In the 1980's Debra Denker honed her film editing skills working at her family's advertising company in Hollywood, Denker Creative Services. In 1985, she first realized her dream of making documentaries when she co-produced A Nation Uprooted: Afghan Refugees in Pakistan along with Judith Mann. The film was shown on many PBS and international TV stations, and in film festivals including the Hawaii International Film Festival. She also contributed to the film by writing the narration, assisting in editing, and field translation of Afghan Dari language, which enabled director and camerawoman Judith Mann to record archival footage of Afghan women and teenage girls expressing themselves in their own words, and in a haunting "Song of the Martyrs."
Debra's creativity co-evolved with technology, as she learned to shoot on a Sony EX-1 and to edit on digital non-linear editing platforms. She is the director of the Global Diversity Film Project, a program of the non-profit SkySpirit Foundation that superseded her Tibetan Video Archive Project. Her GDFP films include the 2007 , a film on midwifery training and a holistic clinic in a remote area of Eastern Tibet, and the 2011 , a light-hearted look at community gardens in New Mexico and South Africa.
Between Worlds: Africa, based on her 2009 journey to South Africa with anthropologist and writer Tara Lumpkin, PhD, has evolved into an ongoing series of short films presented on the internet. Films in association with Voices for Biodiversity so far include and . is also part of the series.
An ongoing documentary project is , a film on the life, work, and teachings of traditional Hawaiian healer and knowledge keeper Kahu Kauila Clark. Phase I of filming took place in Hawaii in October, 2016. See the promo trailer .
Debra has written screenplays including a poignant and powerful healing story set in New Mexico, Second Chance Mesa, and an adaptation of her novel of love, war, and moral choices during the Soviet-Afghan war in Afghanistan in the 1980's, . A new edition of the novel from Catalyst Artistic Productions is due out in 2021.
Her most recent novel, also published by Catalyst, is , a time travel novel in the new cli-fi (climate change sci-fi) genre. The story is set in a tropical England in 2050, where palm trees tower over Stonehenge. Time Travelers from 300 years in the future invite three people and one telepathic cat living in 2050 to risk everything in order to reverse climate change through time travel.
Catalyst's Producer/Director Debra Denker began making films in the 1970's at Hollywood High School. Film-making, along with photography, writing, and most of all meaning, have remained passions since that time.
Debra aspires to being a Renaissance Woman and seeks to use her multitude of talents in the service of inspiration, education, and healing.