Debra Tolchinsky, founding director of Northwestern University's MFA in documentary media (6/2013 – 8/2018) and associate professor/associate chair of RTVF, is a documentary filmmaker and curator. She received an AB from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been seen at Sundance, The John F. Kennedy Center, the Gene Siskel Film Center, and the Supreme Court Institute. She directed and produced the feature Fast Talk concerning competitive college debate. Fast Talk won Best Documentary at the LA Femme International Film Festival as well as the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, and has been spotlighted in the National Law Journal, the Onion A.V. Club, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2017, Debra co-ranked No. 7 on New City's Film 50 and she was awarded a 2017-18 Fellowship from the Alice B. Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. Most recently, she was awarded a Kartemquin Partner Program Sage Fund grant.
Joel McGinty, a native Californian, started in production as a camera and jib operator for TV news. After gaffing music videos that made their way to MTV, VH1, and BET, he gained broad experience in cinematography through feature films, shorts, live events, commercials, and documentaries. He witnessed firsthand the power of documentary film to impact people’s lives when his first film, Cocal Gracias, was the catalyst for the formation of a thriving trade school in Honduras. Joel currently works as a director of photography at L37 and has been filming with TMOF since 2015.
Shuling Yong is a Singapore-born, Chicago-based documentary filmmaker, sound recordist and DP with a passion for social change. She has worked on films like Radical Grace (Hot Docs, 2015, dir. Rebecca Parrish), America To Me (Sundance, 2018, dir. Steve James), and And She Could Be Next (dir. Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia).
Shuling is a Tribeca Film Institute program alum, a Kartemquin Films Diverse Voices in Docs Fellow, a participating filmmaker at the BRITDOC Queer Impact Producers Lab, the DocNet Southeast Asia Strategy Workshop and the KOMAS Video For Change Forum.