Kartemquin Educational Films, Chicago, Illinois, KTCA-TV, St. Paul, Minnesota, presented on PBS
Nearly ten years ago, film makers Steve James, Frederick Marx and Peter Gilbert began documenting life on an around Chicago’s playground basketball courts. Their camera focused on William Gates and Arthur Agee, two schoolboy athletes whose dreams of paying in the National Basketball Association collided with academics, family life, economic hardship and injury. For more than five years, the film makers collected more than 250 hours of film. The result is an especially revealing portrait of modern American Life. More than a “one-shot” documentary, this landmark work has ongoing instructional value. Its PBS broadcast was accompanied by the distribution of resource and training materials to schools and community leaders and poignant update on the lives and continuing basketball exploits of Mr. Gates and Mr. Agee. The issues addressed in the film include teen and single parenting, the lure of drugs and violence, the importance of self-motivation and self-acceptance, and the conflict between athletic and academic performance. For producing an exceptional documentary, a Peabody is presented to Kartemquin Educational Films and KTCA-TV for Hoop Dreams.