Liz Kaar is an independent director, producer, and editor based in Chicago. She has worked closely with Kartemquin Films, Chicago’s documentary powerhouse, for over a decade. She started as an intern there and soon discovered her love for small editing rooms, tackling the monster of long-form story structure, and the resulting trail of potato chip crumbs. Her documentary editing projects have been honored with a variety of award recognition, including short-listed for an Academy Award®, nominated for Emmy® and IDA awards, and winning the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award.
She recently edited ‘63 Boycott, directed by Gordon Quinn, about the forgotten story of one of the largest civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s and how it connects to contemporary issues around race, education, and youth activism. The film won a number of “best” awards on the festival circuit and went on to be short-listed for an Academy Award®. She directed, produced, shot and edited Stranded by the State, a web series and TV mini series, co-produced by In These Times magazine and Kartemquin Films, about the human cost of the two-year Illinois budget impasse, the longest a state has gone without a budget since the Great Depression. She co-directed and edited Hard Earned, Kartemquin's six-part television series about people living on low wages across the US, airing on Al Jazeera America. The series won a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award in 2016 and was nominated for an IDA award. In the past, she associate-produced and edited the music documentary Andrew Bird: Fever Year, and festival-favorite On Beauty. She is currently deep into production on two narrative films– producing Computer Hackers, a feature sci-fi comedy, and directing The Turkey, a feature “weirdo” comedy. She is also editing Kartemquin's Dilemma of Desire.