New York-based distributor The Cinema Guild has picked up the U.S. theatrical and non-theatrical rights to Steve James’ acclaimed festival hit The Interrupters.
The documentary, which follows former gang members in Chicago who attempt to disrupt violent situations as they happen, will open in theaters across the States this summer. It will be broadcast on TV on PBS Frontline, and will be released digitally and on home video by PBS Distribution in 2012.
The Interrupters is the sixth film James (Hoop Dreams) has produced with Chicago-based Kartemquin Films, and a first coproduction with London-based Rise Films. The deal was negotiated by PBS Distribution’s Amy Letourneau, the Cinema Guild’s Ryan Krivoshey and Rise Films exec producer Teddy Leifer.
“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,” said Krivoshey, who added that the film “will surely spark much-needed debate on violence in America among audiences and throughout the media landscape.”
The 162-minute film has been gaining significant momentum since premiering at the Sundance Film Festival at the start of the year. 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.
It was a hit with audiences at South By Southwest in Texas this month, and has been tipped as a 2012 Oscar frontrunner by realscreen. The film will play at Hot Docs in Toronto this May.