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Gideon’s Army | Director Dawn Porter

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Monday, Jan. 21, 2:30pm — Library Center Theatre, Park City]

I have a husband and two young children and they will tell you that I missed my share of birthdays and holidays over the three and half years we filmed. Those are sacrifices every filmmaker makes, but added to that for me was a real need to set aside my pride. Filmmaking is my second career and this is my first film – I ended up places I’d never thought I would be – I was traveling to prisons and hanging out in bad neighborhoods and seeing all this sadness. It was very emotional but I had no idea if that emotion would translate into a good film.  As time went on I had many nights lying awake wondering if I was doing a good job.

Looking back, as difficult as that was, I wouldn’t change one minute of it. The lawyers I followed knew how hard I was working to tell their story, and they in turn trusted me to work through it. I wanted to be worthy of their trust, and wanted to be sure the inspiring, challenging nature of the work they do – which involves a tremendous amount of personal sacrifice in service to our constitutional rights – was given the attention it deserved. I’m also glad my kids got to see me take on a really hard challenge and that they saw me admit when I didn’t know what I was doing.  They saw me figure it out.  I’m really proud of that.

Sundance Responses 2013

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