Member News & Events

Diverse Voices in Docs seeks applicants!

Posted: 10/16/2014 by Kartemquin Films

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Applications are now being accepted for our DVID 2015 program!

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. Each session will provide practical skill-enrichment designed to help incubate your next documentary project, as well as time to network and share experience with your cohort of participants.

Applicants should be filmmakers who 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. We will facilitate continued engagement throughout the six-month workshop program, and connect you to an expert community, new collaborators, and a wider network of funders and distributors. The program will culminate in exposure through a final public exhibition.

For more information on the program please email Beckie Stocchetti, Kartemquin Community Engagement Manager.


Greenpeace Student Film Contest! Great judges, great prizes, for your great climate change story.

Posted: 10/15/2014 by Melissa Thompson

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Greenpeace Student Film Contest!

Share your story of climate change -

The panel of judges includes well-known documentary filmmakers (Tia Lessin and Carl Deal), as well as climate change experts (Keya Chatterjee). Entries should demonstrate excellence in filmmaking and tell a unique regional climate change story. Entries should be 5-10 minutes in length.

Finalist films will premiere at The Center for Environmental Filmmaking (as part of the Environmental Film Festival in The Nation’s Capital) in March 2015. The first place winner will receive a cash prize of $500 and an all-expense paid trip to the DC premiere. Additionally, finalist films will be featured on the Postcards From Climate Change website, Greenpeace YouTube channel, and Greenpeace blog.

Deadline: Jan 5, 2015.

New Documentary Film "Overshare: Crime In The Digital Age" Now In Production.

Posted: 10/12/2014 by Sybil Drew

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New Documentary Film, 'Overshare: Crime in the Digital Age' is now in production. The film chronicles the rise of Social Media, Cyber & Computer Crime. Expected release date is 2016.

Tags: Academy Archive  
Social Impact Media Awards - SIMA 2015 CALL FOR ENTRIES !!! Final Deadline Approaching

Posted: 10/11/2014 by Daniela Kon

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FILMMAKERS & CHANGEMAKERS submit your films to the 3rd annual Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA).
SIMA's global documentary competition and traveling series honors eye-opening impact films from around the world that inspire activism, compassion and social transformation.

International DOCUMENTARY FEATURES and SHORTS that provide deeper insight into the realities of global development, global activism, and the human condition, as well as IMPACT VIDEOS that illuminate “How Impact Works”, capturing innovative development, education, and social justice initiatives.

EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: September 25, 2014
REGULAR DEADLINE: October 9, 2014
LATE DEADLINE: October 27, 2014

Dedicated to advancing global awareness, social justice, human rights, and humanitarian development, SIMA catalyzes creative works of visual storytelling that exemplify excellence in their potential to inspire change.


Film Premiere Recalls Street Artist Who Fought Illinois Eavesdropping Law

Posted: 10/01/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

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Film Premiere Recalls Street Artist Who Fought Illinois Eavesdropping Law
September 29, 2014 | Filed under: Politics is Local,The Media | Chicagotalks
Chris Drew in his studio. Photo credit: Patrick Boylan

You can attend the Chicago Premiere of an Indie feature documentary film that was made right here in the Windy City – “Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” (99 min) 2014, by Nancy Bechtol.
In 2009, Chris asked Nancy (with 2 friends) to accompany him and document his attempt to get arrested for peddling art patches with messages of social awareness and artistic ideas to challenge Chicago’s Peddler’s Ordinance.
Chris was arrested for selling art patches for $1, (peddling) but since he had a personal tape recorder, charges changed to a felony violation of Illinois’ Eavesdropping Law by Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, which carried 4-15 years in jail if convicted. In 2009 this law was generally unknown. Two pro bono attorneys defended him. First, Mark Weinberg challenged on the free speech constitutional ground; then Joshua Kutnick, criminal defense, defended and won in the courtroom of Judge Sachs on the felony charges in 2012.
● Event Location: Logan Theatre 2646 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
● When: November 14, 2014 Friday 6:30 doors open — 7:30 p.m. film starts

Everything changed. From his arrest, for making an audio recording of his own arrest, to his untimely death from lung cancer, the film tracks Chris’ activism around Free Speech, his connections to the community, his connection to street artists in Chicago and internationally, and his transcendent belief in Free Speech. The film is a colorful trip through Chicago’s Occupy and Anti-War protests, Critical Mass bike rides, and more, as you learn about a real American patriot who believed that art, thought, and free speech were worth fighting for.
Note: The Illinois Supreme Court overturned the Ill Eavesdropping Law, March 2014.

The film includes interviews with his lawyers and with all kinds of people who worked with Chris from the American Indian Center and elsewhere, and those that knew him, including lawmaker Rep. Elaine Nekritz, who got involved in the struggle to overturn the draconian Illinois Eavesdropping Law.

Nancy Bechtol, an award winning photographer and artist, has been documenting social justice and Chicago street artists for 30 years. This film is a departure from anything she has ever done, evolved over five years and was shot on five different formats, including DSLR to cellphones.

Featured throughout is the Indie music, courtesy of Hey Now Records, by Behind the Sun, Andy Alton and David Mansfield.

Chris Drew, who passed away 2012, was the longtime executive director of The Uptown Multi-Cultural Arts Center (UM-CAC) located in the American Indian Center.
Trailer is on listed on IMDb

Music in the film courtesy of Hey Now Records. “Paper Airplane” Behind the Sun. Andy Alton /David Mansfield
Contact information:

Contact for Tickets/Screening information: Logan Theatre 2646 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 773.342.5555. at the box office and online.

New Documentary Film THE MONEY STONE will uncover the hidden and dangerous world of Ghana's child gold miners

Posted: 09/17/2014 by Paula Ely

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Paula Ely, producer

New documentary film “THE MONEY STONE” will uncover the hidden and dangerous world of Ghana’s child gold miners

(Brooklyn, NY) – Independent documentary film director Stuart Harmon has taken on the subject of Ghana’s child gold miners for his first feature-length film. “The Money Stone” tells the stories of Justice and Maxwell, two teenage boys risking life and limb in the deadly and illegal artisanal gold mining pits in order to support their families. The film is in the rough cut stage of completion, and the producers have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the final costs of post-production. An early 2015 release is expected.

Every day in Ghana, thousands of children abandon school to work in dangerous mining pits, facing poisoning from the mercury used in the refining process or even death from pit cave-ins. Through the stories of Justice and Maxwell, “The Money Stone” delves into the dangerous world of small-scale mining, a vast and controversial local industry that provides the livelihood of millions across the globe. Dramatic verité footage brings the viewer on an incredible journey through the mines in Ghana, exploring some of the most pressing issues facing international development today through the eyes of two bright and enthusiastic teens. Nearly one-quarter of the world’s gold output is estimated to originate from small-scale mining, yet few know at what cost this precious metal is obtained.

Harmon began this film while working on his master’s thesis at NYU’s school of journalism, and has returned to Ghana several times along with his producing partner, Paula Ely. "These children long for a future filled with hope through education, yet their economic situation has forced them down a dangerous road. The stories of Maxwell and Justice reveal the immense challenges communities face in breaking the cycle of poverty.”

The Kickstarter campaign ends October 19, 2014. Details on the campaign can be found at

Harmon’s previous work includes television programs for Animal Planet, A&E, MTV, and CNN, among others. His work has garnered two Telly Awards. Ms. Ely’s credits include the award winning documentary “Vanishing Cultures: Bushmen of the Kalahari.”

“The Money Stone” is the recipient of the Roy W. Dean Los Angeles Film Grant, a New York State Council for the Arts grant, and a Brooklyn Arts Council Grant.

Roy W.Dean Fall Grant:Application deadline-Sept 30th, 2014.

Posted: 09/17/2014 by Vidyut Latay

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Applications are now being accepted for the Roy W. Dean Fall Grant. The grant gives filmmakers a chance to get their films going or completed with an award of $2,500 in cash and $30,000 in film products and services. Films can be documentaries, short films, and features and must be unique and contribute to society. Deadline for submission is September 30th, 2014

Even if you apply and don’t win the grant, you win something valuable. Each applicant for the grant receives a consultation on their project from Carole Dean, head of the non-profit grant sponsor From The Heart Productions and author of “The Art of Film Funding” now in its second edition.

For more information on the grant, you can go to

or email

New Teaser Trailer for Officer Involved

Posted: 09/08/2014 by P.W. Shaver

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Just released our second teaser trailer for the film. We're still very much in production, but wanted to share some new material. 2 more interviews this week alone.

Tags: trailers  
10 yr Anniversary screening of Sideways at the Crest with ALexander Payne

Posted: 09/08/2014 by Ian Todd Santer

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Hi there.. I wanted to promote an event i'm putting on tomorrow night at the Crest Theater in Westwood. We are celebrating the 10 year Anniversary of Sideways with a special screening and then post q&a with director Alexander Payne, the original novelist Rex Pickett and various other cast and crew. Show starts at 8pm and IDA members can get in for a $5.00 donation at the door! (310)-470-1508
1262 WestWood Blvd. LA 90024

thanks Ian

Tags: Feature Films  
Intentional Filmmaking class Discount Code for IDA members--Deadline extended!!

Posted: 09/03/2014 by Vidyut Latay

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We've extended the discount by 8 days!!!
Now you've got until the end of Sept 10. Just enter the code IDA, when you purchase the class.

If you've faced challenges getting funding for your film, you should really consider enrolling and getting the solutions and support you need.

Here's a reminder of just some of what is included in each class.

10 group meetings (twice a month for lessons and discussions).
5 personal one-on-one hour consultations (one each month) with me. Consultations are usually $145 an hour. So, that's a $725 value included in the price of the class.
Your own 6 month funding goals. Each filmmaker lists what they want to achieve and we create an action list that I know can help them raise money for their film.
Help on fixing your trailer so it brings in money.
Work on getting your pitch perfected.

Classes start September 15th.

Fees are tax deductible.

Last Intentional Filmmaking Class of 2014.

See Complete Details Here:

If you have any questions, please email me at or call 805-984-0098.

Best Wishes for Your Success,

Carole Dean
From The Heart Productions

Tags: Education