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by Peter Knegt
March 28, 2011 2:24 AM
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Cinema Guild Takes Steve James' Acclaimed "Interrupters"

Steve James' "The Interrupters" - which received ecstatic reviews upon its Sundance premiere (the film is currently the highest graded film on criticWIRE) - was acquired for U.S. release by The Cinema Guild today. The film tells the stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their communities from the violence they once employed. The Cinema Guild will open it in theaters this summer. It will also be broadcast on PBS Frontline and released digitally and on home video by PBS Distribution in 2012.

Full press release below.

New York, NY --The Cinema Guild announced today the acquisition of U.S. theatrical and non-theatrical rights to Sundance Festival favorite "The Interrupters," a gripping and inspiring documentary about modern-day heroes, former gang members who disrupt violent situations as they happen, from acclaimed director Steve James and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz. "The Interrupters" will open in theaters across the country this summer. It will be broadcast on PBS FRONTLINE and released digitally and on home video by PBS Distribution in 2012.

An unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities, "The Interrupters" tells the stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their communities from the violence they once employed. Shot over the course of a year out of Kartemquin Films, "The Interrupters" captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for violence in America. During that time, the city was besieged by high-profile incidents, most notably the brutal beating of Derrion Albert, a Chicago High School student, whose death was caught on videotape.

"The Interrupters" received its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. It won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the Miami International Film Festival and was the recipient of the 2011 True Life Fund at the True/False Film Festival.

Steve James (Producer/Director/Cinematographer) is best known as the producer-director of "Hoop Dreams," winner of every major critics prize in 1994, including a Peabody and Robert F. Kennedy Award. James won the DGA directing award as well. His other award-winning works include "Stevie," "The New Americans," "No Crossover: The Trail of Allen Iverson," and "At the Death House Door," which was his fourth film to be short-listed for an Academy Award.

Alex Kotlowitz (producer) is the author of the national bestseller, There Are No Children Here, which the New York Public Library named one of the 150 most important books of the 20th century. His other critically acclaimed books include The Other Side of the River, and Never a City So Real. A regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine and public radio's "This American Life", Kotlowitz has received numerous awards including a George Polk Award for television, a Peabody for radio, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for print.

"Both an immersive cinematic experience and an epic feat of storytelling, 'The Interrupters' grabs you from the first tension-filled moments and never lets go," commented Ryan Krivoshey. "We are extremely excited to be working with Steve, Alex and Teddy as well as the entire Kartemquin team on a film that will surely spark much needed debate on violence in America among audiences and throughout the media landscape."

"We are thrilled that our partners in public television are committed to having the film play in theaters," said Steve James. "And we couldn't have a more perfect distributor than Cinema Guild, who have demonstrated a great passion for the film."

"The Interrupters" is James' sixth film produced with Kartemquin Films of Chicago, and a first co-production with Rise Films of London. The deal was negotiated by Amy Letourneau of PBS Distribution with Ryan Krivoshey of the Cinema Guild, and Executive Producer Teddy Leifer, of Rise Films.

For more information on "The Interrupters" visit the official website http://interrupters.kartemquin.com or follow at http://www.facebook.com/Interrupters and http://twitter.com/theinterrupters

The "Interrupters" is a production of Kartemquin Films for WGBH/FRONTLINE and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with RISE FILMS.

Cinema Guild is a distributor of independent, foreign and documentary films. Recent theatrical releases include Jeff Malmberg's "Marwencol," Matt Porterfield's "Putty Hill" and Manoel de Oliveira's "The Strange Case of Angelica." Upcoming releases include Cristi Puiu's "Aurora" and Vadim Jendreyko's "The Woman with the Five Elephants."

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