An important figure in the world of documentary film is hospitalized in Chicago with COVID-19. Kartemquin Films co-founder Gordon Quinn was admitted to Northwestern Hospital Wednesday night after having difficulty breathing.
Quinn, 78, had been isolating at home with his wife after he fell ill upon returning from a documentary film festival in Australia. According to a Caring Bridge site set up by his family and friends, he is on a ventilator but continues to show improvement. A friend posted that he is now being treated with tocilizumab, a drug developed to treat arthritis that has been tested in Italy to relieve COVID-19 effects.
In 1966, Quinn co-founded Kartemquin Films, a documentary production house focusing on social issues. He was executive producer on the award-winning films Hoops Dreams and Minding the Gap, filmmaker Bing Liu’s documentary based in Rockford.
Quinn was also executive producer of All the Queen’s Horses, which told the story of how Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell embezzled nearly $54 million from her hometown. He met director Kelly Richmond Pope through Kartemquin’s “Diverse Voice in Docs” program. In a 2017 interview with WNIJ, Quinn said “I felt this was a really important story. We make films because we want them to have consequences in the world.”