Deborah Shaffer

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Deborah Shaffer is an American documentary filmmaker. She began making social issue documentaries as a member of the Newsreel collective the 1970s.[1] She co-founded Pandora Films, one of the first woman’s film companies, which produced several shorts. Her first feature documentary, The Wobblies,[2] premiered at the New York Film Festival in 1979. During the 1980s Shaffer focused on human rights in Central America and Latin America, directing many films including Witness to War: Dr. Charlie Clements which won the Academy Award for Short Documentary in 1985, and Fire from the Mountain and Dance of Hope[3] which both played at the Sundance Film Festival. Shaffer directed one of the first post-September 11 films, From the Ashes: 10 Artists followed by From the Ashes: Epilogue, which premiered at the Sundance andTribeca Film Festivals.[4] Shaffer is also the Executive Producer of the Academy Award-nominated short Asylum and the HBO documentary Very Semi-Serious and has directed numerous acclaimed public television programs on women and the arts. She directed and produced To Be Heard,[5] which won awards at DOC NYC, the San Diego Latino Festival, and the Sarasota Film Festival and aired nationwide on PBS.[6] She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship,[7] an Academy Award,[8] and an Emmy award.[9]


  1. ^ Deborah Shaffer. "Deborah Shaffer documentary footage of Chile, El Salvador and Nicaragua". Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet. "The Wobblies, NYTimes review".
  3. ^ "Dance of Hope, NYTimes Review".
  4. ^ Pogrebin, Robin. "TriBeCa Festival Celebrates Film And Resilience".
  5. ^ Brunick, Paul (2011-10-11). "'To Be Heard' Gives 3 Teenagers a Voice — Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  6. ^ "To Be Heard PBS premiere".
  7. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Deborah Shaffer". Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  8. ^ Witness to War Wins Documentary Short Subject: 1986 Oscars, retrieved 2019-09-17
  9. ^ "National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Announces Winners at the 37th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards" (PDF) (Press release). National Academy of Arts and Sciences. 21 September 2016.

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