Justine Nagan's Mid-Year Letter

Happy summer from our cozy Victorian headquarters on the northside of Chicago.  We are so happy to have air-conditioning.  Despite the heat, our staff and filmmakers are working harder than ever and I felt compelled to check in with you and tell you a bit about all that's going on at Kartemquin.  Last fall as we were celebrating our 45th anniversary, I thought it was going to be a hard year to beat.  Now, almost 6 full months into 2012, we're a buzz with several exciting events and initiatives in the works to share. FILMS Continued

Interrupt Violence gets Motorola Mobility Funding

Interrupt Violence, Kartemquin's transmedia extension of The Interrupters, has been awarded a 2012 Empowerment Grant of $15,000 from Motorola Mobility.   These grants are awarded to non-profit organizations to leverage mobile technology and applications to help build stronger communities. The goal of Interrupt Violence is to create a communal, interactive experience around the issues depcited in The Interrupters. The site will engage students with case studies about violence, provide a map of community resources and allow community members to share oral histories about their friends and family who are victims to violence through a "Living Shrine." Continued

Chicago Gives $1 Million To CeaseFire To Curb Violence

For the first time since the program's inception, CeaseFire will receive funding from the City of Chicago.  After weeks of negotiations with the city’s top brass and police officials, CeaseFire and the City of Chicago announced that $1 million will go to expanding the program in Chicago’s Grand-Crossing and Ogden districts.  Until now, CeaseFire has depended upon state, federal and private aid in order to operate, but Tuesday’s historic announcement signals the start of a partnership between Chicago Police and CeaseFire.   Continued

The Interrupters to screen on Capitol Hill

Edit 7/23/12 - Read an ACLU recap of the event.   In the past year Kartemquin's The Interrupters has had over 400 community-organized screenings worldwide, on top of an additional 130-plus theatrical bookings, and a huge PBS FRONTLINE broadcast. But, one of the most important screenings of the film may come just next week as the film screens for elected officials on Capitol Hill in an event organized by the American Civil Liberties Union.   Continued

The Interrupters & Stop The Violence With Art at The National Museum of Mexican Art

Eddie Bocanegra is a man who gets little rest.  While the world was introduced to him as a ‘violence interrupter’, Eddie has stayed busy as a student, a teacher, an advocate for ex-offenders, an accomplished artist and as a mentor.  This summer, Eddie in collaboration with the National Museum of Mexican Art, The Interrupters Outreach Team and several other Chicago youth art organizations will challenge Chicago youth to “Stop The Violence With Art.”  The summer-long initiative is a call-out to Chicago teens to create pieces of art that express their experiences and emotions pertaining to violence.    Continued

The Interrupters goes back to Oakland

Outside of Chicago, the one city that has requested screenings of The Interrupters more than any other has been Oakland, California. This week The Interrupters Outreach Team, working with a number of Oakland community organizations as well as the Oakland Unified School District, brings the film back to the Bay Area for a series of screenings and discussions geared towards Oakland youth.   Continued

Over 100 community screenings of The Interrupters in past 3 months

What needs to be done?  That’s a question that has been raised at every screening of The Interrupters for over a year.   But now with homicides in Chicago up 60% compared to this time last year, these concerns and a call to action is still more necessary than ever.  Tio Hardiman, the director of CeaseFire Illiniois and one of the interrupters featured in the film, recently spoke with PBS’s Azmat Khan about Chicago’s recent spike in violence and how “the community needs to step up.”   Continued

Listen to Steve James & Alex Kotlowitz's "Last Interview" on The Interrupters

After a very, very long run of press on The Interrupters dating back to late 2010, Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz may have recorded their 'final interview' on the film (for now!). Listen to the Film Courage podcast for some great insight into their experiences in making the film and getting it out to the community, and also on their early years as independent creative artists documenting social issues. The Film Courage hosts David Branin & Karen Worden also reveal in the interview that they watched the film three times this week! Continued