About DawnNext Director »
Trained as an attorney, with a law degree from Georgetown University Law School, Dawn Porter is an award-winning filmmaker and producer whose work often explores the criminal legal system and issues of social justice. Her directorial debut was the 2013 documentary Gideon’s Army which followed three Black public defenders working in the Deep South; the film was nominated for an Emmy Award and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature. She also directed the prescient, Peabody Award-winning 2016 documentary Trapped, which chronicled Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic and explored the impact of anti-abortion laws in the South.
Dawn’s recent projects include the 2020 documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble, about the life and career of the eponymous Congressman and civil rights icon; the 2020 documentary The Way I See It, highlighting official White House photographer Pete Souza and his experience in both the Reagan and Obama administrations; and the 2021 documentary Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer, timed to the 100-year anniversary of the infamous Tulsa Massacre. She also directed and produced the 2021 Apple TV+ series The Me You Can’t See, a frank exploration of mental health from Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry.
Dawn is also an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Television Academy. Her work has received support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Film Institute, and others.