Jerry Blumenthal (pictured), a founding partner of Chicago-based doc producer Kartemquin Films, has died.
Since joining the company – known for docs such as The Interrupters and Life Itself - in the 1960s and officially in 1967, Blumenthal has served as a director, editor and sound recordist on a great number of Kartemquin’s films, beginning as “additional help” in 1966′s Home for Life.
He most recently worked as a producer and editor on Kartemquin’s 2010 documentary Prisoner of Her Past, and as a director on the film Murder the Prepositions, a doc on the poet Les Bridges that Blumenthal started in 1995.
His previous film Golub: Late Works are the Catastrophes (2004) – which he coproduced with Kartemquin co-founder Gordon Quinn – revisited the American artist 13 years after the 1988 doc Golub, and was a selection at the 2004 IDFA.
Blumenthal also coproduced the NBC documentary Vietnam, Long Time Coming, which earned a national Emmy and the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Documentary in 1999.
Blumenthal’s other films include The Last Pullman Car, The Chicago Maternity Center Story, the two Taylor Chain docs, and the Palestinian story in Kartemquin’s 2004 series The New Americans.
“Jerry was my filmmaking partner for over four decades,” said Quinn in a statement posted on the company’s website. “His sense of story, people, politics, and art and artists, will be missed. With Kartemquin we went through good times and bad, but with Jerry we always found time to laugh.”