Famed Chicago filmmaker Gordon Quinn diagnosed with coronavirus

The Kartemquin Films co-founder and “Hoop Dreams” producer apparently caught COVID-19 in Australia.

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Gordon Quinn speaks while accepting a Peabody Award granted to Kartemquin Films in 2018.

Mike Pont/Getty Images

Chicago documentary filmmaker Gordon Quinn, a co-founder of Kartemquin Films whose credits include the classic “Hoop Dreams,” has been diagnosed with coronavirus, a friend said late Thursday.

Jenny Rohrer, a former Kartemquin partner, wrote on Quinn’s new CaringBridge site that he was in Northwestern Memorial Hospital after apparently catching the virus at the Australian International Documentary Conference.

“He’s been sick for about a week, following having a hard time finding a COVID-19 test, and finally being admitted to the ER by his doctor,” Rohrer wrote after consulting with Quinn’s wife, Meg Gerken.

He was on a ventilator for a time after breathing trouble but “is feeling fine currently,” she write.

Quinn, 77, was one of several University of Chicago graduates who founded Kartemquin in 1966 with a goal of creating documentaries exploring social issues.

That year he released his first film, “Home for Life,” a profile of two elderly people entering a home for the aged that Roger Ebert called “an extraordinarily moving documentary.”

In 1994 he was executive producer of the studio’s best-known film, the Oscar-nominated Chicago basketball documentary “Hoop Dreams,” directed by Steve James.

He now is Kartemquin’s artistic director.

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