Kartemquin Films names new exec director

Former Illinois Film Office MD Betsy Steinberg (pictured) is to succeed Justine Nagan as the executive director of Chicago-based producer Kartemquin Films.
November 17, 2015

Chicago-based producer Kartemquin Films has tapped Betsy Steinberg (pictured) as its new executive director.

Steinberg takes over from the long-serving Justine Nagan, who this summer announced her departure to become the executive producer of PBS doc strand ‘POV’ and executive director of American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc). Though she has been working at ‘POV’ since September, Nagan officially leaves Kartemquin, known for such docs as The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams and Life Itself, on December 4. Steinberg, meanwhile, will begin at the prodco on December 1.

Steinberg joins from the Illinois Film Office, where she served as MD from 2007 to 2015 and helped to boost local TV production. Prior to her work there, she served for two years as the VP of business development at Towers Productions. Before this, she worked for about 15 years as a writer, producer and director on TV docs, commercials and political and issue advocacy campaigns, among other projects.

At Kartemquin, Steinberg will oversee all aspects of the company’s films, programs and operations, serving as executive producer on all new film projects.

Kartemquin’s co-founder Gordon Quinn, this year’s recipient of the International Documentary Association’s Career Achievement Award, will maintain his role as artistic director.

“Of all the candidates, Betsy immediately demonstrated the ethics and passion we know Kartemquin needs, and we are confident she will lead the staff and filmmakers to meet the challenges ahead while maintaining the values we have represented for five decades,” said Kartemquin board chair Jason Stephens, who is replacing outgoing chair Adrianne Furniss on January 1.

Kartemquin celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016. The company is to make its first announcement regarding celebratory plans on December 4 at an exclusive event in Chicago.

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