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The Disruptors


Death threats. Disbarment. Political attacks. This verité, character-driven film captures a close-knit group of Black female progressive top prosecutors in America as they battle unprecedented sexism and racism on their journey to fight for justice and transform their communities, bound together by the backlash they face in rising waves. These women comprise the “Sisters’ Circle,” who are significant disruptors in the criminal justice system, despite their small numbers. They are laying the groundwork for generational changes in America's approach to public safety, brick by painful brick. While they focus on their communities today, they hope their work will impact all Americans tomorrow battling for the heart and soul of the criminal justice system. The community they have formed allows them to be real with each other, shedding their capes as women in power, while seeking friendship and support from one another. Their worlds organically intersect as they meet up and call on each other to work through their unique problems. Their stories are extremely topical and provide an opportunity to demonstrate cases and issues that are unfolding in the news. This is a story of Black women, a story of criminal justice, and a story of friendship borne within a crucible as they attempt to reconcile their ambitions with their families and communities, all while asking and exploring the questions: can they actually change the criminal justice system and is the sacrifice ultimately worth it? 

The Filmmakers

Dawn Porter Executive Producer

Award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter has emerged in the entertainment industry as a leader in the art of storytelling; directing and producing critically acclaimed projects that have impacted generations of people from all walks of life. A two-time Sundance film festival director, Porter’s work has been featured on HBO, Netflix, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, MTV Films, and other platforms. She has been recognized with career achievement awards from the Hamptons and Mill Valley Film Festivals, is the recipient of the 2022 Critics Choice Documentary Awards “Impact Award,” and an honoree at the 2022 Gracies Leadership Awards. Her latest works include “37 Words” for ESPN and the continuation of the historic civil rights documentary series “Eyes on the Prize,” which will be released in 2023. Her film, “Cirque du Soleil: Without a Net” premiered at DOC NYC in November 2022. Currently, she is working on “Confirmed,” a series that examines some of the most important Supreme Court decisions in modern American history. The series will premiere on Showtime in 2023. She executive produced the Emmy® Award-winning interactive multimedia project “Un(re)solved” for PBS and co-directed and EP’ed the Apple TV+ series “The Me You Can’t See.” In 2020 Porter directed two Emmy® Award-nominated documentaries: “The Way I See It” (Focus Features) and “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (CNN, Magnolia Pictures). Porter received Mill Valley Film Festival’s prestigious 2020 Mind the Gap Award for Documentarian of the Year and was awarded the 2020 Marlon Riggs Award at The San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Awards. Her 2016 film “Trapped,” which explores laws regulating abortion clinics in the South, won the Special Jury Social-Impact Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and a Peabody Award.

Yoruba Richen Director

Yoruba Richen is an Emmy nominated documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on multiple outlets, including Netflix, MSNBC, FX/Hulu, HBO and PBS.   Her most recent film The Rebellious Life of Mrs Rosa Parks premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and won a Peabody and Gracie Award and is currently streaming on Peacock.  Other recent films include How It Feels to Be Free (American Masters), The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show (Peacock) and Green Book: Guide to Freedom (Smithsonian Channel).  She directed an episode of the award-winning series Black and Missing for HBO and High on the Hog for Netflix.  Yoruba is the co-director of American Reckoning which aired on PBS's  FRONTLINE and The Killing of Breonna Taylor which won an NAACP Image Award and is streaming on HULU. Her previous films, The New Black and Promised Land won multiple festival awards before airing on Independent Lens and P.O.V.  Yoruba is a past Guggenheim and Fulbright fellow and she won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access.  She was a Sundance Producers Fellow and Women’s fellow and is a recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker’s Award.  Yoruba is the founding director of the Documentary Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

Carter Stewart Producer

Carter Stewart is the former, presidentially-appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio—the district's chief federal law enforcement officer—where he emphasized deterrence, crime prevention, and alternatives to incarceration. He created the district's first community outreach position and established a community leadership group geared towards building trust and improving communication between the public and law enforcement. Carter also served on the attorney general's advisory committee and chaired a group of US attorneys who examined racial inequities in the federal criminal justice system. Carter previously worked as an Assistant US attorney in San Jose, CA, and he was a litigator at Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease LLP in Columbus, OH, and Bingham McCutchen LLP in San Francisco, CA. After leaving the law, Carter served as a managing director of the venture philanthropy Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK), where he played a lead role in sourcing new investments and grantees—primarily early-stage, justice-oriented organizations—and then worked closely with those organizations on strategy, scaling, organizational capacity building, and leadership development. Carter currently works at the Mellon Foundation.

Xan Parker Producer

Xan Parker is a seasoned producer of documentary films and series whose acclaimed films have been exhibited by PBS, HBO, CNN, National Geographic, and Discovery. Her recent production, “The Big Payback,” about the passage of the first tax-funded reparations bill in America, was directed by Erika Alexander & Whitney Dow and premiered on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2023 on PBS “Independent Lens.” Xan’s 2022 films include “Of Medicine and Miracles,” directed by the Academy Award winner Ross Kauffman, and “The Holly,” directed by Julian Rubenstein and executive produced by Adam McKay. Xan was Ron Howard’s creative producer on the Emmy-nominated ”Rebuilding Paradise,” designated by Roger Ebert as “The most impressive piece of storytelling Howard has ever been associated with” (2020 Sundance Film Festival). Xan produced the wildlife conservation documentary “Tigerland”(2019 Sundance Film Festival) with director Ross Kauffman. She executive produced the 2021 series “Mind/Trip” about psychiatric conditions, and Ivy Meeropol's political series “The Hill” (2007 IDA Award Nomination). Xan produced “The End: Inside The Last Days of the Obama White House” (2017), “The Contested Convention” (2016, ABC/ESPNFilms), and Academy Award winner Marshall Curry’s “Racing Dreams” (winner - Best Documentary at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival). Xan started in cinema verité documentary as a producer on the Academy Award-nominated “LaLee’s Kin” (winner - Best Documentary Cinematography at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, Independent Spirit Nominee, duPont-Columbia Award). She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, the Television Academy, the Documentary Producers Alliance, and NationSwell Council. 

Josh Weinstock Producer

An award-winning producer; Josh Weinstock is owner of Sea Smoke Entertainment which has produced feature films and television including HBO’s original feature and Critic’s Choice Winner, Emmy® and Golden Globe Award Nominated film Nightingale starring David Oyelowo with Producer Brad Pitt, which was later recognized in September’s New York Times list “10 Unusual Streaming Movies for Unusual Times” during Covid. He produced Netflix’s Original thriller Intrusion with Freida Pinto and Logan Marshall Green that premiered in September 2021 and became the #1 most watched film on the streamer worldwide during the first week of release. Other projects include Chop Shop limited series/film for Paramount Studios and Netflix and Sleepwalker for Mar Vista starring Richard Armitage which premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. He recently Executive Produced The Beanie Bubble documentary for Nacelle Company based on the Beanie Baby phenomenon.  He has multiple active projects set up with major film and television studios/financiers as well as established independent companies.  Josh was also involved with producing content early on for the launch of IGN’s Youtube backed Start Network channel. Prior to Sea Smoke Entertainment, Josh was a senior level development & production executive affiliated with Disney, New Line, Warner Bros, and Sony working on hit films like Valentine’s Day, Good Luck Chuck, Blended, and Lawless. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America and previously a member of the Television Academy.