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Social Documentary

Pull Focus: Dawn Porter

Dawn Porter Photo

Dawn Porter is a director/producer and the founder of Trilogy Films. Realscreen named Dawn one of their 2012 Doc Hot Shots 15 emerging directors to watch. Her lastest film "Gideon's Army" follows the personal life of three young public defenders in the deep south, who devoted their lives fighting with a broken criminal justice system. "Gideon's Army" premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO Documentary Films. 

Porter recently visited the Center to share with us her experience in making "Gideon's Army", her relationship with the characters and the film's social impact. Watch her interview unfold below and check out the film’s website for more information.

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Making Your Media Matter 2010: Fiction for Change--How Are Narrative Films Making a Difference?

On this final panel of the day, American University Professor Claudia Myers moderated, while panelists Lisa Cortes, producer of Precious; John Schreiber of Participant Media; and Emily Meyers of Meaningful Media discussed the challenges and rewards of trying to making fiction films that can create social change.

To listen to the podcast of this panel, click here.

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Making Your Media Matter 2010: Strategic from the Start--Developing Synergies to Build Your Conversation

Lisa Smithline of Cultural Front Productions moderated this panel--which included Patrice O'Neill, producer of Not in Our Town; Meg McLagan, co-director of Lioness; and Debra Koffler, founder and executive director of Conscious Youth Media Crew.

To listen to the podcast of this panel, click here.

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Pull Focus: Bernardo Ruiz

Bernardo Ruiz

Bernardo Ruiz is a renowned director and producer who has contributed to numerous award-winning documentaries with Latino themes. His latest film "Reportero" tells the story of a veteran reporter and his colleagues at an independent newsweekly who defy powerful drug cartels and corrupt officials to continue reporting the news.

Ruiz is also the director and producer of "American Experience: Roberto Clemente" (PBS, 2008) and the co-producer of "The Sixth Section" (P.O.V.). As a director and producer for hire, he directed programs for PBS, MTV, the Discovery Networks, Travel Channel, Planet Green and the National Geographic Channel. He founded "Quiet Pictures" in 2007 to create a platform for more activist documentary films.

Ruiz recounts his experiences filming in Tijuana, providing insight into Mexico's current state of affairs and the reaction "Reportero" has acquired in these regions and internationally. Watch his interview unfold and check out the film's website for more information.

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Pull Focus: Pamela Yates

Pamela Yates is a co-founder of Skylight Pictures (with Peter Kinoy), a company dedicated to creating films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice by implementing multi-year outreach campaigns designed to engage, educate and activate social change. Her latest project, “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator”, is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala’s civil war, the mass genocide of it’s people, and how a film made in the 1980’s is being used as evidence to indict the former Army General.

Yates visited the Center to talk about “Granito”; the meaning of the film, its influence on current human rights affairs in Guatemala and the priceless relationships made during filming. She also provided some valuable insight into making documentary films for social impact. Watch her interview unfold below and check out the film’s website for more information. 

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