Deborah Chow

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Deborah Chow
EducationMcGill University (BA)
Columbia University (MFA)
OccupationFilmmaker, television director, screenwriter
Known forThe High Cost of Living, The Possibilities of Fireflies,[1] The Mandalorian

Deborah Chow is a Canadian filmmaker, television director and screenwriter. Two of her first short films, Daypass (2002) and The Hill (2004) have both won awards at various international film festivals.[2] She is best known for her first feature film, which she wrote and directed, The High Cost of Living.[3] Chow directed various projects for television, including the TV movie adaption of Flowers in the Attic[4] and episodes of the series Copper,[5] Murdoch Mysteries, Reign,[6] Beauty and the Beast, and Mr. Robot.[7] Chow is also a director on the Star Wars series The Mandalorian and the Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+.

Early life[edit]

Deborah Chow is the half-Chinese daughter of parents who emigrated from Australia to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she grew up. Her Chinese father was a huge movie fan, and introduced to her the world of classic films and filmmaking.[8] Chow graduated from Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario.[9]

She received her undergraduate degree, major of cultural theory and minor in art history, from McGill University in Montreal, where she made her first short film.[8] After graduation she went on to complete her MFA in directing at Columbia University in New York City, where she completed two short films and a feature screenplay including her short film Daypass which screened internationally at over 35 festivals and won multiple awards.[2]


Chow began her career writing and directing short films while studying film at university and broke out with her first feature film, The High Cost of Living, in 2010. As a film director, she's worked with notable actors James Urbaniak, Zach Braff and Isabelle Blais, among others.[10]

As a television director, she's worked on the BBC show Copper,[5] the CW programs Reign and Beauty and the Beast,[6] the CBC show Murdoch Mysteries[7] and the USA Network series Mr. Robot.[7] She also directed the adaptation of Flowers in the Attic on Lifetime, which starred Heather Graham and Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka.[4]

Chow served as director of two episodes of the Disney+ exclusive streaming television series, Star Wars: The Mandalorian, in which she also had a cameo role as a New Republic X-wing pilot. She was announced as the sole director for the upcoming Disney+ series, centered on Obi-Wan Kenobi. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy stated that "We really wanted to select a director who is able to explore both the quiet determination and rich mystique of Obi-Wan in a way that folds seamlessly into the Star Wars saga. Based on her phenomenal work developing our characters in The Mandalorian, I'm absolutely confident Deborah is the right director to tell this story."[11][12]

Directing Credits[edit]


Year Title Notes
2002 Daypass Short film; also writer
2004 The Hill Short film; also writer, editor and costume designer
2010 The High Cost of Living Also writer
2014 Flowers in the Attic


Year Show Season Episode Episode title
2013 Copper 2 8 "Ashes Denote That Fire Was"
2014–2017 Reign 2 7 "The Prince of the Blood"
13 "Sins of the Past "
19 "Abandoned "
3 5 "In a Clearing"
18 "Spiders in a Jar"
4 11 "Dead of Night"
2014 Murdoch Mysteries 8 6 "The Murdoch Appreciation Society"
7 "What Lies Buried"
2015 Beauty and the Beast 3 7 "Both Sides Now"
2015 Mr. Robot 1 6 "eps1.5_br4ve-trave1er.asf"
2016 Turn: Washington's Spies 3 4 "Hearts and Minds"
2016 The Vampire Diaries 7 10 "Hell Is Other People"
2016–2017 Fear the Walking Dead 2 9 "Los Muertos"
2016 Tyrant 3 5 "A Rock and A Hard Place"
2017 Marvel's Iron Fist 1 11 "Lead Horse Back to Stable"
2017 Shut Eye 2 9 "Vérité"
2018 Marvel's Jessica Jones 2 4 "AKA God Help the Hobo"
2018 Lost in Space 1 5 "Transmission"
2018 Snowfall 2 4 "Jingle Bell Rock"
2018 Better Call Saul 4 7 "Something Stupid"
2018 The Man in the High Castle 3 9 "Baku"
2019 American Gods 2 3 "Muninn"
2019 The Mandalorian 1 3 "Chapter 3: The Sin"
7 "Chapter 7: The Reckoning"
TBA Obi-Wan Kenobi 1 1 TBA

Awards and recognition[edit]

Her short film, Daypass, won the Best Actor Award at the Milano Film Festival and the Best Short at the Turin Film Festival. The feature-length screenplay version of the film won the Comedy Central Award for Best Comedy Screenplay. Chow was the winner of the 2005 Kodak New Vision Mentorship award for her short film The Hill, the winnings from which included funding for her first feature film.[8] She was a participant in the Berlinale Talent Campus, Toronto International Film Festival Talent Lab, and the Praxis Screenwriting Lab.[2] Her debut feature film The High Cost of Living won Best First Feature and Top Ten at the Toronto International Film Festival, Best Canadian Feature at the Female Eye Film Fest, and Prix Super-Écran at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois.[13]

Critic response[edit]

The High Cost of Living has received positive reviews. This film bears all the hallmarks of a conventional indie drama: "a downbeat scenario, flawed protagonists, and a strongly regional inflection." Chow is credited on hitting every mark and narrative turning point. The result is a strange dramatic complexity, with a work of superficial depth.[14]


  1. ^ McNary, Dave (May 12, 2016). "Courtney Love, Joey King Starring in 'Possibility of Fireflies'". Variety. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Deborah Chow Tribeca All Access 2008". Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Deborah Chow". Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b Gliatto, Tom. "PEOPLE's TV Critic: Lifetime's Flowers In the Attic Is Crazy Good". Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Copper". Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  6. ^ a b "New Reign Season 2, Episode 7 Official Spoilers, Plotline Revealed By CW". Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Database | The Director List". Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  8. ^ a b c "The Mandalorian: Deborah Chow Reveals the Inspiration For the Baby Yoda Rescue".
  9. ^ Iain Colpitts, "The Mandalorian Star Wars series director had Mississauga ties", Mississauga News, 28 November 2019.
  10. ^ "'The High Cost of Living' According to Director Deborah Chow". Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Deborah Chow to Direct Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Exclusively on Disney+". September 27, 2019. Archived from the original on September 27, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  12. ^ "Hossein Amini Talks The Success Of 'The Alienist', Approaching The Screenplay For 'Drive' & His Upcoming Disney+ 'Obi-Wan' Series (Exclusive Interview)". Discussing Film. 2019-11-07. Retrieved 2019-11-09.
  13. ^ Chan, Crystal. "Celluloid Love Letter: Deborah Chow's The High Cost of Living". Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  14. ^ Brunick, Paul (2011-09-08). "'The High Cost of Living' With Zach Braff — Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-13.

External links[edit]