Kartemquin Films is a Chicago-born collaborative center for documentary media makers who seek to foster an more engaged and empowered society. Initially motivated by the philosophies of John Dewey that "artists are the real purveyors of the news," Kartemquin was formed with a manifesto of "Cinematic Social Inquiry." Aaron's relationship with KTQ started in 2002 via an internship which evolved into a Post-Production Coordinator position on The New Americans. For the next decade he was mentored by world class filmmakers: Gordon Quinn, Steve James, Jerry Blumenthal, Leslie Simmer, and David E. Simpson. At the core of any Kartemquin film is an emphasis on the craft of editing.
In 2016, the production company celebrated 50 years of sparking democracy through documentary. In 2019 Kartemquin became the first independent nonfiction production company to receive Peabody Institutional Award “for its commitment to unflinching documentary filmmaking and telling an American history rooted in social justice and the stories of the marginalized. Founded in 1966 in Chicago as a nonprofit collective, Kartemquin has served as a home for filmmakers to develop their craft and produce films that promote dialogue and democracy. Driven by the passionate belief that documentaries have an obligation to examine and critique society through the stories of real people, Kartemquin brought us the seminal film "Hoop Dreams” (1994), as well as “Minding the Gap" (2019).
Proudly based outside of the major production hubs on the coasts, Kartemquin has fostered a community of socially-responsible filmmakers, nurturing emerging talent through a commitment to a collaborative, mentorship-based model of filmmaking practice. Today, they have formalized their filmmaker development programs to train young documentarians in the Midwest, while acting as a leading advocacy organization for the entire field on issues such as fair use and defending public funding and broadcasts of documentary films.”
To date, Aaron has contributed in significant ways to six KTQ projects: Almost There, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, The Interrupters, At the Death House Door, Milking the Rhino, and The New Americans.