Cast Arrives For True Life Fund Documentary

Related Story

COLUMBIA - The True/False Film festival will launch its first full-day of films today at venues across town. Cast members for this year's True Life Fund film "The Interrupters" arrived Thursday for the festival's launch. The Interrupters features subjects - Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra.

During the film, the cast works with the anti-violence group CeaseFire and they take on the risk of entering dangerous crime neighborhoods in Chicago. Revenue from the film will benefit the film's cast members and a portion will go to help establish a CeaseFire group in Kansas City.

The three subjects step between violent people, some they know, and they figure out a relationship with the police. Using their live experiences and street cred, the cast seeks to lure criminals and gang members from killing one another.

While the cast intervenes in these violent communities, they seek to establish the importance of family, the nature of poverty, and the role of race.

"A lot of these kids come from broken homes. They might not got their momma or their daddy. A lot of these kids are raising themselves. sometimes, they're just turning to violence for something to do at times, " said film subject Cobe Williams.

Williams lost his father to murder and served time in prison for a murder attempt. He says his experience in the slammer changed him and now wants to help end violence by reaching out to a young audience with this film. Other cast members are former gang leaders.

Film producers have spoken with victims of crime, and the experience impacted filmmakers when they later learned some victims were killed in a crime incident. By showing the film in communities having big and small crime rates, producers hope it will influence community members to know about where major crime exists and how cities can improve.

"One thing I find so striking about a place like Chicago is how numb people have become to it (the crime). One of the things I hope this film gives is a sense of promise that there's a way out of this," said Alex Kotlowitz, "The Interrupters" film producer.

"The Interrupters" took a year to shoot. The film will debute at True/False on Saturday.