Arts Alumni Society. The exhibition featured more than 30 leading artists and designers who are behind some of the most iconic imagery in the world of sports. Latoya is currently an Exhibition Media Producer at the Field Museum in Chicago, where she creates documentaries and immersive media experiences.
“I am excited and thankful for my film being selected by the committee in the Kartemquin/Hulu Accelerator Program, said Still Searching director LaToya Flowers. “This moment is still surreal for me personally, since it brings my career full circle. In 2011, I started my career in documentaries interning at Kartemquin. Kartemquin’s team facilitated my professional development and drive to make films with social/community impact through passionate well-executed storytelling. I am grateful and elated that because of my previous experience, I am now gaining continued mentorship and support with my lab fellow with KTQ/Hulu!”
Check back at Screen Magazine for updates as these two new Hulu / Kartemquin Accelerator projects forge ahead into production.