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Filmmaker Discussion: The Role of Documentary Films in a Democracy

Feb 11

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

4:00 - 6:00 PM

On Feb. 11 from 4-6 p.m. at the Richard J. Daley Library, Room 1-470, join us for a discussion led by filmmakers Gordon Quinn and Rachel Dickson from Kartemquin Films about the role of documentary films in a democracy. With clips from The New Americans and ‘63 Boycott, Quinn and Dickson will examine the strategies to address media literacy in documentary storytelling and how stories can challenge stereotypes and increase audience empathy for people who have different histories from themselves. Audience members will have an opportunity to pose questions to the filmmakers.

Co-Sponsored by the UIC University Library and the UIC Honors College

About the Films

The New Americans
The New Americans follows four years in the lives of a diverse group of contemporary immigrants and refugees as they journey to start new lives in America. We follow an Indian couple to Silicon Valley through the dot-com boom and bust. A Mexican meatpacker struggles to reunite his family in rural Kansas. Two families of Nigerian refugees (including the sister of slain Ogoni activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa) escape government persecution. Two Los Angeles Dodgers prospects follow their big dreams of escaping the barrios of the Dominican Republic. A Palestinian woman who marries into a new life in Chicago only to discover in the wake of September 11, she cannot leave behind the pain of her homeland's conflict. 

’63 Boycott
In 1963, 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. '63 Boycott connects the forgotten story of one of the largest Northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, and youth activism.

About the Filmmakers

Gordon Quinn
Artistic Director and founder of Kartemquin Films, Gordon’s documentaries include Home for Life, Taylor Chain, The Last Pullman Car, Golub, Hoop Dreams, Vietnam, Long Time Coming, Stevie and The New Americans. Recently he directed Prisoner of Her Past, A Good Man and '63 Boycott, shortlisted for the Oscar.  He was EP on The Interrupters, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, The Homestretch, Life Itself, and America To Me and Oscar nominated Edith and Eddie, Abacus, and Minding The Gap. Gordon helped create the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use and speaks on public media, fair use, and documentary ethics.

Rachel Dickson
Dickson is an independent filmmaker based in Chicago with a background in journalism and Spanish translation.  She produced ’63 Boycott with Kartemquin Films, which screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, won the Jury Award for Best Short Documentary at the Nashville Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. She was the Supervising Producer of The School Project, a web series collaboratively produced by Kartemquin Films, Media Process Group, Kindling Group, Free Spirit Media, and Siskel/Jacobs Productions, in partnership with WTTW/ Channel 11, the Chicago Sun-Times, and Ebony.com, which won a Hometown Media Award.

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