Network Media

The Interrupters

Funded by: MacArthur Foundation, Sundance Documentary Fund, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

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. From acclaimed director Steve James and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz this film is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities. 

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 the violence in our cities. During that period, 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. Learn more about the film.


Kartemquin Films created a community resource guide to bring the work of Chicago’s interrupters to other parts of the country – and world. The guide includes resources, partner organizations, community discussion questions and more.

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Case Studies:

The Interrupters was a finalist in the BRITDOC Puma Impact Award. Read more about the BRITDOC impact evaluation process and how films and their outreach campaigns are being examined for real world impact.

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


This film was a selection for the 2014 Media Impact Festival. Find out more about the film’s funding and impact in its full festival case study.

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