Brazil Council Chair,
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Deborah Calla, a Brazilian native, is an award-winning writer/producer and an activist. She is the founder of Calla Productions, an international production company working in the US and abroad in the production and development of feature films, television programming, commercial campaigns, web content, and social activism.  She is the winner of numerous awards including: Anthem Awards, Telly Awards, Loyola Law School, Taipei Film Commission, Focus on Ability USA and in 2024 The Producers Guild of America honored her with the Vance Van Patten Entrepreneurial Producing Award.  She is a member of the Producers Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, and the Television Academy.

Since 2010, Deborah has been working towards greater inclusion of disabilities in media. She is the co-CEO of the Media Access Awards (MAA), an organization created by Norman Lear, and is the executive producer of the organization’s annual prestigious award show celebrating disabilities in entertainment. The award show is broadcast on PBS.

Deborah served as the chair of the Producers Guild of America Diversity Committee from 2004 to 2018 where she created several programs to educate, promote, and provide opportunity for diverse talent including the very successful Producers Guild of America Diversity Masters Workshop.

Deborah co-wrote and produced the feature film A Beautiful Life starring Dana Delany, Jesse Garcia, and Angela Sarafyan. She produced the comedy-feature Dream House starring Justin Theroux, the drama Lehi’s Wife with James Green and Kathryn Joosten, and coproduced Lost Zweig with Rudiger Vogler and Ruth Reiser. She is also the Brazilian producer of You Got Served: Beat The World.

For television Deborah has produced a half-hour program for TNT on the 500th Anniversary of Brazil, a biography series on Latino artists for HBO Latino, a series on human-interest and Hollywood stories for SAT 1 (Germany).

Deborah is the producer of the first-ever, English speaking telecast of Brazil’s carnival for the Travel Channel with Terry Jastrow, a seven-time Emmy winner, for Globo International Television. The two-hour special was narrated by Oscar nominated actor, Anne Archer, and led to a second production the following year.

Deborah has had three books published by Putnam and Scholastic and writes for the The Huffington Post. She has been a guest lecturer at AFI (American Film Institute), USC Film, Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Los Angeles Latino Film Festival and Produced By Conference (the largest producers conference in the US). Deborah is a frequent guest lecturer in Jordan, Taiwan and in Brazil where she teaches writing and producing to filmmakers. She is a sought-after speaker on the topic of greater inclusion of underrepresented communities.