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March 5, 2014

Director/producer Porter to screen ‘Gideon’s Army’ at Allegheny College

MEADVILLE — Lawyer-turned-filmmaker Dawn Porter will screen her documentary “Gideon’s Army” today in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts at Allegheny College. The screening at 5:30 p.m. will be followed by a talk by Dawn Porter.

The public is invited to this free event, which is part of the Year of Civil Rights at Allegheny.

Porter directed and produced “Gideon’s Army,” which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and debuted on HBO Documentary Films in July 2013. An official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, “Gideon’s Army” follows a group of idealistic young public defenders in the Deep South, where lawyers face particularly difficult challenges due to high bonds, minimum mandatory sentencing and a culture that is traditionally “tough on crime.”

“For all the harrowing truth here, about race and poverty and justice, the film is brisk and tight, alive with everyday detail and flashes of humor,” said Alan Scherstuhl in the Village Voice. “Porter’s film is dramatic, unsettling, despairing, and in the end thrilling — at some point, it grows from a portrait of this country’s problems into a celebration of a possible solution. Somewhere, out there, the best of us are fighting.”

The founder of Trilogy Films, Porter is an alumna of the Tribeca All Access program, where she won the 2011 juried Creative Promise Award for “Gideon’s Army.” Other Trilogy projects include “Spies of Mississippi” for ARTE Germany.

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.

The Year of Civil Rights at Allegheny College celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and explores the state of civil rights, broadly defined, in our world today.

More information: Visit allegheny.edu/200.

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