Applications open for Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Docs

will award
grants ranging
from $5-$10K
to individual
DVID fellows

(Chicago — 6 September) — Applications are now open for Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID), a mentorship program for Midwestern documentary makers of color organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago.

Eight Midwest filmmakers will be selected from those who apply before the November 1 deadline. Apply here:

The 2019 run will be the seventh year of the successful program, which has helped over 80 mid-career documentary filmmakers of color advance their projects through mentorship and skill-sharing since launching in 2013.

Bing Liu

For the first time in the program’s history, Kartemquin will award up to three 2018 DVID fellows funding ranging from $5,000-$10,000 for a total of $20,000. These funding awards will be announced on November 1st in Chicago at the 2018 Kartemquin Benefit Luncheon. The DVID grants were established with support from The Sage Foundation.

“Filmmakers need funds to bring their visions to life. One of the largest hurdles for filmmakers of color in the Midwest is access to seed funding, which has traditionally gone to filmmakers on the coasts or established centers,” says Executive Director Betsy Steinberg. “After giving the 2018 fellows nine months of organizational support as they develop their projects, the DVID grants provide an essential next step in making them a reality.”

The 2018 DVID program culminates at 6pm on Monday, October 1 at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater (78 E Washington Street) in a free public graduation ceremony, followed by a catered reception. RSVP here. The event will include a keynote speech will be delivered Stephen Maing — director of Crime + Punishment and winner of the 2018 Sundance Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking.

Each of the eight graduates will then present a preview of their in-progress documentary project. The 2018 DVID graduates include Kevin Shaw, Miasarah Lai, Jamaar Jervis, Joshua Jackson, David Weathersby, Teresa White, Sohib Boundaoui and Jiaiyan ‘Jenny’ Shi.

DVID program alum include Sundance Award-winning director Bing Liu (2013) and his highly acclaimed debut feature, Minding the Gap (2018), winner of over 30 festival awards and currently streaming on Hulu and playing select theaters through Magnolia Pictures.



Liu also served as a segment director on Steve James’ America to Me, a 10-part docu-series produced by Kartemquin Films and Participant Media, which also world premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by STARZ.

“DVID helped elevate Minding The Gap to the level of films Kartemquin has been crafting for over fifty years: character-driven, empathy-inducing storytelling,” says Liu. “For my first feature documentary, the Kartemquin community gave me the communal support I needed to finish my 5-year-long journey in completing the film. Since then, I’ve been working with and for other filmmakers in the documentary field consistently. I never would’ve thought that I would be working full-time in documentaries just 2 years after finishing the fellowship.”

Director Kelly Richmond Pope, CPA, PhD, brought her award-winning film All The Queen’s Horses through the program in 2013. Produced by Kartemquin Films and Helios Digital Learning, the highly anticipated doc garnered the #1 spot as most viewed documentary following its release on iTunes, Amazon Video and Google Play in April 2018. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.



“When asked how does an accountant become a filmmaker, I say ‘…numbers tells stories…’ and I learned the skills I needed to turn those numbers into a documentary by participating in the Diverse Voices in Docs program,” says Pope. “In DVID, I worked on developing All the Queen’s Horses and almost 5 years later, I have an award-winning documentary that received 3 1/2 stars from Richard Roeper.”

Renewed funding in 2018 for DVID was provided by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Journalism and Media Grant, and an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. New funders of DVID in 2018 included The Chicago Community Trust’s Cultural Arts Fund and The Field Foundation of Illinois.

Stephen Maing is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker based in Brooklyn.

His feature documentary, High Tech, Low Life chronicled the story of two of China’s first dissident citizen-journalists fighting state-monitored censorship and was broadcast nationally on PBS’ award-winning series P.O.V.

His short film, The Surrender, produced with Academy Award winner Laura Poitras, documented State Department intelligence analyst Stephen Kim’s harsh prosecution under the Espionage Act. It received a 2016 World Press Photo Award for Best Long Form Documentary and was nominated for a 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Documentary.

He is also a fellow of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program and recipient of the International Documentary Association’s inaugural Enterprise Investigative Journalism grant as well as a 2016 John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Reporting Fellow. His most recent feature Crime + Punishment, received a Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, was filmed over four years and follows a group of minority whistleblower NYPD cops, an innocent young man stuck in Rikers and one unforgettable private investigator.

Stephen has directed films for the New York Times, Time Magazine, The Nation, The Intercept and Field of Vision. He is co-directing a forthcoming documentary about national identity & otherness called The Great Experiment and teaches a summer course in documentary cinematography at Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) is a nine-month professional mentorship and development program for documentary filmmakers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago.

Founded in 2013, DVID aims to inspire collaboration and skill-sharing among its fellows, and among the larger Midwestern independent documentary filmmaking community. At the core of the fellowship is a series of dynamic workshops led by Kartemquin staff, associates, and invited experts, ranging in focus from storytelling ethics, to fundraising, to distribution, and a pitch session attended by leading funders and distributors. The program culminates with a graduation showcasing fellows work and featuring a keynote speaker.

Kartemquin is a collaborative center empowering filmmakers who create documentaries that have consequences in the world and foster a more engaged and just society. In 2016, Kartemquin celebrated 50 years of sparking democracy through documentary.

The organization’s films have received three Academy Award ® nominations and won several major prizes, including five Emmys, two Peabody Awards, multiple Independent Spirit, IDA, PGA and DGA awards, and duPont-Columbia and Robert F. Kennedy journalism awards. Kartemquin is recognized as a leading advocate for independent public media, and has helped hundreds of artists via its filmmaker development programs that help further grow the field, such as KTQ Labs, Diverse Voices in Docs, and the acclaimed KTQ Internship.

Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Chicago.

The Community Film Workshop has trained and mentored three generations of film, video and photographic artists in Chicago and nationally. In 2016, Community Film Workshop celebrated 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.

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