Gordon Quinn, the founder of the non-profit film organization Kartemquin Films, has been hospitalized and diagnosed with COVID-19, the organization said in a statement Friday.
Quinn had returned from a trip to Australia for the Australian International Documentary Conference on March 8 and fell ill. On Thursday, Kartemquin executive director Jolene Pinder informed filmmakers and alumni of the organization that Quinn had been hospitalized. Quinn is 78.
He’s currently on a respirator in the ICU and is being monitored closely by doctors, though his fever had abated and Pinder described his voice as “strong.” He had been in contact with his wife Meg, who is currently isolating at home.
“COVID-19 is changing our lives in so many unimaginable ways literally minute-to-minute. I know the news that someone in our community is directly impacted is not easy to absorb. Gordon is such a beloved member of this documentary family whose insight and wisdom has helped shape countless stories + so many filmmakers,” Pinder said in the statement. “Gordon is incredibly resilient and has risen to many health challenges time + time again. I hope you all will channel healing thoughts his way. With all the collective support he has extended throughout the KTQ community over time, now is a moment for us to send that back to him — through the ether — manifold,”
Quinn is a longtime producer of the Independent Lens series of documentaries and is the executive producer of Steve James’ films like “Hoop Dreams,” “The Interrupters” and “Life Itself” and is an Emmy-nominee for Bing Liu’s “Minding the Gap.” Quinn himself has directed documentary films like most recently “Left-Handed Pianist” and “63 Boycott.”
Kartemquin Films is a Chicago-based non-profit institution for documentary films established in 1966 by Quinn, Jerry Temaner and Stan Karter.
In partnership with Quinn’s wife, a Kartemquin collective member Jenny Rohrer has set up a Caringbridge page where people can send messages of support, and where Rohrer will post messages with information on Quinn’s condition.