Dawn Porter, director of “Trapped,” is the winner of the 2016 Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence, which recognizes a mid-career filmmaker distinguished for observational cinema. She will receive a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by Drew Associates. The award will be presented at the Visionaries Tribute Award Luncheon at the DOC NYC Festival on November 10, 2016.
The award’s name celebrates Drew Associates’ Founder Robert Drew and his wife Anne, who was his filmmaking partner for more than four decades. Previous winners of the award, now in its third year, were Kim Longinotto and Laura Poitras.
Trapped looks at abortion providers struggling to stay open in the U.S. South. It premiered at Sundance where it picked up a Special Jury prize for social impact filmmaking.
“My late father-in-law felt the best documentary stories were told up-close with people under pressure making difficult choices of real consequence,” said Jill Drew, general manager of Drew Associates. “Dawn’s work does just that. It doesn’t matter which side of an issue you’re on. Her subjects are true-to-life riveting.”
Porter’s previous feature, “Gideon’s Army,” which follows the struggles of three dedicated, overworked public defenders, won the Sundance Film Festival Editing Award in 2013.