Deborah Attoinese is an award winning director, producer and writer. Her work has been shown on Netflix, CineMax and Showtime and includes: Hollywood Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Curb Entertainment and Bill Kenwright Productions among others. Originally from New York, Deborah began her career as a self-taught fashion photographer. Her signature style has appeared in the pages of Conde Nast Publications, The Sunday New York Times, Details Magazine and more. She was selected by BackStage as one of NYC's fashion photographers to watch as they transitioned into directing. Her first short film, RUNNING OUT OF GRACE quickly garnered the attention of Propaganda Films and Deborah relocated to Los Angeles where she wrote and directed her first full length feature film; ZOE with co-writer Amy Dawes. The film stars Jenny Seagrove and Vanessa Zima and was a film festival favorite screening throughout the USA and abroad including the: AFI, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Taos and the Mar Del Plata Film festivals.
ON DIRECTING, Deborah's full length documentary and labor of love which takes an in-depth look at the filmmakers journey of self-discovery from the point-of-view of "life reflecting art' features iconic directors Bille August, Roland Joffe, Agnes Varda and Wim Wenders is currently available on Fandor.com. Deborah wrote, directed and produced her next film; SNAIL, a whimsical romantic comedy featuring Brendan Hunt and Yvonne Zima. Snail premiered in Official Selection at the Palm Springs International Shortfest in 2014. It also screened at Napa Valley and Mill Valley Film Festivals and was awarded a San Francisco Film Award of Excellence and Short Film of the Month in the United Kingdom. 2016, Deborah's latest short film; GIRL KNIGHT stars two talented newcomers; Darla Lewis and Pilar Petropolous-White. The film was completed after a successful Kickstarter (Staff Pick) campaign which was also selected as an Indiewire Project of the week. Deborah is now in pre-production with an original mini-series titled: CONCRETE along with an original web series, LADY LIBERTY.
What do you do best?
A good friend recently told me I'm good at the big picture which reminded me how important it is not to lose site of the essence of the very thing you've set out to accomplish in the first place. I believe in collaboration but I am definitely at my best when it comes to defending that vision because it forces me to dig deeper and ask myself more questions not less.
What makes me the best version of myself?
The best version of myself eats less sugar, gets more sleep, stretches more, knows when to stop working and go for a swim or something so I can let whatever is trying to be worked out-out whether it's something I'm writing, editing or just feeling.
What are my aspirations?
My aspirations have always been to continue grow and be the best filmmaker I can be while pushing my own boundaries. It's a continual effort to remain open so this can happen. I think I'm starting to hear my own voice in a way I haven't before and that's exciting.
My biggest success?
Of course this depends on how one defines success? For me it always means seeing any project I've obsessed and worked hard to get made-finished. Even if it's not as successful as the others. There are many moments to choose from but the screening of my feature film ZOE at a festival called MAR DEL PLATA in Argentina years ago. A 35mm print of the movie was being projected to a large crowd outside the plaza. People brought picnics. Midway through the wind picked up and whipped the film around the projection booth so hard it snapped. I was sure the crowd would leave but they waited patiently for the projectionist to splice the movie back together and the show went on. It was beautiful.
My most challenging moment?
Everything about filmmaking is hard but my most challenging moment would have to be when we scouted a field to shoot as a backdrop because it had these large bails of hay and overgrown grass. When we arrived on the day of the shoot the hay was gone and so was the grass. My beautiful pastoral background was a pile of dust. There was no way to find another field due to the expense so I had to rearrange the entire shot list because everything we had planned for was no longer there.
Years ago I chased a monk down the street in what was then called Burma. I was shooting for a magazine that wanted pictures of monks. I was about to return to the United States without any so I chased this poor man who was out collecting rice for his breakfast. Half way down the street I realized what I was doing. stopped and vowed never to chase an image that didn't want to be caught ever again.
My favorite people/role models?
My sister Teresa. We're a kind of west coast home for each other as the rest of our family is on the east coast. I admire her for living her dream and remaining committed to her beautiful family. She read all the Little House On The Prairie books to her two boys then drove them out to the original homesteads. Who does that?
My favorite places/destinations?
I've been lucky to travel to many places but would love to go trekking in Mongolia one day.
My favorite products/objects?
I'm not a big product person so I'd have to say the obvious object which would be my cameras and a couple of books I love knowing are on the shelf.
My current passions?
My current passions are two upcoming projects- LADY LIBERTY which is an original web series and the story of a last ditch effort and plea for help from a homeless Latino veteran who suffers PTSD. He kidnaps an actress dressed as Lady Liberty determine to return her to Liberty Island. CONCRETE is a limited series for cable that follows the story of an old town living in the memory of itself and the surreal short stories and characters that inhabit it.