nullFollowing up on Courtney's item belew about the Chicago-based Kartemquin Films' upcoming documenatry about Muhammad Ali… Go ahead take a look… I can wait…

So as I was saying, following up on the report about Kartemquin Films' (The interrupters, Hoop Dreams) documentary about Ali, comes news that, next month, the company will launch a new professional development program aimed at nurturing new Chicago documentary filmmakers of color. 

The program, which is called Diverse Voices in Docs, and will be done in association with the Community Film Workshop in Chicago, will mentor 20 emerging documenatry filmmakers over the course of 6 months, as they work on their respective projects.

Kartemquin and the Community Film Workshop will enroll its first class in January 2013.

According to Margaret Caples, the Execuitve Director of the Community Film Workshop: “Our goal is to empower ordinary citizens in the use of media and to provide them access to resources to produce first-voice social issue documentaries.”

Tim Horsburgh, the Director of Communications and Programs for Kartemquin further adds that: "Community-building is at the heart of all our work, and so in this program, just as with our acclaimed internship, the goal will be as much on fostering collaborative connections between the filmmakers as it will be on honing skills. We’re aiming for nothing less than ensuring the healthy future of Chicago’s documentary scene. To do that, we need to make sure opportunities are provided in underserved communities."

The program will consist of  six intensive three-hour workshops held monthly, with creative advice provided by Kartemquin's staff and associates. Each session will provide practical skill-enrichment designed to help incubate the attendee’s next documentary project, as well as connecting them to an expert community, new collaborators, and a wider network of funders and distributors.

Workshop sessions will focus on applied learning and honing skills in areas such as fundraising, storytelling, production techniques, distribution and marketing.

The program will culminate in exposure through a final public exhibition in late 2013.

Applicants should be filmmakers who have played a principal role in a completed production (producer, writer, director, editor, etc.) and have experience or work history that demonstrates their commitment to social issue documentary filmmaking.

Kartemquin and the Workship will hold a launch event for the program on Thursday Nov. 8th at the Community Film Workshop, located at 6200 S. Drexel in Chicago, starting at 6:30PM.

Anyone interested can find out more information, or fill out an application form, by clicking HERE.

The deadline is Monday December 17th.

Here's a video explaining more about the program: