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Documentary Filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper

Yaël Ksander speaks with documentary filmmaker and former advertising agency executive Deborah Riley Draper.

Deborah Draper in dark gray blouse, necklace, hands on hip, smiling.

Photo: Adam Schwartz/WFIU

Deborah Riley Draper

These [17 Olympic] athletes were the only Americans in history to have to battle Jim Crow discrimination and Aryan supremacism to compete.

Deborah Riley Draper’s film Olympic Pride, American Prejudice examines the untold story of 18 black athletes who won medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

Her film Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution chronicled the Palace of Versailles fundraiser that pitted French designers against American designers and became a major fashion movement.

Draper is a recipient of the 2015 Spelman College Digital Moving Image Salon “Celebration of Excellence” Award. In 2016, she was named Variety’s Top Documakers to watch.

As an Emmy and Addy Award-winning advertising executive, she worked on blue-chip accounts including ExxonMobil, AT&T, and FedEx.

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