Documentary on Chicago mayoral race in the works from ‘America to Me’ director

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Filmmaker Steve James works with a colleague during the making of “America to Me” at Oak Park and River Forest High School. | Starz

The Oscar-nominated director behind “Hoop Dreams,” “Life Itself” and the recent Starz series “America to Me” now is working on a documentary on Chicago and its looming mayoral election.

The filmmaker, Steve James, has begun photography on the feature film, tentatively titled “Chicago Story,” the local production company Kartemquin Films announced Monday.

The announcement said the movie will be “a mosaic portrait of Chicago today, captured at this crucial juncture in the city’s history — the upcoming mayoral election in February 2019.” Principal photography is already underway.

Participant Media, the issue-based production company that worked with Kartemquin on “America to Me,” will finance the project. Its executive producers will include Kartemquin co-founder Gordon Quinn and “There Are No Children Here” author Alex Kotlowitz. James worked with Kotlowitz on the acclaimed 2011 documentary “The Interrupters,” about violence prevention in Chicago.

“This is a film I’ve wanted to do for years, and right now seems the perfect time to make it,” James said of the current project. “Chicago finds itself at a significant crossroads in so many ways as its citizens grapple with its future and who will lead them.”

“America to Me,” which premiered on Starz in August after a well-received world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, examined inequities as seen over the course of a year at the racially diverse Oak Park and River Forest High School.

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