Tim Horsburgh – Adjunct Instructor - AEMM
Tim Horsburgh, a documentary film advocate and a marketing enthusiast, recently signed on as an adjunct faculty member for Columbia College Chicago to teach a course well-suited to his range of talent—the Business of Media. He is currently acting as the Communications and Office Manager for Kartemquin Films, a reputable documentary film company that has brought forth award-winning social change films including Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, and many others. His promotional endeavors also extend to ReelChicago.com, Evanston’s Talking Pictures Film Festival, Chicago Convergence, and Chicago Film Archives. Horsburgh shares his story about his arrival to Columbia College and his memorable experiences at Kartemquin.
What led you to teaching at Columbia?
I'm on the festival planning committee for the Talking Pictures Festival in Evanston with Mary Filice, Associate Chair of AEMM. About a year ago, she asked me if I would be interested in teaching at Columbia. I thought it would be in documentary or something similar, but was surprised to find that she wanted me to teach on the business of media for AEMM. But as soon as I looked into the course materials, I realized this was an area I’m really interested in, had been living in for a while, and could not wait to learn more. Teaching a subject is the best way to learn about it, and in two terms I've already gained such a greater sense of the past, present, and future of the media industry.
How does your time in the classroom influence the work you do outside of the classroom?
Beyond film-making, part of Kartemquin's mission is to be an advocate for independent public media and activist media makers. Through learning the history of the media business and immersing myself in the current industry trends and regulatory battles, I've found a number of issues in which Kartemquin could be a leader in raising awareness. Plus, my first class actually used KTQ as a case study, and some of the students had great insight into our own business practices. I'm putting that insight into practice when I can.
What should we be on the lookout for from Tim Horsburgh in the future?
In terms of working for Kartemquin, everyone in Chicago has a civic duty to see The Interrupters, which I've been publicizing for the past year and which will no doubt be still occupying a lot of my time this year too! We'll also have plenty of events locally that I'll be coordinating. The Talking Pictures Festival runs from March 8-11 this year in Evanston. People should also look out for the Chicago Doc Summit, at which I'll be a panelist. And if you're reading anything about Kartemquin from our website, Facebook page or especially Twitter, then that's me.