Ken Burns Prize for Film

Barack Obama moves to Chicago in 1985, in part, because of a man he’d never met: Harold Washington.

An epic story of American politics, race, and triumph against all odds, that chronicles the captivating rise, surprising reign, and enduring legacy of Chicago’s first Black Mayor, Harold Washington. In one of the dirtiest political campaigns in American history, in a city rife with corruption and discrimination, Harold Washington took on the machine and won. “Punch 9” features candid interviews with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Vice Mayor Richard Mell, Valarie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and others on the front lines and in the backrooms of power as it follows the charismatic politician’s shrewd maneuverings, stinging betrayals, and unlikely victories. This inspiring and compelling documentary reminds us that we sure could use a man like Harold Washington today.
Punch 9 for Harold Washington

UPCOMING SCREENINGS

02/22/24
Fifth Third Bank – Private
Chicago, IL

02/25/24 – 3:30pm
Spelman College – Cosby Auditorium
Atlanta, GA
Q & A Raymond Lambert and Dr. Richard Benson
Free to the public – no ticket required
I.D is required to enter campus

02/28/24
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
Info & Tickets

02/28/24 – 4:15pm
Loyola University – Cudahy 318
Chicago, IL
Q & A Joe WInston
Free to the public – no ticket required

03/14/24
The Little Theater
Rochester, NY
Info & Tickets

Don’t see an event near you? Request a screening.

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING

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“The film works as an invaluable reminder of that pivotal time for those who were there — and a history lesson for those who weren’t.”
–ROTTEN TOMATOES/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, by Richard Roeper

“New “Punch 9″ film is a revelation.”
–AXIOS, by Monica Eng

“A 1980s Blueprint on How to Be a Leader.”
–BLOOMBERG CITYLAB, by Brentin Mock

“PUNCH 9… can inspire audiences to want to get up from their seats and go out to fight.”
–THE WORD, by Gregory Morris

“PUNCH 9 FOR HAROLD WASHINGTON is a magnificent portrait of a hero for our time. While the things he fought against are still with us, the film reminds us that if we can follow in Washington’s footsteps we can begin to move the line in the right direction and make the world a better place for everyone.”
–UNSEEN FILMS

“Your film is a triumph – absolutely terrific. It was a pleasure to screen it last night and the reviews from students and a few colleagues who attended were uniformly positive.”
– PETER SLEVIN, Northwestern Medill School of Journalism

THE PEOPLE’S MAYOR

“He took us to a Dr. King-like zone of consciousness. At the time he won, he became the most prominent African American official in the whole country.”
–REV. JESSE JACKSON

“I had just gotten out of college, and Harold Washington had just been elected in 1983. And I was very much interested in seeing what the possibilities were for progressive politics in the black community. And Chicago was the most exciting thing going on at the time.”
-BARACK OBAMA, President

“Harold Washington was a trailblazer. He is an inspiration and his accomplishments as Mayor, in a relatively short period of time, are legendary.”
–MAYOR ERIC ADAMS, New York City

“Any young person considering a career in politics must see this film. In fact, everyone should see it.”
–MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER, Houston

“My grandmother had three photos on her living room wall; Jesus, Dr. King, and Harold Washington. I never knew much about Harold until I saw this film. Now I understand why he was there.”
–DANI JACKSON, Producer

Harold Washington by Marc PoKempner
photo©Marc PoKempner

THE FILMMAKERS

JOE WINSTON

DIRECTOR-PRODUCER: Joe Winston

Winston has worked as an editor, producer, and director for more than 20 years. He produced and directed “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” which Roger Ebert named as one of the Ten Best Documentaries of 2009. In 2013, he field produced “Citizen Koch,” which was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

RAYMOND LAMBERT

PRODUCER: Raymond Lambert

Raymond earned a Peabody Award as an Executive Producer on the PBS documentary, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise; Writing and Producing credits for the award winning SHOWTIME documentary, Phunny Business: A Black Comedy; and a Consulting Producer credit on All the Queen’s Horses with Kartemquin Films, where he is a Diverse Voices In Documentary Fellow. The founder of All Jokes Aside Chicago, Raymond has served as a consulting producer on comedy and talent to Second City, HBO, BET and Comedy Central.

SONYA JACKSON

PRODUCER: Sonya Jackson

Jackson is an Executive Producer of ideas that matter. She is writer, producer, playwright and activist who uses storytelling, media, technology and live experiences as a force for good. Ms. Jackson spent the first 25 years of her career as a senior corporate executive and is a leader in reputation management, corporate giving and social impact.

Alex Mackenzie

EDITOR: Alex MacKenzie

Alex’s work has been featured on Hulu, HBO, Showtime, TNT, Sky Netflix and PBS. Hulu’s “Behind the Mask,” which he edited, won the service it’s first-ever Emmy nomination. Previously, he co-edited “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” with director Joe Winston.

Melissa Sterne Punch 9 Movie

EDITOR: Melissa Sterne

Melissa Sterne is an Emmy nominated editor whose work has been shown on the PBS documentary series POV and American Masters as well as theatrically and at national and international film festivals. Previous editing credits include “Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance,” “All the Difference,” “Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm,” and “Senator Obama goes to Africa.”

T.W. LI

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: T. W. Li

T.W. has directed the photography of 13 feature films including the documentary What’s the Matter with Kansas, based on the best-selling book by Thomas Frank, and the TV series “Pilot Season,” directed by Sam Seder, and starring Sarah Silverman, Marc Maron, David Cross, Isla Fisher, and Andy Dick.

Alex LU

COMPOSER: Alex Lu

Named by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) as a “Composer to Watch,” Alex has composed, arranged, orchestrated, and conducted on a growing list of film projects. His scoring work has been praised by the Huffington Post as “a graceful counterpoint” and the Austin Chronicle describes his composition and performance as “lovely music… the audience was transfixed.” Alex is an alumnus of the acclaimed ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop and is a recipient of the ASCAP David Rose Award.

Stephanie Sunata

IMPACT PRODUCER: Stephanie Sunata

Stephanie is a documentary filmmaker with over a decade of experience in the industry. Born and raised in Colorado, Stephanie built her career at Kartemquin Films in Chicago, having recently moved back to her home state. She has worked across every phase of the filmmaking process, including development, production, post-production and distribution. Stephanie’s primary focus is outreach and impact for social-issue documentaries. She specializes in using grassroots methods that transform films into engagement tools for positive change. Recent collaborations include “For the Left Hand” from Kartemquin Films, Lucia Small’s final film “Girl Talk,” Joe Winston’s “Punch 9 For Harold Washington,” and Lady & Bird Films’ “Subject.”

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

CRAIG ROBINSON • DERRICK ROSE • JUDY WISE • ROBERT TEITEL • KEVIN JOHNSON
BOB HERCULES • CHARLES MATZ • SAM FAYED • BEN BRAUN • JOSH BRAUN

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

CRAIG ROBINSON
DERRICK ROSE
JUDY WISE
ROBERT TEITEL
KEVIN JOHNSON
BOB HERCULES
CHARLES MATZ
SAM FAYED
BEN BRAUN
JOSH BRAUN

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Funding Provided By

City of Chicago
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
kickstarter
Art Works
Illinois Humanities
Baskin Family Foundation
Better Angels
Chicago Media Project
Moving Documentary Films
Catapult Film Fund
Oppenheimer Family Foundation
DMR Enterprises
National Endowment for the Arts
Field Foundation
Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film
International Documentary Association

Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust

Tallgrass Productions

© 2024 Tallgrass Productions.
All rights reserved.

Harold Washington photo by Marc PoKempner

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