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Paul Mariano was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from the oldest high school in the country, Boston Latin School. After completing his studies at Hastings College of the Law, he practiced as a criminal defense attorney for 27 years. Upon retirement from the Contra Costa County Public Defenders Office, he co-founded Gravitas Docufilms. His directorial debut, Also Ran, won the award for Best Political Documentary at the 2006 Atlanta Docufest. His film, Faces of Genocide began the International Citizens' Tribunal on Sudan, held in New York City on November 13, 2006. The film also showed at the Sarajevo Biennial Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in June 2007.