OUR TEAM

 
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Bing Liu

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR

Bing Liu honed his cinematography and editing craft making DIY films as a teenager. When he was 19 he moved to Chicago and began freelancing as a grip while attaining his B.A. in literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. At age 23 he joined the International Cinematographer's Guild, working in the camera department on fiction films and episodic television series. In 2014 he began collaborating with Kartemquin Films on his first feature, Minding the Gap, which won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking at Sundance Film Festival, Best Documentary at Sarasota Film Festival, the Audience Award at Full Frame Film Festival, and many more. Bing is a Segment Director for an upcoming Steve James mini-series, America To Me, which will air on Starz in 2018. Bing is a 2017 Film Independent Fellow and Garrett Scott Development Grant recipient.

 

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Diane Quon

Producer

Diane lived in LA for over 17 years before moving back to her hometown of Chicago. While in LA, Diane worked at NBC and at Paramount Pictures where she was last the Vice President of Marketing. Diane is producing multiple documentaries with Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) including Minding the Gap directed by Bing Liu; Left-Handed Pianist along with Chicago Tribune arts critic, Howard Reich, and co-directed by Leslie Simmer and Kartemquin founder, Gordon Quinn; and The Dilemma of Desire with Peabody Award-winning director, Maria Finitzo. Diane is a 2017 Film Independent Fellow and is currently developing a fiction film based on a New York Times best-selling book.

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GORDON QUINN

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Gordon is the Artistic and co-founder of Kartemquin Films, where over the past 50 years he has helped hundreds of documentary filmmakers advance their projects forward and been a leading champion of the rights of all documentary filmmakers. He is the 2015 recipient of the International Documentary Association Career Achievement Award and was a key leader in creating the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use. His credits as director and producer include films as diverse and essential as Inquiring Nuns (1966), Golub (1988), and A Good Man (2011), and as executive producer include Academy-Award nominated Hoop Dreams (1994), and the Emmy Award-winning The Interrupters (2011), The Trials of Muhammad Ali (2013), The Homestretch (2014), and Life Itself (2014), and the acclaimed limited series The New Americans (2003) and Hard Earned (2015).

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STEVE JAMES

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Steve's affiliation with Kartemquin began in 1987 with the start of production of Hoop Dreams, for which he served as director, producer, and co-editor. Its many honors include the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Chicago Film Critics Award – Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association – Best Documentary and an Academy Award Nomination. One of the most acclaimed documentary makers of his generation, Steve has won several Emmy, DGA, PGA, IDA, Independent Spirit, and Cinema Eye Honors awards through his career, with noted works being Stevie, The New Americans, The War Tapes, At the Death House Door, No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, The Interrupters, Life Itself, and most recently, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.

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BETSY STEINBERG 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Betsy joined Kartemquin in December 2015 and oversees its daily operations and development, as well as serves as Executive Producer on Kartemquin projects. Prior to Kartemquin she spent eight years as Managing Director of the Illinois Film Office where she spearheaded Illinois’ transformation into a world class film destination. She was instrumental in the passage of the Illinois film tax credit and implemented an overall business development strategy resulting in over $1 billion in direct economic impact.

 

JOSH ALTMAN

EDITOR

With over a decade as an award-winning filmmaker, Joshua Altman has premiered documentaries at almost every prestigious film festival. Four of the films he edited premiered at Sundance: We Live in Public took home the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2009, The Tillman Story was on the 2011 Oscar short list for the “Best Documentary” award, and Bones Brigade: An Autobiography went on to become the #1 documentary on iTunes upon its release. His work writing and editing Code Black earned that film the “Best Documentary” award at the LA Film Festival and was later adapted into a CBS series which is now in it’s third season. His most recent editing endeavor is The Final Year, an HBO documentary following Obama's foreign policy team during their final year.

NATHAN HALPERN

Composer  

Nathan Halpern is an Emmy-nominated composer, named one of Indiewire's ‘Composers to Watch.’ Notable film scores include Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner RICH HILL ("one of the best non-fiction scores we've heard in years" - Indiewire), the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT (HBO Films), and the 2017 Oscar-shortlisted films HOOLIGAN SPARROW and THE WITNESS. His latest scores include JOAN DIDION: THE CENTER WILL NOT HOLD (Netflix / New York Film Festival) and the feature narrative THE RIDER (Sony Pictures Classics), winner of the Art Cinema Award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. He was recebtkt nominated for a HOLLYWOOD MUSIC IN MEDIA AWARD in the Best Original Song for “Calling to Me” from the Sony Pictures coming-of-age film ONE PERCENT MORE HUMID.

CHRIS RUGGIERO 

COMPOSER

Chris Ruggiero's recent film scores include Nanfu Wang's I Am Another You and Hooligan Sparrow, which premiered at Sundance in 2016, Tribal Justice (PBS) and Ivy Meeropol's Indian Point. Ruggiero was nominated for an Emmy in 2017 for his work on the miniseries Soundbreaking, and his music is featured in over 150 television series including The Voice, Pawn Stars, and American Pickers. Ruggiero has also created music for brands including Taco Bell, Coke, HSN, Imodium, Dewars, Coppola Winery, and Liberty Mutual. He records and produces bands and artists from his studio Gold Coast Recorders, lectures on film, sound, and semiotics at the University of Bridgeport, and runs the popular audio-history website Preservation Sound.

 


Co-Production Partners

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 over 50 years of being Chicago’s documentary powerhouse. Their films such as The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams, and The New Americans have left a lasting impact on millions of viewers. 

POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 500 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.

ITVS brings independently-produced, high-quality public broadcast and new media programs to local, national, and international audiences. The independent producers who create ITVS programs take creative risks, tackle complex issues, and express points of view seldom explored in the mass media. ITVS programs enrich the cultural landscape with the voices and visions of underrepresented communities, and reflect the interests and concerns of a diverse society.


Community Partners

ABOUT BETWEEN FRIENDS

Founded in 1986, Between Friends is a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and building a community free of abuse. Between Friends' comprehensive programs and services include a toll-free Crisis Line (800-603-HELP), counseling for victims and their children, court advocacy, prevention and education efforts including an extensive teen dating violence prevention program. Thousands are helped all free of charge.  http://www.betweenfriendschicago.org

 

ABOUT THE HAROLD HUNTER FOUNDATION

Established in 2007 in memory of legendary skateboarder Harold Hunter who passed away in 2006, the Harold Hunter Foundation (HHF) is a non-profit, community-based organization in New York City. By leveraging the many positive aspects of skateboarding, the HHF provides a network of support, opportunity and advocacy for under-served NYC youth so they can reach their full potential as skateboarders and young adults. Cornerstone programs include Harold Hunter Day, Skate Camp Scholarships and Digital Media Training. www.haroldhunter.org

ABOUT DOGTOWN COFFEE AND DTC CREW

Located in the landmark Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions space on the corner of Main & Bay Street in Santa Monica, Dogtown Coffee was born out of a desire to honor and protect a key piece of American skateboard and surfing history, and provide a place for community to hang-out and come together.
https://www.dogtowncoffee.com 

DTC Crew is a collaboration of skaters, surfers, snowboarders, artists, musicians and activists who call Santa Monica their spiritual home. Their mission is to preserve and evolve the local history while safeguarding the nature that surrounds them. We envisioned an environmentally conscious movement that, through our products, will connect creative generations in a positive way for all our futures. A percentage of all their sales is donated to the Heal the Bay foundation, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal waters of Santa Monica Bay safe, healthy and clean. 
(www.healthebay.org)   https://www.dogtowncrew.com/

ABOUT KAN-WIN

KAN-WIN’S mission is to eradicate all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence and sexual assault, by empowering Asian American survivors and engaging the community through culturally competent services, community education and outreach, and advocacy. KAN-WIN’s services are designed to empower immigrant survivors to tackle the unique and complex challenges they face and transition from crisis to long-term empowerment. Through intensive wrap around services, we strive to provide a one-stop shop for survivors to minimize the risk of chasing for help. http://www.kanwin.org/services/


Programs & Grants

Diverse Voices in Docs (#DVID) is a professional development and mentorship program for documentary makers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. At the core of the fellowship are six engaging three-hour workshops at the Community Film Workshop, with creative advice provided by Kartemquin Films’ world-class staff and associates.

The Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant was founded in 2007 to support singular new voices in documentary film. Its emphasis is on first-time filmmakers with unconventional training, those making formally challenging work, and those grappling with difficult subjects. Welcoming any background, training or subject, the overriding mission is to support unique filmmaking talents at this crucial moment in their careers.

Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization founded by Robert Redford committed to the growth of independent artists. "Minding the Gap" was recently selected as a funding recipient in a distribution of more than $1.9 million to nonfiction storytellers.

Documentary Lab is an intensive five-week program in Los Angeles designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length, compelling and original documentary films. The 2017 Film Independent Documentary Lab is supported by Artist Development Lead Funder Time Warner Foundation and is sponsored by Netflix and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

"Minding the Gap" was also selected to be part of Film Independent's Fast Track program presenting to over 60 funders and productions companies. 

Celebrating twelve years, TAA supports working filmmakers and producers based in U.S. and Puerto Rico who come from communities underserved in the film industry and whose projects are in all stages of development, production or post-production.