Donna Deitch

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Donna Deitch
Born (1945-06-08) June 8, 1945 (age 71)
San Francisco, California, US
Occupation Film, television director
Years active 1985-present

Donna Deitch (born June 8, 1945 in San Francisco, California) is an American film and television director best known for her 1986 film Desert Hearts.[1] The film was one of the first film releases to depict a lesbian love story in a generally mainstream, albeit art house, vein but with positive and respectful themes.[1] Deitch also directed the mini-series The Women of Brewster Place. Her partner is writer Terri Jentz.[citation needed]


Donna Deitch segued from award-winning documentary filmmaker to producing and directing Desert Hearts, the landmark hit of the 1986 Sundance, Telluride, and Toronto Film Festivals. The film was picked up for worldwide distribution by The Samuel Goldwyn Company. Shortly after seeing the film, Oprah Winfrey hired Deitch to direct the Emmy-nominated four-hour mini-series The Women of Brewster Place.

Deitch directed four pilots subsequent to the success of Brewster Place, three of which were picked up for series, including Second Noah. She has directed numerous episodes of one-hour dramas including NYPD Blue, ER, Murder One, Law and Order: SVU, EZ Streets, The Visitor, Dragnet, Crossing Jordan, Heroes, Private Practice, and others. She directed the pilot episode of The N's, South of Nowhere.

She directed Prison Stories: Women on the Inside for HBO; Showtime's The Devil's Arithmetic starring Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy, for which Deitch won an Emmy; and Common Ground, written by Terrence McNally, Paula Vogel, and Harvey Fierstein (also for Showtime).

Deitch directed, photographed, and edited Angel On My Shoulder, a feature-length documentary about the experience of her best friend, actress Gwen Welles (Nashville), dying of cancer. The film won the Gold Hugo for Best Documentary at the 1998 Chicago International Film Festival.[2]

She is currently working on obtaining the financing for Blonde Ghost, adapted from the best-selling book, Stella, by Peter Wyden, which takes place in Berlin during World War II. She has recently completed the screenplay.[3]

She is writing a sequel to her 1986 film Desert Hearts.[4]


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