The 2017 NYWIFT Ravenal Foundation Feature Film Grant was presented to
Debra Kirschner for her comedy Mallwalkers.

When retired music teacher Carol Chambers takes daily walks in the local mall, she connects with a wild posse of seniors who suspect foul play… and she becomes determined to put a stop to it.In this coming-of-old-age comedy, Carol mourns her husband, emerges from her comfort zone, finds purpose in sleuthing, falls for a bad boy, reignites relationships with her daughter and granddaughter, and ultimately realizes that her life still matters. 


Mallwalkers is presently in the early stages of pre-production and casting. Kirschner developed the project at Cine Qua Non International Screenwriting Lab, Stowe Story Lab and NYWIFT’s “From Script to Preproduction” Incubator. The project was selected to be part of the inaugural NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) Financing Lab. 

Together with her producers Katrina Wolfe and Louis Spiegler, Debra plans to shoot the project later in 2020. 

Debra Kirschner specializes in telling honest stories about believable, funny, flawed characters. She is best known for writing, directing and producing the indie feature The Tollbooth, called “a wonderfully honest coming of age film” by Her latest script, Mallwalkers was part of the NYWIFT “From Script to Preproduction” incubator as well as the Cine Qua Non International Screenwriters Lab and Stowe Story Lab. Debra won the NYWIFT/Ravenal grant for a second-time feature director, which has allowed the project to begin early preproduction.

Earlier in her career she wrote, directed and produced the short film Changing Clothes, which toured festivals internationally. She also collaborated with Emmy-nominated, DGA-winning director Tasha Oldham to write the short film Pickled. More recently, Debra wrote and directed a ten-minute sample of her pilot Frog Kissers, which premiered at the International Television Festival. She also created the web series, The Happy Mommy Hustle, which has a dedicated following online. She has written, directed and produced several promotional videos and EPKs for the web and she is currently creating resistance videos for the activist group Rise and Resist.

Debra started and led a creative writing program for homeless adults at the Hoboken Shelter and led a creative writing workshop for “Prime Time” Women over sixty in Brooklyn, who helped inspire Mallwalkers. Learn more at


Learn more about the NYWIFT Ravenal Grant