TRAPPED is a new documentary I'm creating that follows the progress of Southern reproductive health clinics as they struggle to provide care in the face of an increasingly hostile legal and political climate. I take viewers to the front lines of the war on reproductive rights and show the human effects of these politically motivated and medically unnecessary laws. I examine the legal challenges, but also the personal stories of the clinics and their patients.
Tackling important social issues is what fuels me as a filmmaker. My first documentary, GIDEON'S ARMY, told the stories of public defenders in the South who work against staggering caseloads and low pay to help defend people accused of crimes — many of whom are poor and of color. The film was nominated for an Emmy® and Independent Spirit Award.
In 2012, I learned that Across America, but particularly in the South, abortion clinics are in a fight for their existence. Since 2010, legislators across America vowing to make their states "abortion free" have introduced hundreds of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, which aim to rollback reproductive rights. The number of abortion clinics across the country has shrunk nearly 25% over the last five years, with 60 facilities shuttered in
2014 alone. Millions of women of reproductive age are caught in the political quagmire and are losing access to reproductive care. Many of them poor and uninsured. Their stories need to be told. That's why I'm making this film — but I can't do it without you.
I'm in the final stretch of production — I've already received support from the Firelight Media Next Step Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Catapult Film Fund and Chicken and Egg Pictures, but I need your help to finish the film.
Donate! Any amount will help fund the completion of TRAPPED and raise awareness about how millions of American women are losing access to their reproductive rights.
If you can’t donate, please share our project with your social networks. Lending your voice in support is greatly appreciated.
- Stay in touch and stay tuned in. TRAP laws are currently being contested in federal and state courts. The next few months may determine the future of reproductive care in America.
We’ve been working hard on TRAPPED for more than two years, but the film isn’t finished. There are legal challenges to TRAP laws happening right now that we need to follow and film, which requires paying camera operators, editors and producers. We also need funds for post-production — to edit the film, add music and make sure it's ready to submit to film festivals.
We’ve received generous support from individuals and organizations who believe in TRAPPED. Their help has allowed us to come a long way, but we need your help to cross the finish line and tell this important story.
But it's about more than just the money. A Kickstarter campaign allows us to build a community of smart, involved people who care about reproductive rights. We want our backers to be engaged partners on the journey of TRAPPED — we’ll be reaching out to you with ideas, updates and information.
Dawn Porter is an attorney, founder of Trilogy Films and director of TRAPPED. Her directorial debut, GIDEON’S ARMY, focused on public defenders working in the Deep South. The film premiered to critical and audience praise at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it won the award for Best Editing. After a successful festival run, GIDEON’S ARMY premiered on HBO and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy. Close on the heels of GIDEON’S ARMY, her second film, SPIES OF MISSISSIPPI, was broadcast on Independent Lens to high ratings and critical acclaim in February of 2014.
Dawn is an alumna of the Tribeca All Access program, where she won the 2011 Creative Promise Award. Realscreen named her one of 2012 Doc Hot Shots 15 Emerging Directors to Watch. She has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and is a returning guest on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show.
Marilyn Ness is a two-time Emmy, DuPont, and Peabody Award-winning documentary producer. Most recently Ness produced the feature documentary E-TEAM that premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and was bought by Netflix Original. Ness also produced Johanna Hamilton's feature documentary 1971, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2014 and will broadcast on Independent Lens in 2015. She directed and produced the documentary feature film BAD BLOOD: A CAUTIONARY TALE that broadcast nationally on PBS in 2011 and was the centerpiece of a campaign to reform blood donation policies in the U.S.
June Ayers is the owner and operator of Reproductive Health Services — the only abortion clinic left in Montgomery, Ala. 60 per cent of June's patients are low income and most are minorities.
Diane Derzis operates the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi. She and her colleagues are in the middle of a legal battle to keep the facility open.
Dr. Willie Parker travels from Chicago, where he lives, to Alabama and Mississippi to work in reproductive health clinics that couldn't exist without him.
Documentary storytelling can have powerful results. A film about real people and real issues can ignite conversations and spark policy changes like few other things can. BLACKFISH exposed the mistreatment of orca whales and SeaWorld took a hit. INVISIBLE WAR, a film about rape in the military, triggered changes in the way the military handles sexual abuse charges. GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR helped convict Guatemala’s Gen. Rios Montt of war crimes. Dawn Porter’s first film, GIDEON’S ARMY, helped advance legislative reform in Idaho around indigent defense.
I am going to use TRAPPED to bring wider attention to a critically important conversation that isn't reaching mainstream media. I want my film to inspire debate and spark action that will help protect women's rights.
We have 30 days to meet our $75,000 goal and raise funds that will complete the production and editing of TRAPPED. If we don’t meet it, we don’t get to keep any contributions. It’s all or nothing, so please lend your support.
Risks and challenges
Since TRAPPED is close to being finished, we have far fewer risks than a project that's just beginning: we've been granted access to clinics and patients and we've already accumulated the majority of footage we need.
The biggest risk we face now is not completing the film because of a lack of money. We need finishing funds to film current legal challenges to TRAP laws, then edit the final story together.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter