2011, 125 mins, (Adult Content, Language)
+AMEENA MATTHEWS IS SCHEDULED TO BE IN ATTENDANCE
Director: Steve James Screenwriter: Alex Kotlowitz Executive Producers: David Fanning, Sally Jo Fifer, Teddy Leifer, Justine Nagan, Gordon Quinn, Michael Sullivan, Paul Taylor Producers: Steve James, Alex Kotlowitz Co-Producer: Zak Piper Cinematographer: Steve James Editors: Steve James, Aaron Wickenden Original Music by: Joshua Abrams Cast: Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams, Eddie Bocanegra
2012 INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
"The Interrupters" is a truly brilliant documentary explores violence in America and those working to stop it. It takes in place over a year in Chicago, but the events could be happening in any other city where violence has engulfed its citizens. At its center is the non-profit group CeaseFire, which treats violence like an “infectious disease” and works to stop it before it happens. While the description of this documentary sounds bleak, it is full of hope and redemption that most fiction movies can only dream of portraying honestly. What makes CeaseFire unique is the workers have also been on the wrong side of the law in the past. These are not just citizens wanting to live peacefully but those who were as bad as those they are working with and trying to help. They are well-meaning and working to find redemption for their wicked pasts, which could easily have destroyed their lives. Among them is Ameena Matthews, whose father, Jeff Fort, was a notorious gang leader. Through finding peace in her Muslim faith and having children, she turned her life around and started helping those who travel down the same path she did. Ameena Matthews will be in attendance for this special screening. Sponsored by Zonta Club of Grand Rapids - Advancing the Status of Women Worldwide
Ameena Matthews in attendance Ameena Matthews is a professional Violence Interrupter on the South Side of Chicago. She has been credited with diffusing many extremely dangerous situations and saving hundreds of lives. The award-winning documentary, "The Interrupters", features her as a riveting Community Activist and Behavior Practitioner, while showing her loving and nurturing attributes. New York Times magazine awarded her with one of the top five performances of 2011 although ‘The Interrupters" is a documentary. The film has been accepted to many film festivals including Sundance Film Festival, and won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. Ameena has appeared on every major television network, as well as CNN, BBC, Frontline, and HLN. She also has been interviewed by various National Public Radio narratives and has been covered in USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Chicago SunTimes, The Chicago Redeye, Jet Magazine, New York Times and numerous others. In addition, she has been a guest on many talk shows including The Colbert Report. In 2011, Ameena Matthews received the TedX Midwest Heroes Award presented by Illinois’ Governor Quinn, and was honored as the "Chicagoan of the Year" as well as an innumerable amount of other awards and recognitions.