Amir George Named as First Black Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films | Chaz’s Journal

George was selected after an extensive search that considered a deep pool of applicants. He will replace Gordon Quinn, the current and founding Artistic Director, who moves into a new part-time role as senior advisor.

“With his cross-disciplinary background and generous spirit of collaboration, Amir is the right person to take the creative leadership mantle at Kartemquin as we strive to fulfill our evolving mission,” Quinn said. “He has a strong history and deep roots in the Midwest and new approaches to storytelling that will propel the organization into the future.”

Three acclaimed Kartemquin releases: “Hoop Dreams,” “Life Itself” and “Minding the Gap.”

Kartemquin has long been known for producing high-quality works that retained a political edge from illuminating works like “Hoop Dreams” to the masterful Academy Award nominated “Minding the Gap.” Kartemquin received an Institutional Peabody Award “for its commitment to unflinching documentary filmmaking and telling an American history rooted in social justice and the stories of the marginalized.” In addition to its extensive film production work, Kartemquin has been an incubator for young talent, running innovative media arts community programs, including the acclaimed Diverse Voices in Docs mentorship program and the KTQ Labs, acting as a resource for the local and national media communities.

“Anyone who cares about the future must ensure we are listening to the generation of leaders to whom it belongs,” said Kartemquin’s board of directors Chair Sylvia Ewing. “Amir brings a deep love for documentary, comprehensive knowledge of cinema past and present and the collaborative spirit to navigate new partnerships and collaborations in the region and internationally. Amir is a quiet and beloved force, much like our co-founder Gordon Quinn. We are well-positioned to bring our staff’s ambitious goals to life in partnership with our community of filmmakers and supporters.”

Kartemquin will celebrate the extraordinary career of Gordon Quinn and the exciting future of Kartemquin at “A Roast and a Toast” on Monday, December 5th, 2022, at Billboard Showroom in Ravenswood, Chicago. For more information, visit

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