Talent Guide

Deb Shoval

  • Discipline:Director, Writer
  • Program Year:Directing Lab 2011, Fast Track 2011, Producing Lab 2010


Deb Shoval’s short film AWOL premiered at Sundance in January 2011, where she was awarded the Women in Film LA Grant from Kodak, Technicolor, and CalmDown Productions.

Shoval’s first feature screenplay, Poppies and Olives, was chosen as an Emerging Narrative Script for the IFP Market and received Film Independent Producers and Directors Lab Fellowships and a grant for research from the Leeway Foundation. Shoval is currently completing her thesis work for an MFA in Film Directing at Columbia University, where she received a Columbia Women in Film (CWIF) Fellowship in 2009-2010. She was chosen for the Berlin Talent Campus, 2011.

For her work as a playwright and theater director, Shoval has received grant funding from The Sparkplug Foundation, The Fund for Wild Nature, The Fund for New Technologies, and The Leeway Foundation. She was named one of the “Heeb Hundred,” Heeb Magazine’s “hundred people you need to know about.”

Shoval divides her time between New York City and rural Pennsylvania, where she runs an organic vegetable farm. The themes that interest her remain constant as she farms and develops a house of film, as Fassbinder called it: land and the landless; diaspora, exile and home; and how human beings transcend apathy.

Current Project

AWOL (Narrative Feature)


Weeks before her deployment to Afghanistan, Joey, 19, returns to rural Pennsylvania on a short assignment: hometown recruitment. Infatuated with her sassy older lover Rayna, a married mother of two, Joey battles the expectations of her family and plots to flee the army in the name of love.