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Filmmaker Steve James, Writer Kotlowitz Discuss Where Arts Meet

Kotlowitz and James talk about the intersections of film and prose

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February 15, 2010 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- On Tuesday, Feb. 23, national best-selling writer Alex Kotlowitz and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James will hold a public conversation about nonfiction and film titled "Where the Arts Meet" at Northwestern University.

The free and public event will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Hagstrum Room 201 of University Hall, 1897 Sheridan Road, on the University's Evanston campus.

Good friends, the writer and filmmaker both earned national recognition for works that they created about Chicago boys growing up in the inner city. Kotlowitz's "There Are No Children Here" and James' "Hoop Dreams" pricked the national conscience and shed a spotlight on the incredible challenges facing many of America's children.

Kotlowitz, Northwestern's Center for the Writing Arts Writer in Residence, is renowned for his profiles of individuals whose life experiences shed light on inequities in the nation's social and political landscape. A frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and to public radio, he focuses on issues of race, urban affairs and children.

James first earned national attention when "Hoop Dreams" won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. It went on to win every major documentary award in 1995 and was a surprise commercial hit. More recently, James co-produced and co-directed "At the Death House Door." A documentary about a wrongfully executed man, it won the top prize at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Inspiration Award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

The Kotlowitz/James discussion is sponsored by the Center for the Writing Arts. For further information, call the center at (847) 467-4099, e-mail words@northwestern.edu or visit http://www.northwestern.edu/writing-arts/index.html.