The Interrupters

Director: Steve James
Producers: Steve James, Alex Kotlowitz, Zak Piper



Production Funders: Independent Television Service (ITVS), WGBH/Frontline, MacArthur Foundation, BBC, Sundance Documentary Fund, CBC News, Dreihaus Foundation, SVT, NRK, DR TV

Outreach Funders: ITVS, Tribeca New Media Fund, Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund, The Fledgling Fund, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, Chicago Community Trust

Key Funder: ITVS

The production team writes:
“We regularly worked with Cathy Fischer at ITVS on our Project 360 proposal, with ITVS providing large amounts of feedback and guidance on shaping our interactive website Once funded we had weekly phone calls to discuss the website and outreach strategy. This greatly helped shape the website into a much stronger design and to connect us to a larger audience.”


BRITDOC Impact Report

The Interrupters FrontpageRead more about the film’s outreach campaign in the full BRITDOC case study, which observes:

“The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. Shot over the course of a year, the film captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for the violence in US cities. The film’s main subjects, “The Interrupters”, work for an innovative organization, CeaseFire; they have credibility on the streets because of their own personal histories and intervene in conflicts before they erupt into violence.

This campaign has worked with an impressive  range of partners to bring meaningful and considered conversation to the roots of  urban violence and offer some possible solutions. Working with organisations with few resources about a subject often misunderstood by the ‘mainstream,’  this has been a true grassroots effort which has grown impressively through the efforts of the outreach team.

Campaign Update

The team’s latest production is an interactive website, Interrupt Violence, with feedback and guidance from ITVS, to share stories and start outreach discussions in the Chicago community.