Sundance Babes: Women Directors–Deitch, Donna, Desert Hearts

Donna Deitch was born June 8, 1945 in San Francisco, California.

She is still best known for her 1986 film Desert Hearts, one of the first films about a lesbian love story.

Desert Hearts played at the 1985 Telluride and Toronto film fests, and then in competition at the 1986 Sundance Film Fest.

This art film was distributed by the Samuel Goldwyn Company. Shortly after, Oprah Winfrey hired Deitch to direct the Emmy-nominated four-hour mini-series The Women of Brewster Place.

Deitch directed four pilots, three of which were picked up for series, including Second Noah.

She has directed 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 Prison Stories: Women on the Inside for HBO; Showtime‘s The Devil’s Arithmetic starring Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy, and Common Ground, written by Tctrence McNally, Paula Vogel, and Harvey Fierstein.

In 1998, Deitch directed, shot, and edited Angel On My Shoulder, a feature docu about her best friend, actress Gwen Welles (Nashville), dying of cancer.

Her script, Blonde Ghost, is adapted from the best-selling book, Stella, by Peter Wyden, set in Berlin during World War II.