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CNN Films Announces Forthcoming John Lewis Documentary

“John Lewis is a national treasure whose leadership paved the way for a generation.”

CNN Films Announces Forthcoming John Lewis Documentary
Congressman Lewis standing in front of his exhibit at the ATL airport. 4/8/2019 Atlanta, GA. Photo by :SUMMER DAMON | Courtesy CNN

The life of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and his more than 60-year journey as a civil rights leader will be the focal point of a new documentary. CNN Films announced Wednesday that it has teamed up with Trilogy Films and Color Farm Media, AGC Studios to develop the feature.

Lewis met his friend and mentor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957.  Six years later he became the youngest speaker at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He has continued the fight for equality as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, a position he’s held since 1987.

Director Dawn Porter and DP Keith Walker on Edmund Pettus Bridge for Selma Anniversary. March 2, 2019, Selma, AL | Credit: Ben Arnon for Color Farm Media, Trilogy Films and CNN Films

The film, which is currently untitled, will be directed by documentarian Dawn Porter, the founder of the Trilogy Films. She will also produce the film with Laura Michalchyshyn for Trilogy Films, with Erika Alexander and Ben Arnon of Color Farm Media. CNN Films’ Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton, AGC Studios’ Stuart Ford and Rachel Traub are on board as executive producers.

“John Lewis is a national treasure whose leadership paved the way for a generation.  In much the same way as his life and work has been shaped by great civil rights leaders, Congressman Lewis continues to serve the country, introducing legislation to protect our most fundamental rights,” Porter said in a statement obtained by EBONY. “There has never been a more urgent need for the type of moral and compassionate leadership that he embodies.  I am so honored to be directing this documentary for CNN Films, in partnership with AGC Studios, and am excited to show the world how John Lewis continues to make what he calls ‘Good Trouble.’”

The director began filming the congressman in September 2018 as he started campaigning ahead of the historic 2018 U.S. midterm elections and continued during the first year of the 116th Congress. Porter and her production team followed Lewis throughout the record-setting government shutdown and will continue throughout 2019.

The documentary will include interviews with family members, political leaders, congressional colleagues and other archival footage in addition to recently discovered writings to showcase Lewis’ history of social activism and his impact on American culture. It is slated for a 2020 release.

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