Kartemquin @ 50
Kartemquin @ 50

From yesterday, Friday, October 28th, 2016, until next week Friday, November 4, the transmedia project and six-part documentary series, “The School Project,” from Kartemquin Films, will be available to watch entirely for FREE on the company’s streaming website.

This move is part of a major retrospective celebration of the not-for-profit documentary collective (Kartemquin Films), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, as films from its astounding library are screened theatrically (most recently at the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC), and select titles released online, a-week-at-time, for FREE viewing.

Until next week Friday, November 4, “The School Project” is the free KTQ50 film, which you can watch right now!

“The School Project” is an independent cross-platform media project, including an interactive website, committed to the idea that a healthy public education system is essential to a vital American democracy. In an unprecedented collaboration between Chicago documentarians, “The School Project” contextualizes and humanizes issues such as standardized testing, charter schools, privatization, and the effects of school closings to promote an informed conversation about the past, present, and future of public education in Chicago, a city on the front lines of America’s education struggles.

The transmedia project and six-part documentary series looks at how decisions are made and their consequences as they play out in our communities. The team behind the project includes Free Spirit Media, Kartemquin Films, Kindling Group, Media Process Group, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, Rachel Dickson and Melissa Sterne. Media partners include Catalyst Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times, StoryCorps, Chicago History Museum, Ebony.com and WTTW/Channel 11.

In a statement on how they made the collaboration work, the filmmaking team described the success of the project as reliant on: “Interdependence rather than hyper-individualism, reciprocity rather than dominance, and cooperation rather than hierarchy.”

The project launched with an event at the Chicago History Museum entitled “Chicago School Reform: Then and Now” that featured a panel moderated by veteran news journalist Carol Marin following the premiere of the documentary’s first segment, “Chicago Schools: The Worst In The Nation?”, produced by Siskel/Jacobs Productions. The panel engaged in a conversation about the city of Chicago’s reform efforts from the mid-1980s through today.

The next five episodes of the project were released in the form of free screenings followed by moderated discussions on pertinent issues around Chicago’s public education system. The segments screened at locations including the Chicago Cultural Center and the University of Chicago.

Episodes include:
Episode 1: Worst in Nation?
Episode 2: Closed
Episode 3: Restoring Justice
Episode 4: Testing Season
Episode 5: Uncharted Territory
Episode 6: Teaching

Watch “The School Project” for FREE now!

An extended preview follows below: