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Deborah Riley Draper

Coffee Bluff Pictures
Deborah Riley Draper is a compelling and award-winning filmmaker and advertising agency executive. Draper’s next project is Coffee Will Make You Black. Draper penned the screenplay adaptation of April Sinclair’s seminal novel about an African-American girl growing up in 1960’s Chicago. Produced by Octavia Spencer, Tate Taylor and John Norris, Draper will direct the film as well. Draper recently screened her short film “Illegal Rose,” which tackles the topic of immigration and detained undocumented children; the film stars Jasmine Guy and Lucca Rodriguez-Pedraza.

Draper is 2018 Facebook SEEN Initiative alum, 2016 Film Independent Lab Fellow and Variety Magazine’s “2016 Top 10 Documakers to Watch.” Her documentary, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, tells the untold story of 18 African Americans who defied Hitler and Jim Crow to compete in the 1936 Olympic Games. Olympic Pride is a 2017 NAACP Image Awards Nominee for Outstanding Documentary Film and one of only 3 nominees for the 2017 Peace and Sport Award in Monaco, presented by HRH Prince Albert.

Draper’s debut film, Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution, opened New York Fashion Week and Toronto Fashion Week in 2012. Versailles ’73 appeared at festivals and fashion weeks around the world. The film premiered on Logo TV in September 2015, aired on the Aspire Network in 2017 and Starz on-demand in 2018. MOMA, SCAD, Guggenheim Bilboa and the de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and many other museums integrated the film with their major fashion exhibitions. Fox Searchlight optioned the feature film rights.

Deborah Riley Draper’s advertising acumen and creativity can be found in major campaigns and projects for Lamborghini, Coca-Cola classic, ExxonMobil, REI, AT&T, and adidas. She has earned two regional Emmys, a Gold Effie, and several Addy Awards and has stewarded multi-million dollar campaigns for over 14 years. Deborah Riley Draper is a 2016 Guest Filmmaker Lecturer at Indiana University, 2015 Spelman College Digital Moving Image Salon Celebration of Excellence Award Recipient and 2014 Distinguished Visiting Professor at Johnson & Wales University in Entertainment Marketing. Draper, a Savannah, GA native, is the Atlanta Chapter lead of Film Fatales and a die-hard FSU Seminole.