Kartemquin remembers Director Bill Siegel

Bill Siegel

Bill Siegel

“He took on
important stories
that no one else
was telling.”

Kartemquin co-founder
Gordon Quinn

(Chicago — 11 December 2018) In a website and social media post that begins “with great sadnesss and shock,” Chicago documentary production house Kartemquin Films announced today that award-winning filmmaker Bill Siegel has passed away.

Siegel began working with Kartemquin as a researcher on Hoop Dreams in 1994. He went on to earn an Emmy Award for 2013’s The Trials of Muhammad Ali and an Academy Award-nomination for 2003’s The Weather Underground.

“Bill was an exceptional filmmaker,” said Kartemquin co-founder Gordon Quinn, who served as Executive Producer on The Trials of Muhammad Ali. “He took on important stories that no one else was telling.”

Quinn’s comments were among several heartfelt testimonials that accompanied the announcement.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali is described in the post as a “look at the legendary boxer’s life outside the ring as he converted to Islam and fought to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service during the Vietnam War.” The Weather Underground, it continues, is “a groundbreaking portrait of the American radical organization ‘The Weathermen.’”

Over the course of his career, Siegel also spent more than 20 years with the Great Books Foundation, where he “trained over 10,000 teachers in inquiry-based learning and offered consulting, video production and training services … across the country.”

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