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Debra Tolchinsky

Debra Tolchinsky, associate professor in the Department of RTVF

Debra Tolchinsky is a documentary director/producer, a multimedia artist, a curator, and an associate professor at Northwestern University. Debra was the founding director of Northwestern’s MFA in documentary media and recently served as the Department of Radio/Television/Film’s associate chair. Debra received an AB from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and an MFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her films (Saint Catherine’s Wedding Ring, Lucky, Dolly, Fast Talk) have been screened nationally and internationally at venues such as the Sundance Film Festival, The John F. Kennedy Center, The Chicago International Film Festival, FIPADOC, The Italy Innocence Project, and the Supreme Court Institute. In 2017, Debra garnered an Alice B. Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Fellowship; in 2018, she won a Kartemquin Partner Program Sage Fund grant. She has been habitually included on NewCity’s Film 50: Chicago’s Screen Gems. The New York Times recently released her short documentary, Contaminated Memories, via Op-Docs. Presently, Debra is working on a four-part episodic documentary True Memories and Other Falsehoods in association with Kartemquin Films. (For full bio visit