Debra Tolchinsky, director of Northwestern University's MFA program in documentary media and associate professor of Radio-TV-Film, is a documentary filmmaker and curator. She received an AB from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and a BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Her work has been seen at such venues as the Sundance Film Festival, The John F. Kennedy Center, the Gene Siskel Film Center, and the Supreme Court Institute. As a curator, Debra co-curated The Horror Show at Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Shimon Attie: The Neighbor Next Door at the Block Museum, and The Presence of Absence sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Council. As a documentarian, she directed and produced the feature Fast Talk concerning college competitive debate. Fast Talk won Best Documentary at the LA Femme International Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, and has been spotlighted in the Chicago Tribune, the National Law Journal, the Onion A.V. Club, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2017, Debra ranked No. 7 on New City's Film 50: Chicago Screen Gems. Most recently, she was awarded a 2017-2018 Fellowship from the Alice B. Kaplan Institute for the Humanities for her documentary feature, True Memories and Other Falsehoods.