“Minding The Gap”, “Represent” garner Kartemquin Film grants

Chicago-based doc house Kartemquin Films has unveiled the 2018 recipients of US$150,000 in grants during the Kartemquin Films Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon on Thursday (Nov.1). Director Bing Liu’s Minding The Gap ...
November 2, 2018

Chicago-based doc house Kartemquin Films has unveiled the 2018 recipients of US$150,000 in grants during the Kartemquin Films Empowering Truth Benefit Luncheon on Thursday (Nov.1).

Director Bing Liu’s Minding The Gap (pictured), a portrait of youthful friendship in the Rust Belt, and Hilary Bachelder’s look at three novice women entering political life in Represent are just two of the 10 projects receiving grants from Kartemquin.

The not-for profit organization grants provide funding of up to US$20,000 each for projects that are in the works by emerging filmmakers. The grants come from founding support via the Sage Foundation, with additional support from Voqal Fund, The Chicago Community Trust and the Forum Fund.

Of the 10 projects selected for funding in 2018, 60% of the projects are by debut filmmakers; 90% are helmed by women in the key director or producer role; and 60% of the works are directed or produced by a filmmaker of color.

Also announced at the luncheon was that in 2019, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will support Kartemquin’s new Diverse Voices Accelerator Fund, providing US$50,000 annually in grants to fellows and alumni of their Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) program, a professional mentorship and development program for doc filmmakers of color.

Below are this year’s grant recipients, with descriptions courtesy of Kartemquin Films:

2018 Grant Recipients:

’63 Boycott
Director: Gordon Quinn
Producers: Rachel Dickson and Tracye A. Matthews
’63 Boycott connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, school closings, and youth activism.

Director: Laura Checkoway
Producer: Thomas Lee Wright
Edith and Eddie, ages 96 and 95, are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. Their love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear the couple apart.

Finding Yingying
Director: Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
Producer: Brent E. Huffman, Diane Quon
The intimate story of a Chinese family who arrives in Illinois to search for their daughter, an international student kidnapped with her first weeks in Illinois during the summer of 2017.

Loyalty: Stories
Director/Producer: David Washburn
The first documentary film series to capture what life is like for American Muslims in the military.

Minding The Gap
Director: Bing Liu
Producer: Diane Quon
Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.

A Place To Learn
Director: Kevin Shaw 
Producer: Rachel Dickson
A community struggles for equity when plans to convert a successful elementary school into a long-desired high school divides the neighborhood.

Director: Hillary Bachelder
Producer: Anne Sobel
An intimate look at three first-time female candidates stepping into the political spotlight.

South Side
Director/Producer: Teresa White
Through innovative activism that includes overnight campouts on violent blocks and an annual basketball tournament with rival residents and gang members, three community organizers demand change on Chicago’s troubled South Side.

True Memories And Other Falsehoods
Director/Producer: Debra Tolchinksy
An examination of the causes and implications of false memory and false internalized belief within the criminal justice system: a woman misidentifies her assailant, an investigator elicits a false confession, a suspect becomes convinced he committed a violent crime that he did not commit.

Director: Ashley O’Shay 
Producer: Morgan Johnson
Unapologetic captures a community of young Black organizers confronting a Chicago administration complicit in state violence against its Black residents.

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.