Debra Markowitz created and served as the Director of the Nassau County Film Office. In this capacity, Ms. Markowitz presided over the Nassau County Film Commission, now known as the Nassau County Film Advisory Board and chaired as its Executive Director.
Serving four administrations during her 33-year tenure, Ms. Markowitz had steadily increased production of movies, television programs and commercials that were shot in Nassau County, logging over 1000 production days and over $400M in positive economic impact. Under her auspices, Nassau County ranked #2 in New York State for the amount of documented production days, second only to New York City.
Ms. Markowitz 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 24th 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 writer and director, has acted as Casting Director, consultant 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 Shoot Me Nicely (Producer/Casting Director) as well as many others. Debra’s films have garnered her wins in Best Film, Best Screening and Best Director awards. Many of her actors have won Best Acting awards as well. Debra has taught actors’ workshops as both director and casting director at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and has served as a judge on the LaGuardia Arts panel for potential incoming drama students and the Locust Valley High School Student Film Festival.
Ms. Markowitz is a proud member of New York Women in Film & Television and Women in Film. She serves as a Board Members of LIHSA (Long Island High School for the Arts) and Five Towns College.
Debra Markowitz is 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 followers on Facebook. An avid yoga practitioner, Debra lives in Merrick with her husband and co-manager, John Marean, and their rescue pup, Gracie.
You can view Ms. Markowitz’s Writer’s Reel below (contains strong language).