Award-winning Director/Producer Joanna Rudnick is a documentary filmmaking associate with Kartemquin Films. Her Emmy-nominated directorial debut “In the Family” (2008) premiered at SILVERDOCS in 2008. It broadcast nationally on PBS’ P.O.V. the same year and internationally in seven countries. The film was screened at thousands of grassroots events and conferences around the world, serving as a cornerstone in the ACLU challenge against the patenting of the BRCA genes. “In the Family” was featured at two separate congressional briefings advocating the passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and The Early Act. “In the Family” was a finalist for the NIHCM Foundations Health Care Radio and Television Journalism Award.
President and founding member of Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn has been making documentaries for more than 45 years. At Kartemquin, Gordon created a legacy that inspires young filmmakers and a home where they can make films that investigate and critique society. Gordon was the executive producer on Kartemquin’s best-known film, “Hoop Dreams” (1994) and he was the executive producer, producer and cinematographer for “Stevie” (2002), for which he won the Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival. He currently serves as production company’s Artistic director, adding his creativity and vision to recent films such as “The Trials of Muhammad Ali” (2013), “Life Itself” (2014) and “Hard Earned,” a new six-part series scheduled to air on Al Jazeera America in 2014.
Justine is Kartemquin Films’ Executive Director, serving as the Executive Producer for many films currently in progress. She directed the Kartemquin film “Typeface” (2009) and was Associate Producer on the Peabody award-winning “Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita” (2007). Prior to that she helped the organization develop an education series while earning her Master’s Degree in humanities from the University of Chicago. Other experience includes teaching at the Hyde Park Art Center, working as a Theatre Manager for the Chicago International Film Festival and as a Fellow for The HistoryMakers. Before moving to Chicago, she produced promotional spots for Public Television and worked for various companies including M&C Saatchi Australia and Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know? on National Public Radio. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Melissa Sage Fadim is the creator and executive producer of the documentary series “Islands Without Cars.” This unique series offers viewers the opportunity to experience islands around the world that operate outside of the frantic pace of modern urban life and provides the opportunity to travel back in time. The series was written and produced by three-time Chicago Emmy winner Terry Spencer Hesser. Melissa is also the executive producer of the acclaimed documentary “Raising the Barre: The Homer Bryant Story” (2009).
Liz Kaar is an independent filmmaker with a storied history at Kartemquin Films. She served as the Director of Post Production from 2008-2012 and edited Justine Nagan’s film “Typeface” (2009). She was the assistant editor on “No Crossover” (2010), “Milking the Rhino” (2008) and Joanna Rudnick’s directorial debut, “In The Family” (2008). She has worked as one of the producers for some of Kartemquin’s recent DVD releases, including “Home for Life” and “The New Americans.”
In addition to editing “On Beauty,” she is also the editor for the new documentary “Andrew Bird: Fever Year” and is directing a documentary short about the opening of the first vegan takeout restaurant in Chicago.
Stephanie Sunata is a freelance filmmaker based in Chicago and is the outreach coordinator for “On Beauty” at Kartemquin Films. She received her master’s degree in video journalism from Northwestern University in 2013. While at Northwestern she received grants to cover stories all over the world including a Carnegie Foundation grant to spend a month embedded with physicists at CERN, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. Journalism allowed her to work with many of her interests such as darkroom photography, web and graphic design, physics and aviation. She is currently working on her own documentary about Japanese-American internment camp survivors who served in the military during WWII.
Rick Guidotti has worked for fashion icons such as Elle, GQ and Yves Saint Laurent. He left the fashion world when he grew frustrated with having to work within the restrictive parameters of the industry’s standard of beauty. After a chance encounter with a young woman who had the genetic condition albinism, Rick re-focused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows to change the way we see and experience beauty.
In 1998 Rick founded Positive Exposure, which is based on his mission to challenge the rigid parameters of beauty. Since then he has photographed thousands of people all around the world.
Sarah Kanney has been racing motocross since she was 13 years old. She says when she races around the track with her helmet on she feels free from stares she normally gets from the birthmark on her face. When she was in middle school, Sarah left public school for homeschool because she was bullied so harshly for looking different.
Sarah has a genetic condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome, which causes the birthmark on her face and brain. She has undergone numerous surgeries since she was 4-years-old. Since meeting Rick, Sarah has started a job, moved into a place of her own and is studying for her GED. She has decided not to wear makeup or have surgery to cover the birthmark that she says is part of her identity.
Jayne lives in Kenya, where the society too often mistreats people with albinism. Jayne was raised by her grandmother because her mother abandoned her when she was born. She is called a “walking bank note” because witch doctors in Eastern Africa hunt people with albinism for their body parts.
Jayne was researching albinism when she came across Rick’s work. When she saw his photos she knew she had to bring him and his work to her home. Since their first meeting she has helped create Positive Exposure Kenya and increased awareness about the unique health and safety needs.