Deborah LaVine

Independent filmmaker and educator Deborah LaVine joined UNCSA as Dean of the School of Filmmaking in July 2021, overseeing the school's undergraduate and graduate programs, and serving on the advisory board for the UNCSA Media + Emerging Technology Lab (METL).

LaVine is a working filmmaker, having directed numerous award-winning short films including "Unintended" and "Lost Music," as well as the feature film "Wild Prairie Rose," which is available on multiple platforms and has received awards at film festivals across the United States and Canada.

She has also directed a multitude of theatrical productions, including Deaf West Theater's highly touted Los Angeles production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" staged in English and American Sign Language.

My goal is to encourage students to create from their heart, to forge technology, dramaturgy and imagination into responsible, never complacent, work that can carry them into long, satisfying careers.

Deborah LaVine

Prior to serving at UNCSA, LaVine was program director of the graduate-level film directing program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). There, she developed an international exchange program between the film directing program and RISEBA University of Business Arts and Technology in Riga, Latvia; the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB); and the Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, Czech Republic. She also developed the Guest Artist Workshop, hosting industry luminaries Chloe Zhao, Darren Aronfsky, Alfonso Cuaron, Ewan McGregor, Terence Nance, Nanfu Wang, James Mangold, Ramin Bahrani and more.

Awards, Recognitions and Honors

  • Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards – Best Director of a Play
  • Drama Logue Awards – Outstanding Director of a Play
  • NAACP Image Award Citation - Honorable Mention, Director
  • James Stewart Award for Feature Film Excellence - Heartland Film Festival
  • Best Feature Film, Best Director – Sedona Film Festival
  • Best Director – South Dakota Reel Fest
  • RiverRun International Film Festival Board of Directors


B.A. Theater StudiesCalifornia State University, Long Beach

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