Lawyer turned filmmaker Dawn Porter will present "Public Defenders: The Keepers of Civil Rights" as the keynote speaker during Hilbert's fifth annual Commemoration Celebration in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to be held Thursday, Jan. 30, at 4 p.m. in Hilbert's Swan Auditorium.
As the founder of Trilogy Films, Porter became the director and producer of "Gideon's Army," which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and appeared on HBO Documentary Films in July.
"Gideon's Army" follows three young public defenders in the deep south during their daily mission to counsel hundreds of defendants through the strained criminal justice system. For more information on the film, visit http://gideonsarmythefilm.com/.
As an alumnus of the Tribeca All Access program, Porter won the 2011 juried Creative Promise Award for "Gideon's Army." Realscreen named Porter one of its 2012 Doc Hot Shots 15 emerging directors to watch. Other Trilogy Films projects include "Spies of Mississippi" for ARTE Germany and PBS, and a documentary about celebrity chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli for the Cooking Channel.
Porter works in narrative features, too, and was executive producer on "Serious Moonlight," written by Adrienne Shelley and starring Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton. "Serious Moonlight" debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically by Magnolia Pictures and domestically on Lifetime Movie Network. She is also an executive producer on "The Green," an independent feature premiering on Showtime Networks and starring Cheyenne Jackson and Emmy-winning actress Julia Ormond.
Before becoming a filmmaker, Porter was the director of news standards and practices at ABC News, and vice president of standards and practices at A&E Networks. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Georgetown University Law Center. Porter was a practicing attorney at Baker & Hostetler and ABC Television Networks before beginning her television career.