By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

DVD, Blu-ray, and Television Launches of Award-Winning Chicago Documentary The Interrupters

Star Ameena Matthews to appear on The Colbert Report

Kartemquin Films has produced independent documentary films in Chicago since 1966. We’re pleased to announce the February 14th DVD, Blu-ray and US television premieres of our film The Interrupters, the Chicago Film Critics Association’s “Best Documentary of 2011.”

PBS will release the DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Interrupters on Feb. 14. That same evening, PBS FRONLTINE will air the television premiere of The Interrupters at 9p.m. EST / 8p.m. CST.

Chicago’s WTTW will host a roundtable discussion immediately following the Feb. 14 broadcast, featuring violence interrupters Ameena Mathews, Cobe Williams Eddie Bocanegra and Director for CeaseFire Illinois Tio Hardiman.

Ameena Matthews, one of the stars of the film – awarded “Chicagoan of the Year in Film” by the Chicago Tribune and ranked as one of TIME’s “Top 10 film performances of the year” – will be featured on The Colbert Report Wednesday, February 1, at 11:30p.m. EST / 10:30pm CST on Comedy Central.

Colbert’s on-air persona is known to put his guests in the hot seat, but Matthews is no stranger to pressure. “I’m so excited,” she says. “I just hope I won’t need to kick his ass!”

In celebration of Kartemquin’s first-ever Blu-ray release, pre-orders for The Interrupters are available at a 20% discount through the Kartemquin’s store. Randomly selected pre-order purchasers will also receive posters signed by cast members and producers.

The Interrupters was released in 2011 to far-reaching acclaim both within the city and around the world, and cited as one of the best films of the year by Village Voice, IndieWIRE, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and The New Yorker.

The Interrupters’ director Steve James will attend the Director’s Guild of America awards this Saturday as a nominee for Best Documentary. Most recently, the film won Best Film and Best Director at the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking. When it screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center in August, The Interrupters became the biggest box office success in the venue’s 40-year history.

In 2008, Chicago received national coverage for its increasing levels of violence. The Interrupters follows three “violence interrupters,” who attempt to stop disease of violence at its core. Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams, and Eddie Bocanegra work with troubled Chicagoans whose stories capture the traumas of violence, poverty, families, and race relations in a city fraught with tension. The Chicago Tribune called the film “Chicago to the bone yet universal in its implications.”

The Music Box Theatre presents a special screening of The Interrupters on Sunday, February 19, along with Barbara Kopple’s 1976 documentary Harlan County USA, which depicts a lengthy coal miners’ strike in rural Kentucky. The Interrupters producer-director Steve James will appear for a post-film discussion with author Robert Elder, for the third installment of “The Film That Changed My Life” series. 

Kartemquin Films is a home for independent media makers who seek to create social change through film. This Chicago-based documentary powerhouse has won every major critical and journalistic prize, including an Emmy, a Peabody and an Oscar nomination. With seven new films in progress, Kartemquin is building on more than 45 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse. www.kartemquin.com

@Kartemquin

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Dear Irene Cho, I will miss your energy and passion; your optimism and joy; your kindness towards friends, colleagues, strangers, struggling filmmakers, or anyone who randomly crossed your path and needed a hand. My brothers and I have long considered you another sibling in our family. Our holiday photos – both western and eastern – have you among all the cousins, in-laws, and kids… in the snow, sun, opening presents, at large dinner gatherings, playing Monopoly, breaking out pomegranate seeds and teaching us all how to dance Gangnam style. Your friendship and loyalty meant a great deal to me: you were the loudest cheerleader when I experienced victories and you were always ready with sushi when I had disappointments. You had endless crazy ideas which always seemed impossible but you would will them into existence. (Like that time you called me and suggested that we host a brunch for newly elected mayor of LA, Eric Garcetti because “he is going to president one day.” We didn’t have enough time or funding, of course, only your desire to do it. So you did, and I followed.) You created The Daily Buzz from nothing and it survived on your steam in spite of many setbacks because you believed in a platform for emerging filmmakers from all nations. Most of all, you were a wonderful mother to your son, Ethan, a devoted wife to your husband, and a wonderful sibling and daughter to your family. We will all miss how your wonderful smile and energy lit up the room and our lives. Rest in peace, Irene.
~ Rose Kuo Remembers Irene Cho on Facebook

“You know, I was never a critic. I never considered myself as a film critic. I started doing short films, writing screenplays and then for awhile, for a few years I wrote some film theory, including some film criticism because I had to, but I was never… I never had the desire to be a film critic. I never envisioned myself as a film critic, but I did that at a period of my life when I thought I kind of needed to understand things about cinema, understand things about film theory, understand the world map of cinema, and writing about movies gave me that, and also the opportunity to meet filmmakers I admired.

“To me, it was the best possible film school. The way it changed my perspective I suppose is that I believe in this connection between theory and practice. I think that you also make movies with ideas and you need to have ideas about filmmaking to achieve whatever you’re trying to achieve through your movies, but then I started making features in 1986 — a while ago — and I left all that behind.

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