UK indie distributor Dogwoof has picked up UK theatrical and home entertainment rights to Steve James’s buzz-building epic The Interrupters, ahead of the doc’s UK premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest next month.
The acquisition comes after the film earlier this year picked up the best documentary award at the Miami International Film Festival and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Film Festival. It will open in UK cinemas in the autumn, and will be broadcast by the BBC on the network’s ‘Storyville’ strand shortly afterwards, as previously reported.
Dogwoof founder Andy Whittaker said: “The film and subject will undoubtedly create a lot of interest, and on top of this, we will get to work with one of the best directors in the business.”
Shot over a year in Chicago, The Interrupters sees director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Stevie) and author Alex Kotlowitz (There Are No Children Here) following three ‘violence interrupters’ – reformed gang members trying to protect their communities by diffusing violent altercations before they turn fatal.
The Interrupters is James’ sixth film produced with Chicago’s Kartemquin Films, and a first coproduction with London’s Rise Films. The deal was negotiated by Whittaker and Rise Films’ exec producer Teddy Leifer.
In an interview with realscreen published earlier this month, James explained of the film: “One of the things we talked about early was that we were not trying to do a reality TV show. The goal wasn’t to have an endless string of mediations and just be in the streets with the constant drama of a mediation going on.
“We both wanted to do a film that would hopefully dig deeper into understanding how and why things happen, to try and dig into and understand the violence, the frustrations, and the underlying social and economic realities that are at work.”
James will take part in a Q&A about the film during Sheffield Doc/Fest, hosted by BBC ‘Storyville’ editor Nick Fraser.
Dogwoof’s acquisition of the doc comes after New York-based distributor The Cinema Guild picked up the U.S. theatrical and non-theatrical rights to the film in March. It will air on U.S. TV via PBS.