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DAWN PORTER, Director,
PORTER is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared
on ESPN, Netflix, HBO, PBS, and Discovery.  In 2023, her newest film, The Lady Bird Diaries, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival.  The groundbreaking, all-archival documentary about Lady Bird Johnson reveals a complex portrait of one of the most influential and least understood First Ladies.  Porter’s four-part ESPN documentary series 37 Words premiered in June 2022 and examines landmark civil rights legislation that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any educational institution that receives federal funding, and gave women the equal opportunity to play sports.
In 2021, Dawn directed and executive produced The Me You Can’t See, an Apple TV multi-part documentary series with Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry that focuses on mental illness and mental well-being.  Other recent projects include the
documentary Vernon Jordan: Make It Plain which explores Vernon Jordan’s rise from the segregated South to become one of the most influential African American
thought leaders in America; John Lewis: Good Trouble for CNN Films, which explores late Congressman John Lewis’ pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement and decades of political and social activism on important issues including voting rights, immigration laws, and much more; and The Way I See It, about photojournalist Pete Souza, who served as Chief Official White House photographer for President Barack Obama and previously as an Official White House photographer for President Ronald Reagan.
Dawn also directed and produced the acclaimed four-hour Netflix original series
Bobby Kennedy for President, which was released in 2018 and premiered at the
Tribeca Film Festival. A two-time Sundance festival Director, her film Trapped which
explored laws regulating abortion clinics in the South won the special jury social-
impact prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, in addition to a Peabody and
numerous other awards.

Her 2013 documentary Gideon's Army premiered on HBO and won best editing at
Sundance. Gideon’s Army was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an
Emmy, and is part of the U.S. Department of State’s American Film Showcase.   
Dawn also directed and produced Spies of Mississippi, a critically-acclaimed historical documentary that was part of the Independent Lens series on PBS.  In 2015 Dawn directed and produced Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper, a film for The Discovery Channel chronicling President Obama’s program to help young men of color succeed. Dawn has been commissioned to create films for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Time and Essence Magazines, The New York Times Op Docs, and Amazon. Her work has received generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Film Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures and other esteemed organizations. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Directors Guild of America.
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LEAH SMITH, Producer,
SMITH iEmmy award-winning producer with a successful record of creating short and long-form content for television and web, juggling multiple roles, including segment, package, line
and digital producing excelling under pressure and tight deadlines founded on
experience at top rated daily cable and broadcast news programs.
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