Producer / Director / Editor
Usama Alshaibi was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1969 and spent his formative years living between the United States and the Middle East. His work in film and video has been screened at numerous film festivals and venues across the globe. In early 2004 Usama and his wife returned to his birthplace in Iraq to shoot his first feature documentary titled Nice Bombs. The documentary had a theatrical release in 2007 and a broadcast premiere on the Sundance Channel in March 2008. Alshaibi is the recipient of several film grants, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation award, an award from the Creative Capital Foundation for the Arts and a Playboy Foundation award. He is also the winner of the Creative Promise award at Tribeca All Access in New York City.
Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn has been making documentaries for over 40 years. Roger Ebert called his first film Home for Life (1966) "an extraordinarily moving documentary." With Home for Life Gordon established the direction he would take for the next four decades, making cinema verite films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people. At Kartemquin, Gordon created a legacy that is an inspiration for young filmmakers and a home where they can make high-quality, social-issue documentaries. Kartemquins best known film, Hoop Dreams (1994), executive produced by Gordon, was released theatrically to unprecedented critical acclaim. Its many honors include: the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Chicago Film Critics Award Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Documentary and an Academy Award Nomination. His current project as director/producer is '63 Boycott.
Justine Nagan has been Kartemquin Films Executive Director as well as an Executive Producer on staff since 2008. Projects under guidance have included The Interrupters, directed by Steve James, which won nearly every major documentary award, including the Emmy, Independent Spirit Award, and Cinema Eye Honors. With Kartemquin, she directed Typeface, a documentary on American typography and graphic design and the doc short Sacred Transformations. Formerly she worked as the organization's Director of Communications & Distribution and as the Associate Producer on Peabody- Award winning documentary Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita, which was broadcast on PBS Independent Lens. She is currently Executive Producing the largest ever slate of Kartemquin films, including Life Itself, The Homestretch, and Almost There.
Kartemquin Films is a collaborative center for documentary media makers who seek to foster a more engaged and empowered society. With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on over 45 years of being Chicago's documentary powerhouse. Kartemquin sparks democracy through documentary. Their films, such as The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams, and The New Americans, are among the most acclaimed documentaries of all time, leaving a lasting impact on millions of viewers.