Extra: MacArthur backs Kartemquin, Pivot takes “Planet”

In today's 'Extra,' Kartemquin Films receives grants from the MacArthur Foundation and Sage Foundation, Pivot picks up 1000 Days for the Planet and Espresso inks presales for NASA's 10 Greatest Achievements (pictured).
December 4, 2015

MacArthur and Sage Foundations provide US$1 million in grants to Kartemquin
Kartemquin Films has received US$1 million in grants for support over the next two years from the MacArthur Foundation and Sage Foundation.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is providing the Chicago-based documentary collective $500,000 over two years for leadership and infrastructure support, its 50th anniversary celebrations and filmmaker services. Meanwhile, Sage is granting another $500,000 over two years for general operating support, 50th anniversary celebrations and seed funds to launch a new initiative that will be announced at Kartemquin’s Milestones gala on June 24.

The gala is one of several 50th anniversary events the Hoop Dreams and Life Itself producer is planning for 2016. Other events include retrospective screenings, an art exhibit, monthly TV broadcasts, an academic book, workshops, panels, master classes and online streaming of the company’s entire catalog of documentaries. For a run-down of events, visit

Pivot acquires 1000 Days for the Planet
UK distributor Cineflix Rights has sold the wildlife and natural history series 1000 Days for the Planet to Pivot. The U.S. cable net has acquired seasons one through three (22 x 60 minutes) of the series, which was produced by Glacialis Productions and follows scientist and UN Ambassador for the Environment Jean Lemire on a journey around the world. The deal was brokered by Lucinda Gergley-Garner, Cineflix’s senior VP of sales for Germany and North America and Canadian acquisitions.

Espresso secures presales for NASA’s 10 Greatest Achievements
UKTV, Australia’s Foxtel and Middle Eastern net Al Arabiya have inked presale deals for Free Spirit Film & Television’s space documentary NASA’s 10 Greatest Achievements (pictured) with distributor Espresso Media International. The 2 x 52-minute doc looks at the U.S. space agency’s five-decade history using visual effects, archival footage and interviews. Events covered include the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 and the Mars Pathfinder in 1997. It will air in 2016.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.