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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Hollywood Comes to Malibu to Screen "Saint Judy"

February 22, 2019 | A perfect sunset the evening of February 21st set the stage for the beautifully-written "Saint Judy" movie that was screened later that evening to a packed classroom of Pepperdine Law students (MLS program students and JD program students), Pepperdine undergraduate students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

"Saint Judy" is the true story of immigration attorney and Pepperdine Law alumna Judy Wood (JD '81), and how she single-handedly changed the U.S. law of asylum to save women's lives.  Pepperdine Law alumnus Dmitry Portnoy (JD '13) interned for Judy during law school, and witnessed firsthand her amazing story.  He wrote a screenplay for the film that is now receiving awards across the country, and was screened at LA Film Festival this past year.

Because of Judy and Dmitry's loyalty to Pepperdine Law, the film's director and producer Sean Hanish, and producer Paul Jaconi-Biery, chose Pepperdine as one of only a handful of pre-screening locations across the country.  A memorable moment in the screening occurred when attorney Judy Wood (played by Michelle Monaghan) opened her first immigration office in Los Angeles and prominently displayed her Pepperdine Law diploma - the audience erupted in applause.  Dmitry, Judy, and Paul Jaconi-Biery answered questions from the audience in a panel led by immigration attorney and Associate Director for Career Development Chalak Richards after the film was screened.

The film stars Michelle Monaghan and Common, and premieres March 1st and 8th in Los Angeles and across the country.  We hope you will be able to see this incredible movie.  Dmitry said, "I can only hope the audience got a fraction out of the movie of the meaning it had for me to bring it to Pepperdine and to bring a little bit of Pepperdine to the world."