Debra Granik, born 1963 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. In 1985 she received her B.A. from Brandeis University, where she majored in politics and became very interested in documentary film, democratic media and feminism. She later earned an MFA from the graduate film program at New York University (Tisch School of the Arts). She also studied history of documentary film making and was an active member of the feminist media movement in the early 1980s.
In 1997, while studying at New York University, she directed her first short, SNAKE FEED which gave her utter prominence among the crowd (winning Best Short at Sundance Film Festival in 1998). Her first feature-length film, DOWN TO THE BONE (2004), also won a series of awards and was nominated for the Gotham Award and the Independent Spirit Award.
But it was her 2010 masterpiece, the drama WINTER’S BONE, that made Granik one of the most inspiring filmmakers of a new generation and young leading actress Jennifer Lawrence famous overnight. The film was nominated for four Oscars (Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor in a Supporting Role) in 2011. Her first documentary film, STRAY DOG (2014), that narrates the life of Ron «Stray Dog» Hall, a biker vet who loves dogs also won major awards on festivals all over the world. Currently she is working on her third feature-length film, MY ABANDONMENT, based on Peter Rock’s novel of the same name.