Deborah Hardt is an experienced media professional and academic with over 20 years of experience. Her creative work spans a broad spectrum from still photography, digital filmmaking to interactive projects. After earning her B.A. degree in Art History from Smith College and studying Film and Critical Theory and the Sorbonne-Nouvelle in Paris, she started to work in the field of documentary film, landing a coveted position with Public Television (PBS) in Minnesota. There she worked with the Arts and Cultural Production team to create Emmy-Award winning local and national programming. Later, as a producer and editor with the innovative education company Classroom Connect, she created some of the first interactive web videos ever produced specifically for the Internet.
Her academic pursuits continued with earning a master’s degree at the Media Studies Department of the New School University, allowing her to combine theoretical inquiry into the social aspects of media production and engagement. For her master’s thesis, she completed a documentary in the virtual on-line world of Second Life, a massively multi-player online role-playing game. Focusing on the phenomenon of virtual marriage inside the game, the documentary incorporated Machinima visual technology. She is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Philosophy and Critical Thought at the European Graduate School in Switzerland.
Clients and collaborators include: Middlemarch Films, Reelbiography, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Time Inc., Condé Nast, Classroom Connect, and Weight Watchers. Most recently, Deborah co-directed a short documentary for a PBS series, Post Cards from the Great Divide about the recent Presidential election in the United States that ran on PBS.
Her current research includes work on the streaming platform Netflix and its representation of women She is the co-author of a chapter on that topic for an upcoming book to be published by Palgrave MacMillan titled: Female Agencies and Subjectivities in Film and Television. She co-authored and presented a paper, “Something In The Water: The Netflix Effect” at Bilgi University’s Conference on Female Agency and Subjectivity in Film and Television. In Innsbruck, Austria she recently presented her paper about Animal Agency and Ethics in the documentary film Blackfish.
In addition to her academic and professional career, Deborah is a photographer and works with large-format photography, capturing landscapes of her native Nebraska. She recently had a show at Karantina Gallery in İzmir and has exhibited around the United States.