Kartemquin Educational Films was founded in 1966, when Gordon Quinn, Jerry Temaner and Stan Karter — three University of Chicago graduates—made the documentary Home For Life, a chronicle of two elderly people entering a home for the aged. Emphasizing the fact that Kartemquin Films is a social-activist organization, the MacArthur Foundation, a sponsor of the organization stated,
- "to call Kartemquin Films only a production company would be to understate its impact on the critical societal issues it addresses..."
Tribute to Golub and Montgomery
On November 16, 1989, Jerry Blumenthal presented an excerpt from the 1990 documentary-film produced by Kartemquin Films, entitled "Golub" at the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Tribute to Leon Golub and Lucy Montgomery, held at the Congress Hotel, Chicago.
Recipient of MacArthur Award
In 2008 the MacArthur foundation gave a $15,000 grant to Kartemquin Films in support of their outreach activities, including an opening reception and U.S. premiere of the documentary film, "Milking the Rhino".
As at Feb. 11, 2010, the following were personnel with Kartemquin Films: