The Al Jazeera America cable news network
and the Chicago-based documentary film
company Kartemquin Films (
responsible for such acclaimed
documentaries as Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, The Trials of
Muhammad Ali
and the soon-to-be released documentary about the late film critic
Roger Ebert, Life Itself, among
many others)
, announced today that they are currently jointly
producing a documentary series for the network, about the hard realities of low
income living in America.

To begin
airing in early 2015, the six part series,
which is currently in production and will be called Hard Earned, will
explore the lives of five American families in San Francisco, Washington,
D.C., Milwaukee,
and two in the Chicago
area, all striving to keep food on the table and their dignity intact ,despite the
reality of high living expenses and low wages.

According to Shannon
, who is the senior V.P.
of documentaries and programs at Al Jazeera, the series will “explore
the economic realities that many Americans face and will go beyond the politics
and policy discussions and immerses the viewer in the true day-to-day struggles
individuals and families face.

The series’ executive producer and Kartemquin co-founder Gordon Quinn said that “In
the last year, we’ve seen low-wage work move to the forefront of the national
conversation. This shift gives us an opportunity to take the conversation a
step further and look at the consequences of low-wage work on employees, their
families, and their communities.

Co –executive
producer Steve James
added, “low wage jobs are the fastest growing sector of employment in the
American economy. Yet the challenges of living on eight, ten or even 15 dollars
an hour are still invisible to many Americans.

Along with
Quinn and James, the series is being executive produced by Kartemquin’s Justine Nagan.