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Debra Zimmerman

Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies, a non-profit NY based film organization which supports women filmmakers, since 1983. During her tenure it has grown into the largest distributor of films by and about women in the world and our internationally recognized Production Assistance Program has helped hundreds of women get their films made. Films from WMM have won prizes at the last three Sundance Film Festivals including THE OATH by Laura Poitras, ROUGH AUNTIES, Best Documentary World Cinema and Best Director, Natalia Almada for EL GENERAL. She is in great demand around the world as a speaker on independent film distribution, marketing and financing as well as on women's film. She has moderated panels and given master classes at the Sundance Film Festival, MIPDOC and Reel Screen as well as film festivals in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Zimmerman has been closely affiliated with the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) as the co-host of the Talk of the Day and as a tutor for their Summer Film Academy. In addition, she has mentored filmmakers at the Ex-Oriente Film Workshop in Vienna and for many years at the National Alliance of Latino Independent Producersí (NALIP) Academy. She has consulted with foundations and non-profit arts organizations, most recently as a member of the Gender Montage Advisory Board project for the Soros Foundationís Open Society Institute. She is also a member of numerous Advisory Boards for media and film organizations, including the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC); the Banff World Television Conference; The Center for Social Media at American University, Cinema Tropical, NY; Cine-Arts Afrika, Kenya, and the Black Lily Film Festival in Philadelphia. She has also been a jury member for many international film festivals, and regularly sits on foundation and government funding panels. Most recently she served on the NJ State Council on the Arts media panel and the Pew Charitable Trustís prestigious Media Fellowship panel as well as on the jury for the Leipzig Documentary Film Festival and the Cleveland International Film Festival. (04/10)


Why Women Stay
A film by Jacqueline Shortell-McSweeney and Debra Zimmerman, 1980, 30 min., BW

This documentary examines the complex reasons why women remain in violent homes and challenges the prevailing attitudes which accept domestic violence...



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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us