4100 Redwood Rd #406
Oakland, CA 94619


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Arts & Culture: Graphic Design
Information & Media: Culture

Project Geography

US: National
International: Europe


Raised to date: $55,200.00
Estimate to complete: $75,000.00
Total Estimated Budget: $130,200.00
The budget numbers above are accurate as of 06/16/2009


Post Production

Media Type


Project End Use


Key Personnel

Justine Nagan

Justine is Kartemquin Films’ Executive Director as well as a Producer on staff. Most recently Justine directed Typeface, a documentary on American typography and graphic design.  Typeface is currently in Post-Production.

Formerly Justineworked as the organization’s Director of Communications & Distribution and as the Associate Producer on Kartemquin’s stem-cell documentary Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita,which was broadcast nationally on PBS’ Independent Lens in early 2008. Prior to these projects, she helped Kartemquin to develop the series The Learning Chronicleswhile earning her Master’s Degree in the Humanities with an emphasis on Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago. Other Chicago experience includes teaching at the Hyde Park Art Center, as well as working as a Theatre Manager at the Cadillac Palace and Thorne Auditorium for the Chicago International Film Festival and as a summer Fellow for The History Makers, an African-American video oral-historyarchive.

Before moving to Chicago, she produced promotional spots for Public Television, directed the post-production department for a small mediafirm and worked for various other companies ranging from M&C Saatchi in Sydney, Australia to Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know? on National Public Radio. Justine received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2000 in Film and Journalism. She is an active volunteer in the community for such organizations asThe Glass Slipper Project, the Hyde Park Art Center and WTTW. She has served as the staff representative on Kartemquin’s Board of Directors, as an elected member of the Badger Herald Newspaper’s Board in1999-2000 and has acted on several other civic and community committees.

Maria Finitzo
Executive Producer

Maria Finitzo has been an award-winning filmmaker for over 20 years. She has directed and produced projects for network television, public broadcasting and the cable market. Her work as a filmmaker has taken her from the Galapagos Islands to Russia and has involved subjects ranging from the command and control of nuclear weapons to the psychology of adolescent girls.

Maria is a long time associate of the award-winning documentary company Kartemquin Films. Her most recent project with Kartemquin is Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita,a feature length film that puts a human face on the promising but controversial science of stem cell research. The documentary airednationally on PBS’ Independent Lens series in early 2008, as well asinternationally on the CBC, SBS Australia and NOGA Israel. Prior toTerra Incognita, she produced and directed No Direction Home, a short film produced in conjunction with Public Policy Productions, about young people aging out of foster care.

Her most well-known film, 5 GIRLS is a feature length documentary film that delves into the hearts and minds of five remarkable young women. The film is a coming of age drama shot in thestyle of cinema verite over the course of three years. 5 GIRLS was a special presentation of the PBS non- fiction series P.O.V. and premiered on national public television in the fall of 2001. Called by The New York Times… “ A remarkable testament to the resiliency ofyouth” and by the Santa Fe Reporter, “one of the most powerful examinations of teenage life ever created,” the film was awarded the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence from The Council on Foundations, TheSilver Award from The Chicago Film & Television Competition and anaward for Outstanding Achievement from the Parent's Guide to Children's Media.

Maria has been a Producer and Writer for the PBS science series The New Explorers.The series was awarded The Ohio State Award, The Chicago International Film Festival Gold Plaque, the CINE Golden Eagle Award and the GeorgeFoster Peabody Award. Under the banner of her own production company, Maria has produced and directed a variety of educational and broadcast programs including Whales, an episode of the National Audubon Society’s Audubon’s Animal Adventures, a children’s nature series forthe Disney Channel. The series was awarded the Ace Cable Award for Best Children’s Series.

Maria has also directed and produced a two-part special titled On the Brink… Doomsday for The Learning Channel and Towers Productions. She was born outside of Chicago, Illinois and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in Radio-TV-Film. Maria recently finished her MFA at Northwestern University in Writing for the Stage and Screen, and is developing projects on understanding suicide and religious pluralism.

She was a founding member of the Women’s Board for the Chicago Zoological Society, a Board member for the Shanti Foundation for Peace, a founding member of the Chicago Peregrine Release and has served on selected committees for the Chicago Children’s Museum. She has served as a reader for Latino Public Broadcasting’s Open Call and was a member of the 2005 P.O.V. Editorial Committee, responsible for programming strategy and selection of the 2005 P.O.V. Season. She is the Midwest rep for the International Documentary Association and was a committee member for the 2003-2004 Council on Foundations Film & VideoFestival Committee. Maria currently sits on the Board of Kartemquin Educational Films as an Associate.


Gordon Quinn
Executive Producer
Gordon Quinn, Executive Producer

Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn has been making documentaries for over 40 years. Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun Times, called his first film Home For Life (1966) "an extraordinarily moving documentary." With Home For Life,Gordon established the direction he would take for the next four decades, making cinéma vérité films that investigate and critiquesociety by documenting the unfolding lives of real people.

At Kartemquin, Gordon created a legacy that is an inspiration for young filmmakers and a home where they can make high-quality, social-issue documentaries. Kartemquin’s best known film, Hoop Dreams (1994), executive produced by Gordon, was released theatrically to unprecedented critical acclaim. The film follows two inner-city highschool basketball players for five years as they pursue their NBA dreams. Its many honors include: the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Chicago Film Critics Award -- Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association --Best Documentary and an Academy Award Nomination.

In 2004, Gordon executive produced The New Americans and directed the Palestinian segment of this intimate seven-hour PBS series that chronicles the journey taken by new immigrants to thiscountry and the obstacles they face once they have arrived. The series received many awards including the IDA Best Limited Series Award andthe Council on Foundations Film Festival Award. He also produced Golub: Late Works are the Catastrophes, an updated film about Leon Golub.

Recently, Gordon has been very involved as Executive Producer in a host of Kartemquin projects dealing with some of today’s most pressing social issues: Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita (the drama of scientific inquiry), In the Family (the personal and political dimension of a genetic diagnosis), At The Death House Door (following a wrongful execution), which premiered at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival, Milking The Rhino, about community based conservation in Africa, and Typeface, a film examining the role of traditional art forms in a digital age. He is currently directing a film on delayed post traumatic stress syndromein a childhood Holocaust survivor, Prisoner of Her Past andco-directing a film on the development of Bill T. Jones’ latest work topremiere in September 2009, inspired by Abraham Lincoln.

Gordon has been a long-time supporter of public media, and community-based independent media groups, and served on the boards of several organizations including The National Coalition of Public Broadcast Producers, The Citizens Committee on the Media, The Chicago Public Access Corporation, The Illinois Humanities Council, The Public Square and The IL Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on CivilRights.


Outreach/Engagement Plan(s)

Outreach will begin on the 15th July 2009 with the US Premier of Typeface at TYPECON 2009.   See www.typecon.com for details on TypeCon 

Screenings and panel discussions are being organized in conjunction with universities and museums across the country, running through Summer and Fall of 2009, stimulating conversation about preservation and changing technology.  We also plan to make the DVD widely available in early 2010.


The Illinois Humanities Council$10,000.00
Illinois Arts Council$10,200.00
Mohawk Paper $10,000.00
Individual donations$25,000.00


Thimphu, N/A

Short Synopsis

Typeface focuses on a rural Midwestern museum and printshop where international artists meet retired craftsmen and together navigate the convergence of modern design and traditional technique.  


Typeface was filmed throughout the Midwest in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana, focusing on a rural Midwestern museum and print shop where international artists meet retired craftsmen and together navigate the convergence of modern designand traditional technique. 

Justine Nagan (Director/Producer) discovered the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum while traveling through rural Wisconsin.  She passed through Two Rivers and there, found a block-long warehouse that housed 1.5million pieces of wood type, handcrafted relics of a bygone era.  The result?  A 63-minute movie that tells the story of how the art of typography struggles to find its place in the digital age.  It also chronicles the Hamilton Museum’s fight for survival.

"I stumbled upon Hamilton by chance.  The age-old artisan craftsmanshipis inspiring and the place is both a national and historic treasure," said Nagan.  "As we see a renewed cultural appreciation for detail over speed, quality overquantity and the rewards of taking one's time, I think we will see the tide shift in what work we value."

In a time when people carry computers in their pockets and watch TV while walking down the street, Typeface dares to explore the twilight of an analog craft that is freshly inspiring artists in a digital age.  The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum personifies cultural preservation, rural re-birth and the lineage of American graphic design — but the Museum’s days are numbered.  The film asks:  What is the responsibility of artists and historians to preserve a timeless craft?  How can rural towns survive in a shifting industrial marketplace where big-box retailers are king?

This film will be of interest to art and graphic design enthusiasts, to teachers as an educational resource, and to anyone looking for a film about perseverance and preservation in the heart of rural America.


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