Gordon Quinn is the Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, and he has been making documentaries for over 50 years. He made his first film, Home for Life, in 1966, pointing him in the direction he would travel for the next four decades. His work is influenced by the cinéma vérité movement: creating films that investigate and critique society by documenting the lives of real people, letting events unfold as naturally as possible.
Through Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn has created a home for young filmmakers, where they can receive support as they make documentaries that deal with social issues. Quinn executive produces most projects at Kartemquin, including their best known film, Hoop Dreams, which won critical acclaim and several awards. The film follows two inner-city high school students from Chicago for five years as they try to become professional basketball players.
Other films Gordon Quinn has produced include A Good Man, about the dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones; ’63 Boycott, which features previously unseen archival footage of the 1963 Chicago Public Schools Boycott; and America to Me, which explores racial, economic and class issues in contemporary American education.
Recently, Gordon Quinn was in Bloomington for Visible Evidence XXV, an international conference on documentary film and media, where he showcased the work of Kartemquin Films. While he was on the I.U. campus, he came to the WFIU studios for a conversation with Janae Cummings.