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The Homestretch


Runtime89 Minutes

The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future.

The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers – Kasey, Anthony and Roque – will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age. Through haunting images, intimate scenes, and first-person narratives, these teens take us on their journeys of struggle and triumph. As their stories unfold, the film connects us deeply with larger policy issues of juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQIA rights.

With unprecedented access into the Chicago Public Schools, The Night Ministry’s “Crib” Emergency Shelter and Teen Living Programs, The Homestretch follows these kids as they move through the milestones of high school while searching for a warm place to sleep, a quiet place to study, the privacy to shower. The film goes beyond high school, to focus on the crucial transition after graduation, when the structure of school vanishes, and homeless youth struggle to find the support and community they need to survive and be independent. A powerful, original perspective on what it means to be young, homeless and building a future in America today.

The film is funded, in part, by The MacArthur Foundation, the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, The Chicago Community Trust, Polk Bros. Foundation, and Pierce Family Foundation, among others.

The Homestretch is a co-production of Kartemquin Films and Spargel Productions.



Anne de Mare
Kirsten Kelly
Leslie Simmer


Leslie Simmer


Greg Kalember


Anne de Mare
Kirsten Kelly


Derek Hanson
John Mathie
Zak Piper
Rich Pooler

Sound Design and Mix

Mike Frank

Titles and Graphics

Dizzy Giant


Dan Sharkey


Jim Morrissette


Katie Taber

Associate Producers

Jennifer Greenfield
Tristan Hanson
Elizabeth Hemmerdinger
Mary Jan Pories
William Thwaites

Original Music Production and Recording

Greg Kalember
Sonic Highway Music & Sound

Sound Design & Re-recording Mixer

Mike Frank
Final Frame

Assistant Sound Effects Mixer

Gaelan Mullins

Additional Camera

Dinesh Sabu
Sammy Vega
Keith Walker
Tony Williams

Production Assistants

Bea Bosco
Matt Hawkins
Joel Moritz

Technical Advisor

Jim Morrissette

Technical Consultants

Nora Gully
Ryan Gleeson

Additional Post Production

Matt Lauterbach


Final Frame

Assistant Editors

Hillary Bachelder
Philipp Batta
Lauren Callaghan
Brian Gersten
Ryan Gleeson


Ani Mercedes

Additional Graphics

Kristen Zelenka


Madeline Field
Rachel Glass
Haley Rose Martin
Thomas Mathew
Aniluz Mercedes
Julianna Nunez
Rachel Rozycki
Kristen Zelenka


Rachel Dickson


Kate Amend
Carol Dysinger
Tom Haneke
Victor Livingston
Robb Moss
Jean Tsien

Assistant Editor

Carlos Rojas

Director of Communications & Distribution (Kartemquin Films)Impact Producer

Tim Horsburgh

Impact Producer

Erin Sorenson, Third Stage Consulting

Grant Writing

Bea Bosco

Chicago Outreach Coordinator

Dawn Dewald

Finance and Operations (Kartemquin)

Suzanne Niemoth
Yvonne Afable
Maria Galent
Christine McAlonan
Alex Stein

Additional Kartemquin Films Staff

Ian Kibbe
Tamara Fouche
Alison Hanold
Matt Lauterbach
Beckie Stocchetti

Fair Use Consultant

Peter Jaszi

Spargel Productions Accountant

Jerry Adler

Kartemquin Films Interns

Rosa Gaia Saunders
Julian Walker
Matt Sezer
Ryan Buckley
David Granskog
Ben Schamisso
Kofi Ofosu Yeboah
Rachel Dickson
Reid Compton
Andrea Blake
Nushmia Khan
Dain Evans
Natalie Stone
Alexander Skalomenos
Cody Wallace
Spenser Gabin
Tracy Ko
Alex Cox
Stacy Moon
Marriah Kern
Arpita Aneja
Kazuko Golden
Stephanie Sunata
Bucher Almzain
Rondell Merrill
Eugene Kobayashi
Justin Williams
Brooklyn Demme

Music & Sound Design for Hamlet

Lindsay Jones & James Savage

Fight Choreographer for Hamlet

Matt Hawkins

Lighting Design for Hamlet

Joel Moritz

Costume Design for Hamlet

Robert Kuhn

Southside Coordinator

Marcellus Summers

Special Thanks

Kathy Im
Alex Kotlowitz
Cara Mertes
Lauren Pabst
Maryanne Philbin
Debbie Resnick
Elspeth Revere
Kat White


MacArthur Foundation
ITVS/Independent Lens
Sundance Institute Documentary
Chicken & Egg Pictures
Additional funding provided by
The Chicago Community Trust
Lefkofsky Family Foundation
Pierce Family Foundation
Polk Bros. Foundation
Baskin Family Foundation
Nathan Cummings Foundation
Vicki & Bruce Heyman Fund
Roger & Chaz Ebert Foundation
Michael Reese Health Trust
Mullen Family Foundation
The Woods Fund

Thanks to Sundance Institute Documentary Project

Kristin Feeley
John Cardellino
Rahdi Taylor
Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs

Thanks to Chicken and Egg Pictures

Julie Parker Benello
Wendy Ettinger
Judith Helfand

Thanks to Brit Docs

Jess Search
Beadie Finzi
Sandi DuBowski
Elise McCave
Stephanie Little
Tricia Finneran

Thanks to GoodPitch Chicago

Danny Alpert
Steve Cohen
Paula Froele
John Murray
Justine Nagan
Erin Sorenson
Naomi Walker

Thanks to Chicago Shakespeare Theater and The CPS Shakespeare Program

Marilyn Halperin
Criss Henderson
E. Brooke Flanagan

Thanks to Chicago HOPES

Patricia Rivera
Luis Valadez

Thanks to Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Beth Cunningham

Thanks to The Night Ministry

Paul Hamann
Tedd Peso

Thanks to Teen Living Programs

Jeri Linas
Mary Coy
Betty Bogg

Thanks to Year Up Chicago

Alan Anderson
Renu Beniwal
La Casa Norte
Sol A. Flores
Jared Deane
Daniel Wernig
Holly Zann

Thanks to National Advocacy Partners

The National Network For Youth
Darla Bardine

Thanks to The National Association For The Education of Homeless Children & Youth

Babara Duffield

Thanks to The True Colors Fund Forty To None Project

Jama Shelton

Thanks to TLP’s Belfort House

Alexis Allegra
Dr. Ozella Barnes
Will Bulka
Kalvin Fortenberry (Belfort House)
Britt Hodgdon (Belfort House)
Rebecca Hofrichter (Belfort House)
Chalise Jackson (Belfort House)
Jessica Johnson (Belfort House)
Temeka Logan (Belfort House)
Anthony Williams (Belfort House)
Miss Roxie (Belfort House)

Thanks to Prosser Career Academy

Natalie Fields
Ken Hunter
Pat Scott
Sandra Shimon (Prosser Career Academy)

Thanks to The Crib & Night Ministry Van

Jake Bradley
Menachem Cohen
Billy Dee
LaShante Griffin (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
Erik Koepnick (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
William Kyle (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
Nate Metrick (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
Aram Mitchell (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
Darrian Mitchell (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
Clifton Mohomes (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
Allen Ratliff (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
Jen Rude (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
Jakob VanLammeren (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)
Nomi Williams (The Crib & Night Ministry Van)

Thanks to La Casa Norte

Sol A. Flores
Tennielle Ellis

Thanks to Individual Donors

Graham Allan
Mark Anderson
MacLeod Andrews
Frank Ballantine
David Bank
Tim Barker
Keith Bell
Jessica Bennett
Jason Bobier
Carmine Bocuzzi
Joseph & Sara Bosco
Barb Bolsen
Rick Boynton
Jake Bradley
Brooklyn-real, inc.
David Callahan
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Adam Coker
Keith Clark
Joanne Cloonan
Elizabeth Cooper
C. Tennyson Crowe
Denny Cummings
Alice Dalton Brown
Peggy DeBell
William Bil Donovan
Meagan Downey
Laura Eason
Sally Eberhardt
Susanna Einstein
Jan Elsbach
Janet Reich Elsbach
Kimberly Feigin
Katie Felts
Ellen Fox
Debra Freeberg
Debbie & Sidney Frisch
Jennifer Gentry
Stephanie W Guest
Shem Guibbory
Lex & Helen Haris
Sharon Hite
Esther R. Horne
Scott Jacobs
Pete & Darlene Kelly
David & Sandy Kollmorgen
Candice Korkis
Jenny Laird
Jack Lawhon
The Little Family
Christine & Tom Loughlin
Christie Marchese
Charlie McBride
Melinda McMullen
Kenneth Michaud
Gina Minski
Norman & Lois Moritz
Rich & Ka Nelson
Joanne Nemerovsky
Theodore Peso
Caroline Philpott
William Pietri
Yvette & Deborah Pollack
Sarah Price
Kim G. Raisler
Joseph Reich
Amber Damerow (STLS)
Tabitha Koylass (STLS)
Tremel Daniel (STLS)
Patricia Rivera
Russ Rosensweig
Matt & Sarah Sahr
Darrin Shillair
Adam D. Singer
Carol Stanzione
Dhera Strauss
James Strober
Jillian Sullivan
Diana Takata
Julie Tato
Sheila Tennyson
The Stokvis Family
Heidi Theis Bohlmann
Jack Thompson
Rick Treur
True Walker Productions
Christy Uchida
Naomi Walker
Stan & Andrea Washburn
Anne Washburn
Alice Weintraub
Katy Welter
Sandy Whitley
Naomi Wolfensohn
B. Christopher Wood
Richard Woodruff
Eric Yew
Nancy York
Bobbi Zabel
Anonymous Donor

Additional Thanks

Jenny Avery
Bea Bosco
Amy Carle
Michael Fosberg
Marilyn Halperin
Jack Lawhon
Jonathan Lester
Joel Moritz
Sandra Shimon
Chris Smith
John Stovkis
Tracy Baim
Pastor Laila Beukema
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Cornerstone Community Outreach
Scott Duff
Maria Finitzio
First Slice
Jon Hornbacher
Cheryl Hughes
Juanita Irizarry
Steve James
Liz Kaar
Lake View Lutheran Church
Liz Lefkofsky
Peter Lekousis
Lena Washington Shelter
James Lewis
Brad Lichtenstein
Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter
Richard O’Connell
One Heart One Soul
Heather Parish
John Pfeiffer
Rush Medical Center
Dan Rybicky
Bryan Samuels
David E. Simpson
Ines Sommer
Nia Tavoularis
Anne Teicher
Mireya Trejo
Lois Voissen
Aaron Wickenden
Vernell “Coach P” Pondexter (Percy Julian High School)

Special Thanks to the Courageous Young People We Met Along the Way

Jasmine Banks
Veneta Boyd
Jana Brown
Jason Curtis
Sharenna Green
Sean Gallagher
Trianna Hampton
Shaquille Hood
Jeremiah Jenkins
Verlia Jones
Rubi Joyal
Adam Muhammad
AJ. Northington
Gabriel Rivera
Kids at The Crib


Awards and Distinctions

Emmy Awards


Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting - Long Form


Cleveland International Film Festival

Official Selection


Human Rights Watch Film Festical (San Diego)

Official Selection


National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness

Official Selection


Paris Human Rights International Film Festival

Official Selection


SXSW EDU Conference and Festival

Official Selection


Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

Official Selection

European Premiere


AFI Docs

Official Selection

U.S. Premiere


Anchorage Film Festival

Official Selection


Bend Film Festival

Official Selection


Citizen Jane Film Festival

Official Selection


Dallas VideoFest

Official Selection


High Falls Film Festival

Official Selection


Hot Docs

Official Selection

World Premiere


Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Official Selection


Human Rights Watch Film Festical (New York)

Official Selection


Indie Memphis Film Festival

Official Selection


Kansas International Film Festival

Official Selection


St.Louis International Film Festival

Official Selection