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Jolene Pinder named exec director of Kartemquin Films
Jolene Pinder
  • CHICAGO
  • --

Kartemquin Films, the award-winning Chicago-based documentary nonprofit organization, has named Jolene Pinder as executive director. Pinder will begin on June 10, overseeing all aspects of operations, programs, and serving as executive producer on Kartemquin’s documentaries.

Founded in 1966 as a documentary collective, Kartemquin helps develop filmmakers, produces films, and advocates for the field of documentary. The six-time Emmy® Award-winning organization has received three Oscar® nominations in the past two years for Minding the Gap, Edith+Eddie, and Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, and on May 18 it will become the first independent nonfiction production company to receive a 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.”

Pinder joins the organization having served as executive director of #CreateLouisiana since 2017, where she spearheaded statewide and regional advocacy efforts and grantmaking initiatives. Pinder previously led the New Orleans Film Society as executive director between 2011-2017, where she increased the budget by 400% and grew annual attendance at the New Orleans Film Festival by 250%; launched signature programs to support Southern storytellers and advocate for a more equitable, inclusive landscape; and conceived of and secured funding for the acclaimed Southern Producers Lab. Pinder also has independent production experience as producer of 2018 DOC NYC selection All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk and the forthcoming Sundance Institute and IDA-funded Hollow Tree, and from earlier in her career producing (A)Sexual and working in various roles on documentaries such as Arctic Son and Election Day during her period as a staff producer at Arts Engine/Big Mouth Productions.

Kartemquin’s distinctive production process has guided over 65 award-winning, socially impactful films to completion. Its acclaimed filmmaker development programs serve over 40 filmmakers annually and have launched over 500 alumni into careers in documentary filmmaking. The films and filmmakers it supports are known for the social importance of their stories, the quality of their storytelling, the inclusive, respectful, and ethical ways in which they work with their subjects, and the impact of the films on communities, audiences, and policymakers.

Pinder was selected by Kartemquin’s board of directors following a national search conducted over a seven-month period.

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