In the News

Kartemquin Celebrates 50 Years of Vital Documentaries at Anniversary Gala

June 27, 2016

By Matt Fagerholm – RogerEbert.com

itg-flash-038 (1)

Last year’s “In the Game,” directed by Maria Finitzo, explored the lives of Hispanic girls on a soccer team at Kelly High School in Chicago. Quinn said that the film serves as a rebuke to offensive comments made by Governor Bruce Rauner, who referred to the city’s schools as “crumbling prisons.” Like so many Kartemquin titles, this film puts a human face on issues too often dismissed by those who don’t understand them.  Continued…

 


Chicago Onscreen Local Film Showcase

June 14, 2016

Need a lunchtime boost? This kickin’ trailer for the #‎ChicagoOnscreen‬ Local Film Showcase will no doubt get you revved up & ready for some Chicago-style film realness in the parks this summer. Then you can check out our new online home to indulge your inner fangirl or fanboy and dig into all the details about this year’s lineup. –> bit.ly/ChicagoOnscreen16 ‪#‎ChicagoOnscreenTakeover‬

 


Grasshopper Film Picks Up Kartemquin Films Sports Doc ‘In the Game’

March 1, 2016

By Kate Erbland – Indiewire

in-the-game

Newbie distributor Grasshopper Film has added to their ranks again, announcing today that they have picked up both VOD and non-theatrical rights to Kartemquin Films’ documentary “In the Game,” directed by Peabody Award-winning director Maria Finitzo. Set over the course of four years, the film “follows a Chicago Latina girls’ high school soccer team over multiple years as they struggle to overcome family poverty and reach higher education.”

Of the film, director Finitzo said, “I made this film because I believe deeply in the endless possibilities that come with the word ‘inclusion.’ Does the world really care that little about equality for girls and women, and even less so for women who are not rich and not white? In our country who gets to play and who does not is a yardstick by which we measure how close we are to achieving the goals of a democracy – a level playing field for all, or in a word: equality.” Continued…


Distribution for Finitzo’s doc; to screen at Latino fest

March 9, 2016

By Ruth L Ratny

11004544_874436745948428_7136531636912541486_o (1)NEW DISTRIBUTOR GRASSHOPPER FILM ofLA has picked up VOD, digital and non-traditional rights to Maria Finitzo’s Kartemquin-produced feature doc, “In the Game.”

It follows three Latina members of a girls’ soccer team in Brighton Park’s Kelly High School, revealing the obstacles of problems at home, discrimination and poverty that confront low-income students in their quest for higher education.

The Chicago Latino Film Festival will pay tribute to Kartemquin’s 50th anniversary of social issue filmmaking, with a special presentation of Finitzo’s doc April 19 at the AMCRiver East theatres.

The international festival, says Finitzo, “is the perfect place for a story of resilient young Latinas who hold fast to their dreams, no matter what.” Continued…


NJ INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: A Review of “IN THE GAME” An Unconventional Soccer Documentary

‘Into the Game’ – An Interesting Soccer Documentary from NJ Film Festival at Rutgers

February 26, 2016

By John D’Amico – NJ Discover

-b24739a2e0f6274e

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with ‘Into the Game’. Honestly, before I watched it, I knew nothing about it other than that it was a documentary feature. As it turns out, I found it to be a pleasant surprise.

‘Into the Game’ is a sports documentary that recently played at the Spring 2016 NJ Film Festival here at Rutgers(actually held during Winter 2016) It tells the story of several recent members of Chicago’s Kelly High School’s girls’ soccer team. The part of Chicago these girls live in, is a relatively poor area, and also made up of mostly Hispanics. The movie takes place over four years. And it actually focuses more on the girls and their coach than it does on the sport itself. Continued…


Maria Finitzo’s In The Game – an exhilarating documentary about race, class, and gender premieres this Friday, February 5 at the Spring 2016 New Jersey Film Festival!

February 4, 2016

By Al Nigrin – New Jersey Stage

in-the-game-1200x430

Maria Finitzo’s In The Game – an exhilarating documentary about race, class, and gender premieres this Friday, February 5 at the Spring 2016 New Jersey Film Festival!

Here is an interview with In The Game Director Maria Finitzo:

Nigrin: In the Game is not a conventional documentary about a scrappy, inner-city girls high school soccer team that wins a championship through hard work and persistence. Rather, it’s a documentary about race, class, and gender as seen through the lives of inner-city girls. What motivated you to make this film?

Finitzo: The project originated as a story about Title IX and what was still left undone since the law was passed.  I’d read that girls of color were often left behind when it came to sports. I was introduced to Coach Stan at Kelly High School, a school where the student body is more than three-quarters Latino and where over 90% of the families live are low-income. I found that it wasn’t as if the boys had everything for sports at Kelly and the girls had nothing—none of those kids had enough. Even though Kelly High School is really dedicated to its students, the resources for schools in communities of color are less than in other places. So the film became a story about equality, across the board, and giving a voice to a group often unheard. I wanted to tell a story about the impact that race, class and gender have on one’s life opportunities- especially the ability to receive a quality education.  Continued…


11 indie flicks to see at N.J. Film Festival that begins Saturday

January 29, 2016

By Anthony Venutolo – NJ.com

-b24739a2e0f6274e

In these days of endless sequels, reboots and CGI blockbusters at the box office, it’s easy to see why the film purist would think that the art of filmmaking has lost it’s way. It’s a notion with which Al Nigrin, creator and founder of the the New Jersey Film Festival, agrees. The festival, which has been around since 1982, kicks off its spring season on Saturday.

“Blockbusters have taken over,” he admits. “That means there’s very little room for independent films.” And sure, while he enjoys popcorn fare such as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” as much as the next guy, he maintains that audiences craving smaller indies and documentaries have been neglected.

Nigrin’s mission is to help those films with heart — the ones he says have important things to say — find their audience. But how? In this Jetson-era of streaming Netflix on our phones or the rabbit-hole of endless cable channels, what does the NJFF offer that we can’t get from our couch or trusty remote?

For starters, local premieres, Nigrin says. For a film to be screened in the fest, it has to have its area premiere and not be available online. In addition, film buffs get to discuss the each screened movie with producers, directors, screenwriters or actors from the film. Continued…


 

The Uneven Playing Field

Kartemquin’s latest documentary illustrates the harsh realities that thwart CPS students’ college dreams

December 1, 2015

By Jasmin Liang – South Side Weekly

in-the-game-1200x430

I want to be known for who I am, not who I want to be,” says Elizabeth, organizing the storage of her parents’ small clothing shop in Brighton Park. Elizabeth is one of many second-generation Hispanic youths who aspire to improve their current situation by getting a college degree. Undeterred by financial obstacles, Elizabeth believes in what her soccer coach has told her: “You are the leader.”

This is the beginning of In the Game, a Kartemquin Films production directed by the Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker Maria Finitzo. Over the span of five years, the film follows three students at Kelly High School in their journey from high school soccer matches to the real world. However, the playing fields are uneven in both games. The fact that Kelly does not have its own soccer field poignantly mirrors the girls’ future: college is a playing field exclusive to those who can pay for it. For the girls, it is no longer a matter of winning the game, but instead simply staying in it, whether that means having three jobs at the same time, or taking a gap year in order to pay for a year of tuition at a community college through work.

Finitzo highlights this tension between illusory hope and stern reality through the parallel storytelling of different characters. Maria, the captain, wins her first architecture design competition and decides to pursue architecture in college, but former captain Elizabeth has already compromised to reality, dropping out of college after a sudden fire destroys her family’s house. Elizabeth’s circumstances foretell those of Maria, who is eventually forced to suspend her studies and get married. “There are so many walls in between. I feel like I have no way to climb that wall,” Maria says, after a lawyer tells her that it is almost impossible for her to rise above her financial difficulties. Continued…


In The Game TV Interview

November 23, 2015

By Rachel Pierson – Naperville News 17

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 8.47.26 PM

Watch the video!  

Kelly High School in Chicago is less than 40 miles from Waubonsie Valley – but there’s a world of difference between the two.

The students at Waubonsie got a look inside that other world when soccer coach Julie Bergstrom hosted a screening of the documentary “In The Game”. It tells the tale of Kelly’s high school girls soccer team, and the struggles that low income students face in Chicago’s South side.

The viewing brought to light the stark contrast between Waubonsie’s well-funded, much-supported girls soccer team, versus Kelly’s.

“The big difference is the field. In this movie they didn’t have a field to go to and they practice on, like they were saying, rough conditions and they didn’t even have a place to play. We just walk outside and we have it, and we don’t really realize how lucky we are to just have a field,” said Waubonsie senior and soccer player, Grace Anderson. Continued…


 

Film stirs students to share more than a passion for soccer

November 23, 2015

By Suzanne Baker – Naperville Sun

001-jpg-20151123 (1)An unexpected pastime, a tweet and a serendipitous connection to soccer led students at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora to raise $450 for a high school girls soccer team in Chicago.

Julie Bergstrom’s passion for soccer is no secret. She’s the Waubonsie Valley varsity coach of girls soccer in the spring and coach of freshman boys in the fall at Waubonsie Valley.

What might be surprising is the physical education teacher’s fondness for the documentary film genre. When Bergstrom saw a message on Twitter about a screening for a new documentary film about a Chicago girls soccer team, she knew she wanted to see it. Continued…


Finitzo Scores with Documentary ‘In the Game’

September 30, 2015

By Susanna Brustin – Women’s eNews

Brustin-In-the-Game-

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS) –For the past four years I’ve been playing on a travelling soccer team. By waking up at six in the morning three times a week to do hill sprints and running 20 miles a week I’ve learned how to work hard and trust in my teammates.

While it was fun, it wasn’t easy. But no matter how much I struggle with speed, I know my challenges on the field are tamed by the privileges I have at home.

That’s not how it is for the Kelly High School Trojans in Brighton Park, Chicago. Maria Finitzo’s recent documentary “In the Game,” screened throughout the country this fall, covers four seasons of the girls’ team in a very poor, largely Hispanic neighborhood. Finitzo, who created the 2001 doc “Five Girls,” powerfully depicts the journey of these teens as they use what they learned from soccer to work hard to achieve their goals. That can mean supporting their family, getting a college scholarship, or something entirely different. Continued…


 

Finitzo Scores with Documentary ‘In the Game’

September 25, 2015

By Susanna Brustin – Teen Voices Women’s eNews

ITG flash 013Playing soccer is hard. Playing soccer when you are a girl living in a poor Chicago neighborhood is even harder. Documentary filmmaker Maria Finitzo focuses on the life skills of three players who have a lot going on off the field in “In the Game.”

For the past four years I’ve been playing on a travelling soccer team. By waking up at six in the morning three times a week to do hill sprints and running 20 miles a week I’ve learned how to work hard and trust in my teammates.

While it was fun, it wasn’t easy. But no matter how much I struggle with speed, I know my challenges on the field are tamed by the privileges I have at home. Continued…


Girls featured in documentary ‘In the Game’ surprised with check from PepsiCo Showdown on WGN Morning News!

September 25, 2015

By Dean Richards – WGNtv

Watch the VIDEO!


The Challenges of Getting and Staying ‘In the Game’

September 16, 2015

By Heather McIntosh – POV

cropped-itg-banner_title.pngSport documentaries are one of the oldest and most popular genres of the form. Some of the earliest films recorded boxing matches, as the sport’s confined area and bright lighting paired well with camera capabilities at the time. Later documentaries highlighted the spectacles of athletes and their abilities. Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia (1938) and Kon Ichikawa’s Tokyo Olympiad (1965) offer stunning footage in this regard. Competition and its narrative arc provide an almost natural structure for an exciting documentary about the game.  Continued…


Finitzo doc kicks off CPL’s One Book One City program

September 16, 2015

By Ruth L. Ratny – ReelChicago.com

ONE BOOK,ONE CHICAGO has selected award-winning Maria Finitzo / Kartemquin’s “In the Game” doc about a Latino girls’ soccer team at Brighton Park high school for inclusion in the citywide program.

To mark the occasion, the Chicago Public Library is hosting a free, public screening and panel discussion with education leaders Monday, Oct. 5 at the Harold Washington Library.  Continued…


CINEMAJAW 247, MARIA FINITZO – BEST MOVIE COACHES

August 24, 2015

By Matt Kubinksi – CinemaJaw

maria-finitzoAs Ringo once cleverly pointed out, we all need a little help from our friends. The teamwork and friendship that can be felt among sports teams can run especially deep, and those feelings are bolstered and nurtured by the coach. Someone who not only calls the plays but is a mentor, a leader, and a guru. This week on CinemaJaw we take a look at the coach in movies. There have been many great examples.

Who better to help us out than two time Peabody Award winner, and documentarian, Maria Finitzo? No one. Especially because her latest doc film is partially about this very subject. Maria has been producing and directing documentary films for network television, public broadcasting, cable TV and the Internet for more than 25 years. Her body of work has been honored by every major broadcast award granted to documentary films. Ms. Finitzo’s films demonstrate a depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise, tackling a wide variety of subjects including the controversial science of stem cell research, the command and control of nuclear weapons on an international level, and the complex psychology of adolescent girls.

From 1995 to the present, Ms. Finitzo has been an associate of Chicago’s own Kartemquin Films, an award-winning media arts organization with a 45-year history of producing social issue documentaries. In 2007, the company was awarded the International MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions honoring the body of work produced by all of the associates at Kartemquin Films. What a great guest! It was an honor to speak with Maria!

So go ahead and run some laps, put your earbuds in and get a good movie coaching! Listen here!


‘In the Game’ documents struggles of local girls high school team – ABC7

ABC

August 24, 2015

By Janet Davies – ABC7 Chicago


TEAM SPIRIT- Wilmette resident unveils engaging documentary of soccer players, coach

August 22, 2015

By Bill McLean – The North Shore Weekend

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 2.51.17 PMStan Mietus enters a restaurant in Chicago, not far from where he works as a Kelly High School soccer coach and serves as a second father to his players at the South Side school.  It’s his birthday.  Mietus walks past patrons and wait staff, thinking he’ll be seated with a couple of loved ones for a quiet dinner.

The coach soon notices familiarity — soccer players’ faces and the faces of the players’ parents.  The faces, too many to count, are smiling hard at him, thrilled that the coach is sporting a surprised look bordering on a stunned one.  It won’t be a quiet dinner.  It will be a celebration.

It will also be a night that will help the popular coach and his wife heal some more from a close-to-home tragedy three months earlier.  Continued…


Maria Finitzo, director of a new Kartemquin film, discusses the problems facing inner-city school kids

August 20, 2015

by Ben Sachs – chicagoreader.com

ITG flash 013The latest documentary from Kartemquin Educational Films, In the Game profiles the girls’ soccer team at a large public high school on Chicago’s southwest side. To call it a sports movie, though, would be selling it short. Director Maria Finitzo uses the school’s soccer program to address larger issues about public education and social inequality in Chicago. As a school administrator informs us, more than 80 percent of the student body at Kelly High School (where the movie was shot) live around the poverty line. Not only that, but the school has been long underfunded, forcing teachers and staff to assist students with fewer resources than they need. Finitzo inspires warm admiration for the soccer team’s dedicated coach, Stan Mietus, who teaches his players to take pride in themselves no matter where they’re from. Yet Coach Stan’s lessons help only so much.

Finitzo follows three star players after they graduate, showing them as they struggle to stay in college and out of poverty. When I spoke with the director recently, she explained that making In the Game led her to realize that our society needs to do more to help kids succeed in the years after high school, and that the movie should be regarded as “a call to action.”  Continued…


‘In the Game’ shows how playing high school soccer changed these young women’s lives

August 18, 2015

by Andrew S. Vargas – remezcla.com

huddle

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional sugary-sweet, inspirational sports flick about triumphing over adversity and all that optimistic American stuff. I mean, life’s tough and the world’s deeply unjust, but once in a while it’s perfectly OK to get all teary-eyed about the tenacity of the human spirit, right? What better place to turn when you get that itch than the Chicago-based documentary production house that brought the world feature docs like Hoop Dreams and The Interruptors?

It turns out we’re in luck, because the latest production from the powerhouse Kartemquin Films follows a group of female athletes in an overwhelmingly Hispanic Chicago high school struggling with limited resources and institutional neglect. Directed by Peabody Award-winning social documentarian Maria Finitzo, In the Game shows us an environment where opportunities are few, support is almost nowhere to be found, and discrimination and poverty are the norm. Within this otherwise pessimistic panorama, there is one coach who is deeply committed to his athletes, and inspires his group of 40 female athletes to strive for more despite the numerous obstacles they face.  Continued…


Young Hispanic women shine in new soccer documentary

Hard-fought soccer matches become a metaphor for the even harder-fought lives of the girls from low-income families at Chicago’s Kelly High School.

August 18, 2015

by teleSUR – telesurtv.net

Women’s soccer has enjoyed a surge in popularity in the past years, as demonstrated in the record viewing figures of the Women’s World Cup in Canada this summer. Clever campaigns have promoted not only the health and body benefits of the sport but also the camaraderie and confidence gleaned from the game – on and off the pitch.

“In the Game,” a new documentary, directed by Peabody award-winner Maria Finitzo, follows the challenges faced by a girls’ soccer team in a predominantly-Latino neighborhood of Chicago. The girls overcome a number of obstacles, including slashed resources for their high school. Others juggle their studies and outside work responsibilities, working up to three jobs to support their families, all while training for the team.  Continued…


The games that mark our lives

August 19, 2015

by Steve Franklin – chicagoistheworld.org

inthegame-440x652We are a city of arrivals and depatures. And often it is the same story told again and again, but with a twist each time.

This is so in Brighton Park, where the homes and streets have witnessed the march of one group after another. Today, its heart and soul is Latino and to narrow the focus even more it’s the young Latinas on the Kelly High School soccer team.

They are latest ones to dream of a bigger future, of doing better than their parents and of maybe moving on to someplace else, someplace better But they also the ones staring at the heartbreak of lives with little money, little support and enough inequality to dash most of their dreams.

This is the powerful, humane and compelling message of In the Game, a documentary about the girls of Kelly High School. Told over four years, it is the story of dreams deferred and dreams that won’t die, and of the grit that drives some to stand back up to relentless hardluck.  Continued…


Documentary ‘In the Game’  shows struggles of Kelly High School girls team

Film focuses on difficulties of girls playing
soccer in economically disadvantaged areas

August 18, 2015

by Patrick Z. McGavin – chicagolandsoccer.org

4546550_origFilms can be providential experiences, the products of a series of happy accidents or chance encounters.

Six years ago the Chicago documentary filmmaker Maria Finitzo conceived of making a film about the legacy of Title IX, the federal law that prohibited discrimination based on gender in government -funded programs.

In particular, Finitzo was interested in studying its enforcement and impact in historically disenfranchised communities.

Her research took her throughout Chicago. A conversation with two soccer coaches at Walter Payton, a high-academic performance school that produced Michigan All-American Corinne Harris, led her to the story of Stan Mietus, the coach of the girls and boys soccer programs at Kelly High School in Brighton Park on the city’s southwest side.

“With respect to Title IX, there was a lot of study that showed girls of color were still being left behind,” Finitzo said. “I wanted to see if that was the case.” Her interactions with Mietus, a skilled and dedicated coach, had a pronounced impact and the project subtly shifted. “I started following the story of Stan, the team and Kelly,” she said.  Continued…


Review: ‘In the Game’

August 21, 2015

Newcity Film

Faux-uplift sports movies are $144 a dozen, slipped-and-slid into multiplexes on far too many weekends: sports is sports, and depicting the rush of a play, the massed hysteria of a shared moment, is just as conceptually fraught as the depiction of live music performances. And all those poor underdogs of the world of mass-marketed movies! But when a movie attains its own heart and soul by watching that dream in motion—think “Hoop Dreams”—the result can be magical. The first glimpse I had of Maria Finitzo’s wondrous “In The Game,” about fifteen minutes of a 2014 cut, was a contained little knockout. (I was pleased to weep.) The feature, gentle, assured, compassionate, left me softly thunderstruck. For four years, Finitzo follows a girls’ soccer team at Brighton Park’s primarily Latino Kelly High School, with an 86% poverty level and a $4 million budget cut during the course of her observation. There’s triumph, adversity, defeat, governmental indifference, resolve, fortitude and elemental sisterhood. Their coach’s advice is simple: “In life, you deal with what’s dealt your way. When you get knocked down, just get up right away. Never give up.” The glory of “In the Game” is its gentle demonstration of that determination by the girls and their families alike.. A Kartemquin Films production, natch. Peabody Award-winning Finitzo was also selected as one of Newcity’s 2014 Film 50. 79m.  Continued…


‘In the Game’ – a review by rogerebert.com

August 21, 2015

by Brian Tallerico – rogerebert.com

ITG flash 013Stan Mietus is the kind of role model that we all hope our children someday encounter in their lives. When we send our kids off to school or to athletic programs, we place an incredible amount of trust in the people paid to teach and coach them. Mietus understands, as clichéd as it sounds, that he’s teaching young people that it’s really not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game and how you respond to adversity that defines your character. He’s teaching teamwork, confidence, and, yes, that life is unfair. You will lose in life, but it’s how you respond that matters more than the losing. Mietus is one of the central figures in Maria Finitzo’s “In the Game,” premiering at the Siskel Film Center tomorrow, August 22nd, with screenings throughout the next week (go here for more details). It’s a project from Kartemquin Films, the brilliant people behind Steve James’ “Life Itself,” and the best sports documentary of all time, “Hoop Dreams.” Much like that film, Finitzo uses sports—girls’ soccer this time—to comment on other issues, including income inequality and gender roles, but she does so with a light tough, always keeping the focus on the players on the field more than the entire game.  Continued…


Indiewire Guest Post: The challenges of making cocs about women and why it’s so crucial to overcome them

July 9, 2015

by Maria Finitzo – Women and Hollywood                                                 maria

When I began work on “In the Game” almost six years ago, I assumed that in terms of funding and distribution it would be like shooting into an open goal. It was a film that was going to look at the impact that Title IX had on the world in terms of leveling the playing field for women in all fields — not just sports — and there seemed to be growing public interest in this issue. Also, I had a proven record as a filmmaker, and I was working with Kartemquin, the makers of “Hoop Dreams” and my previous film “Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita,” which had just aired on PBS Independent Lens and won a Peabody. Most importantly, I had a great story about a dedicated soccer coach who uses the game of soccer to teach his players — mostly second-generation Hispanic high-school girls in southwest Chicago  — about how to win in life despite starting from a losing position. But it turns out it was not an open goal; instead we kept getting shown the red card. Continued…


The Chronicle of Higher Education: Forthcoming film depicts Title IX’s unfinished work in urban schools

April 11, 2011

by Libby Sander

More than two decades ago, the folks at Kartemquin Films spent several years following the lives of two young basketball players from Chicago. Their efforts resulted in Hoop Dreams, an acclaimed three-hour film now firmly lodged in the canon of sports documentaries. Now, Kartemquin, the nonprofit organization behind dozens of award-winning documentaries, is turning once again to an urban neighborhood for a film about sports and society.   ITG flash 013

The film, In the Game,…is directed and produced by longtime filmmaker Maria Finitzo. The story of the soccer players is set at Kelly High School, a public school in the working-class, mostly Hispanic neighborhood of McKinley Park, on Chicago’s southwest side. In many ways, it’s a tale of Title IX’s unfinished work: More than a few of the players at Kelly are new to the game. The school itself, landlocked by two busy thoroughfares, doesn’t have a field—so the players jog laps through the school’s empty corridors and run drills in the gym. And those practices often occur in the early morning, when the space is available

Title IX aims to open up opportunities in education, but for the girls at Kelly and others like them, Finitzo says, that hasn’t necessarily been the case.

“You have a population of girls who desperately need that opportunity to go to college, and yet they’re not being given a tool that can get them a scholarship,” Finitzo said in a recent interview. “If there are no programs for you, if your high school program isn’t very good, then you don’t have that opportunity.”

Despite gains elsewhere, girls in urban school districts still participate in sports at far lower rates than their peers in suburban schools.

Advocates say that gap has sobering implications not only for their health—research has shown that girls who play sports are less likely to become obese or pregnant—but also their chances of graduating on time and pursuing a college education.

Indeed, the racial and ethnic makeup of college rosters appears to reflect these deficits: NCAA statistics show that more than three quarters of all female college athletes are white, and African-American female athletes remain clustered largely in three sports—basketball, bowling, and track and field.

As Debbie Brake, a legal scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, told me last year: “Title IX did not introduce problems of racial inequality into our nation’s school system. The problem is, Title IX doesn’t do anything about it, either.”

The issue, though hardly a new one, has drawn attention of late: In November, the National Women’s Law Center, an advocacy group based in Washington, filed administrative complaints with the Department of Education against a dozen school districts around the country, including Chicago Public Schools, citing double-digit gaps between the percentage of female students in their districts and the percentage of athletes who are female. (The Chicago public school system had the largest average gap—33 percentage points—of the 12 districts, according to the complaint.)”


SB Nation: Swish Appeal – Sports & Society

March 8, 2011

by Nate Barham

Maria Finitzo’s narrative, In The Game , is grounded in the story of Kelly High School, an 80% Latino school where head coach Stan Mietus has created a soccer program with limited resourcescoach on ground and, perhaps even more startling, without a field to practice on.

States Finitzo, “…the girls love soccer and they love playing for Stan and I thought that was the basis for a powerful story. I think what it’ll illuminate is that if you’re a girl in high school that’s in a well-financed community, then you have every opportunity. But if you’re a girl in high school in the inner city,  in public education, then you don’t have the same opportunities. And that is not fair.”

As Finitzo alludes to, In the Game and  Kelly High School is not only an exploration of gender and sports, but also an exemplar of how long-standing social inequalities are exacerbated at the intersection of class, gender and race across K-12 education.

As of 2011, there were over one million students attending schools described as ‘persistently low performing’ and 81% of those are students of color, which makes Kelly High School something of a microcosm given our nation’s growing Latino population…the bottom line is the vast majority of students of color are being denied the type of education required to succeed in the U.S.

For girls, that unfortunate situation is often compounded by the fact that they’re also denied equitable opportunity to participate in athletics.

The best thing we can do as a society for girls who already face the interlocking challenges of poverty, racism and sexism is to educate them.


‘In the Game’ to world premiere at Madrid International Film FestivalElizabeth

June 14, 2015
We’re delighted to announce that our new film In The Game will world premiere this July as an official selection of the Madrid International Film Festival. The film is in competition at the festival, and is nominated for several awards: Maria Finitzo for Best Documentary Director, Peter Gilbert for Cinematography, Katerina Simic for editing, and Gordon Quinn for producing. Awards will be announced during the festival. We’ll also update with exact screening times and more details when the festival announces them. Continued…

Athena Film Festival to host “In the Game” sneak preview

January 29, 2015stan with photo

We’re excited to announce that two-time Peabody award-winning director Maria Finitzo’s new film In the Game is almost complete, and will be hitting festivals in 2015. Ahead of its official festival world premiere later this year, Maria will be present as Athena Film Festival hosts a special work-in-progress public screening at 3pm on Saturday, February 7 in New York City. This Athena Film Festival work-in-progress screening is FREE to the public, however, a ticket is required for entry. 

Now in its fifth year, the Athena Film Festival-a celebration of women and leadership-is an engaging weekend of feature films, documentaries and shorts that highlight women’s leadership in real life and the fictional world. The four-day festival, which includes conversations with directors and talent and workshops for filmmakers, has quickly established itself as one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind.


KTQ producers star in 2014 New City Film 50new city

October 2, 2014

Chicago’s “New City” magazine has published its 2014 list of “Screen Gems”- an annual list of the top 50 film artists in the city – and for the second year in a row, a Kartemquin producer is at #1.

Steve James takes the top spot this year, receiving praise for his work on Life Itself and his long career of “explorations of the heart and humanity of Chicago.”

Out of the 50 names, the list contains a total of 11 Kartemquin producers and associates. These include:

#1 – Steve James, director/producer of The Interrupters and many more.

#7 – Aaron Wickenden, director/producer of Almost There, editor of The Trials of Muhammad Ali.

#14 – Gordon Quinn, our Artistic Director and Co-founder, and director of ’63 Boycott.

#38 – Maria Finitzo, director/producer of In the Game and many more projects.


Watch a video recap of the 2014 Spring Showcase  spring showcase panel

July 11, 2014

For those of you who couldn’t attend – or just want to relive- the 2014 Kartemquin Spring Showcase, watch the recap video of our third annual sold out event. The Spring Showcase invites an audience to preview and discuss four new works-in-progress by Kartemquin filmmakers in a spirit of creative collaboration.

The video was edited by KTQ spring 2014 intern Stephanie Sunata. The Gene Siskel Film Center hosted the event for the third year, with the crowd reacting very positively to the short clips shown by Hard Earned; In the Game; Raising Bertie and Generation Food.

Watch the 2014 Kartemquin Spring Showcase recap!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s