Artist in Residence in the Arts of the Moving Image Program at Duke University 2002
Emmy-award winning Director
Chicago filmmaker and producer of the Emmy-winning documentary Streetwise.
2002 Emmy-award winning Director
The lead producer and director for the Shame of Chicago is Bruce Orenstein, currently Artist in Residence in the Arts of the Moving Image Program at Duke University and group leader on residential segregation at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. Uniquely positioned to produce a documentary series about residential segregation in Chicago, Orenstein is a former community organizer who worked in Seattle and Chicago around race and housing-related issues throughout the 1970’s and 80’s. He became a filmmaker in 1991 when he founded the Chicago Video Project—a non-profit organization known for its award-winning short and long-form documentaries produced for social change organizations addressing issues of economic and racial inequality.
His past credits include the 2002 Emmy-award winning documentary No Place to Live, that, in part, tells the 1959 internationally-heralded story of how a white suburban residents of Deerfield Illinois blocked upwardly-mobile black families from purchasing homes in their community. The following year Orenstein produced a short documentary about the harrowing story of black families seeking to integrate a white public housing development, Trumbull Park, in the early 1950’s.
Orenstein will be joined by associate Bill Glader, a veteran Chicago filmmaker and producer of the Emmy-winning documentary Streetwise. Glader will co-edit and film the Shame of Chicago documentary series. In 2005, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation commissioned both Orenstein and Glader to create a videotape record of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation. The two hundred and fifty hours of raw footage, shot over 5-years, is now archived at the Vivian Harsh Collection at the Chicago Public Library. In 2010, the MacArthur Foundation commissioned both producers to source the footage for the 20-minute documentary, Telling Our Story, that chronicles the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation through the eyes the residents who lived through it.
Orenstein is also known for two nationally broadcast PBS documentaries, “The Democratic Promise: The Life and Legacy of Saul Alinsky” (co-produced in 1999) and “American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver,” (2008). Darlene Clark Hine, a past president of the Organization of American Historians, and Board of Trustee’s Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University wrote American Idealist is “the best depiction of the War on Poverty I have ever seen on film.” Historian Michael Kazin at Georgetown University, a former National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow and author of America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960’s, called American Idealist “An exceptional achievement. One of the best documentaries ever made about the history of the 1960’s.”