Listen to Steve James & Alex Kotlowitz's "Last Interview" on The Interrupters

After a very, very long run of press on The Interrupters dating back to late 2010, Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz may have recorded their 'final interview' on the film (for now!). Listen to the Film Courage podcast for some great insight into their experiences in making the film and getting it out to the community, and also on their early years as independent creative artists documenting social issues. The Film Courage hosts David Branin & Karen Worden also reveal in the interview that they watched the film three times this week! Continued

The Interrupters to receive the Henry Hampton Award

The Interrupters will be honored with the 2012 Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media. Academy Award-nominated director John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood) will present the award to Kartemquin filmmaker Steve James on April 28th at the Council on Foundations 45th Film and Video Festival in Los Angeles, part of the Council on Foundations annual conference. Emmy award-winning filmmkaer Stanley Nelson will also be honored at this year's festival, which brings together representatives of the nation's biggest philanthropic organizations.   Continued

Presenting The Interrupters Community Discussion Guide

Awards season may have ended for The Interrupters, so now on to the really important stuff: the film’s outreach campaign is just starting to heat up.  Now available for community screenings, schools, Interrupters House Parties and for all Interrupters outreach events is The Interrupters Community Discussion Guide (PDF download).   Continued

Chicago Mayor Emanuel hosts special The Interrupters event for city officials

On Tuesday February 21st at the Chicago Cultural Center, Ameena Matthews told the story of a recent violence interruption – one that ended, as they frequently do, with the participants in her car, whisked away from the scene to give them enough space to regain their cool.  Her car packed full of teenage boys, she hit Lakeshore Drive.  “Is that the ocean?” one of the boys asked.  Because of gang boundaries, these youths had never seen Lake Michigan. The story drew gasps from her audience, all prominent members of Chicago city government – including Mayor Rahm Emanuel himself.  They had gathered to view several clips from The Interrupters, followed by panel discussions.  The private event was put on by the Mayor’s office, which had approached Kartemquin Films several weeks ago with the idea of showcasing the film to city officials. Continued

The Interrupters wins Best Documentary at the Spirit Awards!

The Interrupters won Best Documentary at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, held today in Los Angeles. Producers Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James accepted the award. The ceremony is televised tonight on IFC at 10/9c. On winning, Steve James stated: "This means a lot for a film like this. It's about urban violence. We didn't realize the impact this film would have." Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune also quotes Steve and Alex: Continued

Reactions to American premiere of The Interrupters on PBS's FRONTLINE (2/14)

This past Valentine’s Day, on February 14th, Kartemquin’s award-winning The Interrupters premiered for American television audiences on PBS's FRONTLINE, the same day that DVD and Blu-Ray pre-orders of The Interrupters shipped out to viewers. Leading up to the 8 PM CST / 9 PM EST broadcast, ardent fans and several news organizations – including TIME and Time Out Chicago – tweeted reminders to tune in.   During the screening, fans continued to tweet enthusiastic responses to the film and its realistic, gripping treatment of violence and poverty. Among others, Hollywood actress Kristen Bell called The Interrupters one of the best documentaries she had ever seen, and Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans, advocated for the film and announced the launch of a CeaseFire-inspired violence prevention program for his home city.   Continued

The Film That Changed My Life: Steve James and Robert Elder In Conversation

"I just remember being really struck by this gritty quality that it had - the raw honesty of it." -Steve James on Harlan County, USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976)   Chicago's in for a special treat. This Sunday, February 19, Steve James and film critic Robert Elder will be in person at The Music Box Theatre for a double feature of Harlan County, USA and The Interrupters.   Earlier this year, Elder released his book "The Film That Changed My Life" where he spoke to some of the most notable directors of the day about influential works that they admire. Steve James chose Barbara Kopple's seminal documentary Harlan County, USA, which he'll discuss with Elder after the screening on Sunday.   Harrison Sherrod at Cine-File writes: Continued

Interrupt Violence: New Interactive Website for The Interrupters

Today we’re launching Interrupt Violence (, Kartemquin’s first transmedia project, which will expand the journey of The Interrupters into the persistent violence that plagues American cities.   On the new site, users can explore an interactive sequence including background and personal histories of murder victims and communities featured in The Interrupters.   By the full launch, additional sections will be created, including: Interactive webisodes paired with Interrupter advice about dealing with crisis, anger, loss, and redemption
 Community resources (violence prevention, counseling, health, education, etc.) that can have an impact on local families