Debra Markowitz serves as the Director of the Nassau County Film Office. In this capacity, Ms. Markowitz presides over the Nassau County Film Commission, now known as the Nassau County Film Advisory Board and chairs as its Executive Director.
Serving four administrations during her 31-year tenure, Ms. Markowitz has steadily increased production of movies, television programs and commercials that are shot in Nassau County, logging over 1000 production days and over $400M in positive economic impact. Under her auspices, Nassau County currently ranks #2 in New York State for the amount of documented production days, second only to New York City.
Ms. Markowitz also serves as Vice President of the Long Island Film/TV Foundation, Long Island’s most established and largest not-for-profit agency dedicated to the support and promotion of independent filmmaking. Under her directorship, the Foundation spawned the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE). Heading into its 22nd year, LIIFE enjoys enormous popularity, attracting short and feature-length independent films from around the world, spotlighting films made on Long Island and concluding with a star-studded award celebration.
An enthusiastic filmmaker herself, Ms. Markowitz, an award winning producer, has acted as Casting Director, consultant, writer, director and producer on movie, television and commercial projects. Her projects include My Cross to Bear (Producer/Casting Director), which screened at the prestigious Academy Award nominating Rhode Island International Film Festival, Living with the Dead (Executive Producer/Casting Director), BIRR (Casting Director/Producer/Actor), By Blood (Writer/Director/Producer/Casting Director), The Last Taxi Driver (Writer/Producer/Director/Casting Director), Leaving (Writer/Producer/Director/Casting Director), Man From the City (Casting Director/Producer), STUFF (Casting Director/Producer) and Junkie Heaven (Casting Director and 2nd AD) as well as others. Debra’s films have garnered her wins in Best Film, Best Screening and Best Director awards. Many of her actors have Best Acting awards as well. Debra teaches actors workshops as both director and casting director at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and is a judge on the LaGuardia Arts panel for potential incoming drama students and the Locust Valley High School Student Film Festival.
Ms. Markowitz is also a proud member of New York Women in Film & Television, an ex-oficio member of the New York Production Alliance and is a member of the Association of Film Commissioners International. She is also a member of the LaGuardia Performing Arts High School Drama and Technical Theater Advisory Board (the FAME high school).
Debra Markowitz is also a freelance writer and novelist, having written the Karmic Wind trilogy: Naked in the Rain, Sarah and Caleb, and Karmic Wind.
Ms. Markowitz’s name can be found on the Long Island Press’ Power List, 50 Long Islanders Who Control Our Lives (2006 and 2012); Beverly Fortune’s 52 (2006); as the recipient of the prestigious George M. Estabrook Alumni Award for Distinguished Service (Hofstra University, 2011) and the 2012 Long Island Arts Council honoree as its Outstanding Advocate for the Arts. You can follow Ms. Markowitz on Instagram and Twitter.
Debra was one of the originators behind The Master Shift Global Meditation event, which now has over two million likes on Facebook. An avid yoga practitioner, Debra lives in North Merrick with her husband, and co-manager, John Marean and their daughters. Ms. Markowitz is a proud volunteer at the Save-A-Pet organization.
You can view Ms. Markowitz’s Writer’s Reel below (contains strong language).