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Debra Zimmerman

Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies, a non-profit NY based film organization that 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 programs win prizes regularly at the Sundance Film Festivals and been nominated or won Academy Awards for the last eight years in a row. 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 keynoted conferences and spoken on panels, including the Women’s Film History Conference at the University of Sunderland in 2011 and at the 2011 Visible Evidence Conference at NYU and the 2012 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference at Boston University. She lectures regularly at universities across the United States, including Harvard, Smith College, Bryn Mawr, Vassar, UCLA and others. Zimmerman 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 Producers’ (NALIP) Academy. She was the co-curator of the 2011 Documentary Fortnight at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and is the recipient of the 2012 Loren Arbus Award for Those Who Take Action & Affect Change, the IMPACT Award from the Sarasota Film Festival and is the 2013 Doc Mogul from the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. (8/14)


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