2016 Diverse Voices in Docs Application Open for Documentary Makers of Color to Incubate Films

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December 19th application deadline to apply for six-month mentorship program starting January 2016


Diverse Voices in Docs Alum Raymond Lambert’s Film selected for Sundance Film Festival

CHICAGO, IL  – As the application deadline for the 2016 Diverse Voices in Docs approaches, Kartemquin and Community Film Workshop are celebrating the achievement of alum Raymond Lambert, a producer on Chicago’s Media Process Group’s Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, which will make its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.


“By providing training, access, and opportunity, Kartemquin is at the forefront of the film industry with DVID. I learned a great deal and met many talented filmmakers; several of whom I continue to collaborated with to this day,” said Lambert.


Raymond Lambert was a part of the inaugural 2013 DVID fellowship class, where he received 6 months of professional development and mentorship.   


Lambert is also the producer of a Kartemquin’s work-in-progress, All the Queen’s Horses, directed by Kelly Richmond Pope, also a graduate of the Diverse Voices in Docs program.

After 3 successful years, the program has continued to flourish that Kartemquin has hired a part-time program coordinator dedicated to its continual growth, Mr. Justin Williams.


“The air is primed for Chicagoans to tell their own stories own their own terms — these stories need a platform and development. We really want filmmakers of color to consider applying for our 2016 Diverse Voices in Docs cohort and take their stories to the next level,” said Justin Williams, Diverse Voices in Docs Coordinator.


“Our goal is to empower ordinary citizens in the use of media and to provide them access to resources to produce first-voice social issue documentaries,” said Margaret Caples, Executive Director of The Community Film Workshop.


Since 2013, Diverse Voices in Docs (#DVID) has incubated documentary projects of nearly 50 Midwest-based filmmakers of color. Organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago, participants meet six times in four-hour monthly workshops to receive professional advice and guidance for their films. Beyond connecting filmmakers to the professional documentary community, the program also provides a network of possible collaborators and funders.


This past October, a graduation ceremony for the 2015 DVID fellows was held at the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. Acclaimed Chicago-based cinematographer Keith Walker (A Good Man, No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise) gave the keynote address. In 2014, Chaz Ebert (Life Itself) gave the keynote address to graduating DVID fellows.  A screening of clips from the DVID graduates’ works-in-progress followed.


In June 2015, DVID fellows pitched their projects to major industry funders including representatives from ITVS, MacArthur Foundation, WTTW Channel 11, POV, Chicken and Egg, and Bertha BritDoc Foundation. As the final session of the DVID program, the pitching panel is meant to prepare DVID fellows as they take their projects to the next level.


“What I didn’t learn as I set out to make my first feature documentary was that your story will make even more of a difference with guidance from veterans and a community of passionate filmmakers, which I found in Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices in Docs fellowship,” said Bing Liu, a DVID alum from 2015, whose film Minding the Gap, is a new Kartemquin production.


The mentorship and support from DVID has translated into tangible, beneficial results for Kartemquin and several of its DVID fellows. Two recent graduates have gone on to receive funding from ITVS. Additionally, in April, two recent graduates, Bing Liu and Jonathan Ashley, were invited to attend Tribeca Film Festival’s Industry Week with their projects.
2016 Diverse Voices in Docs application and submission form:  


About Diverse Voices in Docs
2016 Diverse Voices in Docs application information and submission form: www.kartemquin.com/diversevoices.
Application deadline: Saturday, December 19th


Workshop sessions focus on applied learning and honing skills in areas such as fundraising, storytelling, production techniques, distribution and marketing.
Further perks for enrolled filmmakers include networking sessions introducing them to notable broadcasters, funders and distributors; access to Kartemquin’s invite-only “KTQ Labs Feedback Screenings” program, where Kartemquin’s filmmaker community provides free rough-cut consulting; and access to job listings and informational resources.


Support for the program is provided by Voqal Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, The Seabury Foundation, Efroymson Fund, Kartemquin Films, and Community Film Workshop.


Eligibility Criteria
Applicants should have played a principal role in a completed production (producer, writer, director, editor, etc.) and have experience or work history that demonstrated their commitment to social issue documentary.
Applicants are evaluated solely by their application
Applicants must be a legal US resident
Applicants must NOT be a full-time student
Applicants commit to participating in all aspects of the program and attending all 6 classes.
There is no application fee. An enrollment fee of $110 is due upon acceptance to the program.
Decisions will be based on finalist interviews and work samples.


The Diverse Voices in Docs program will not provide: project funding, legal advice, equipment or post-production access.


About Kartemquin Films
Kartemquin Films is a collaborative center for documentary media makers who seek to foster a more engaged and empowered society. With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on nearly 50 years of being Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.


Kartemquin sparks democracy through documentary. Their films, such as The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams, and The Trials of Muhammad Ali have left a lasting impact on millions of viewers. A revered resource within the film community on issues of fair use, ethics, story and civic discourse, Kartemquin is internationally recognized for crafting quality documentaries backed by audience and community engagement strategies, and for its innovative media arts community programs. Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. www.kartemquin.com


About Community Film Workshop


Community Film Workshop has trained and mentored three generations of film, video and photographic artists in Chicago and nationally. In 2016, Community Film Workshop will celebrate its 45 Anniversary with a series of celebratory events and screenings of graduates work. Graduates work on nationally distributed feature films, at television stations, at media production centers and in the arts in Chicago and throughout the nation. Other graduates have become independent producers, cultural workers, teachers and media arts administrators. www.cfwchicago.org


Community Film Workshop of Chicago provides classes in video production and multimedia in under-served communities. Its teaching philosophy is rooted in the practice of the artist mentor relationship. CFWC believes that the difference between media about an indigenous group and those produced by people of that group is the producer’s’ perspective.  The disciplined and nurturing style of Community Film Workshop anchors the organization’s core values of media’s positive transforming power.

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