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What We Do

About Trilogy Films

We're a film production company in Montclair, New Jersey that specializes in creating award-winning, feature-length documentaries. We also work with businesses and non-profit organizations to create short films that communicate big ideas in smart ways.

I remember after the Sundance premiere, a young man stood up and said he was a public defender. He thanked me for making this film and telling his story. There were about 400 people there and they all stood up and cheered for him… Then his voice cracked and he explained that he wanted to show Gideon’s Army to his parents, because he’s never been able to fully explain to them why he chooses to be a public defender.

Dawn Porter – Director, GIDEON'S ARMY

Work

We believe our work speaks for itself. Browse our most recent projects below.

GIDEON’S ARMY

  • HBO Documentary Films: Broadcast July, 2013
  • Director: Dawn Porter

“Everyone deserves the best defense. They Fight for it.”

GIDEON’S ARMY follows the personal stories of Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick — three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Backed by mentor Jonathan “Rap” Rapping, a charismatic leader who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center (now known as Gideon’s Promise) they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year. Nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Gideon vs. Wainwright that established the right to counsel, can these courageous lawyers revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make “justice for all” a reality?

An official selection in the prestigious U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, GIDEON’S ARMY was awarded the editing prize at the festival. The film premiered on HBO in July 2013.

The Team

We cultivate a diverse team that brings
award-winning skills and innovative ideas to each project.

Dawn Porter

Dawn Porter

Founder / Director View Details
Summer Damon

Summer Damon

Co-Producer View Details
Amanda Goscinski

Amanda Goscinski

Associate Producer View Details
Matt Cowan

Matt Cowan

Editor View Details
Dawn Porter

Dawn Porter

Founder / Director

Dawn Porter is an award-winning filmmaker whose 2013 documentary GIDEON'S ARMY won the Sundance Film Festival Editing Award and the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award. The film broadcast on HBO in July 2013 and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

Dawn also directed and produced SPIES OF MISSISSIPPI — a critically acclaimed historical documentary that was part of ITVS' 2014 Independent Lens series on PBS. The film tells the little-known story of a state-sponsored campaign to defeat the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Dawn is currently working on two new films: TRAPPED, which recently received grant funds from the MacArthur Foundation and explores the impact of efforts to close abortion clinics in the South; and THE NEW JIM CROW, which focuses on America's mass incarceration rates and is based on Michelle Alexander's book by the same name.

Dawn's projects have received generous grant awards from the Ford Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Film Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures and other esteemed organizations.

Prior to her independent filmmaking, Dawn worked as Director of Standards and Practices at ABC News and as Vice President of Standard and Practices at A&E Television Networks. She was an Executive Producer on SERIOUS MOONLIGHT (Magnolia Pictures), written by Adrienne Shelley and starring Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton and THE GREEN (Showtime Networks) starring Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock) and Julia Ormond.

Summer Damon

Summer Damon

Co-Producer

Summer Damon joined Trilogy Films in 2009. She has been an integral part of the company’s development ever since. Summer co-produced the Sundance Festival Award-winning documentary GIDEON'S ARMY, which broadcast on HBO in 2013. She also co-produced SPIES OF MISSISSIPPI — a historical documentary that was part of ITVS' 2014 Independent Lens series on PBS.

In addition to her work with Trilogy, Summer was production manager and second assistant director for CONCUSSION, a feature film selected for the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Summer also deftly adapts her film production skills as tour manager for Natalie Merchant — the critically acclaimed vocalist and former frontwoman for the alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs.

Summer was a tape producer for GOOD MORNING AMERICA and, from 2002 to 2004, she was the production manager for Havoc Films, the production company of Academy Award-winning actor and director Tim Robbins.

In addition to filmmaking, Summer holds a degree from The French Culinary Institute and has worked at some of New York’s best restaurants.

Amanda Goscinski

Amanda Goscinski

Associate Producer

Amanda Goscinski is the Associate Producer for Trilogy Films. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers University in May 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. She has worked as a freelance assistant for Ntropic, a post-production company in New York City, and has interned for Life & Style Magazine, MTV Networks, and Xanga.com. For the past several years, she has also worked with her colleague, Ryan Polukord, on several short films including DANGER ZONE, GLASS DIAMOND, and CAMP 139. The short film, CAMP 139, in which Amanda co-produced and starred in, was an official selection in the 2010 Garden State Film Festival and won “Best New Jersey Based Short Film” in the 2011 Downbeach Film Festival. Amanda joined the Trilogy Films team in 2012, and has been an integral part in the development of their upcoming films, TRAPPED and NEW JIM CROW. She has also successfully helped with the film festival circuit and outreach plan for the award-winning GIDEON’S ARMY, and has assisted with the completion and deliverable process of their new film, SPIES OF MISSISSIPPI.

Matt Cowan

Matt Cowan

Editor

Matt Cowan brings a diverse skill set and unique aesthetic to the Trilogy team. A musician and composer, he understands that, like music, editing requires precision and discipline but ultimately comes down to telling a story and making an emotional connection with an audience.

As editor, he's best known for CRAZY & THEIF, an award-winning indy feature by acclaimed director and Sundance Institute alum Cory McAbee. Its awards include Best of The Year 2012 (UK) Forbidden Planet International and the New Visions Petit Format Award at the Sitges International Film Festival in Sitges, Spain. It was also named one of Indiewire's top undistributed films of 2012.

In addition to his work at Trilogy Films, Matt produces music and promotional videos for various artists, composes original music for film, and performs worldwide as a freelance saxophonist.

Contact Us

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Trilogy Films
8 Hillside Ave, LL1
Montclair, NJ 07042

 973.744.0856

info@trilogy-films.com