Dave Tolchinsky

Dave Tolchinsky

Director, Producer, Screenwriter and Sound Designer

Chicago, Illinois

Member Since:
August 2016
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
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About Dave

David E. Tolchinsky is the chair of Northwestern University's Department of Radio-TV-Film and Founder/Director of Northwestern University's MFA in Writing for Screen+Stage. As a screenwriter, his feature film Girl is distributed on iTunes and Amazon Instant, and has been seen internationally. He has been commissioned by such studios as Touchstone/Disney, MGM, Ivan Reitman's Montecito Pictures, USA Networks, Edward R. Pressman Film Corp, and Addis-Wechsler & Assoc./Industry Entertainment to write feature screenplays. He is the author of original screenplays such as The Last Crash and Reflections on a Teenage Anti-Christ featured in a New York Times article about home offices. Some of his work centers on teen subcultures such as heavy-metal fans, Florida surfer teens, teen groupies, and female football players, particularly in relation to social decay. He is also interested in mental illness and the figure of the psychiatrist. Increasingly, he’s been writing about health and illness in the modern world, especially illnesses that are not easily explainable. As a sound designer, he has designed the sound for interactive computer environments and video installations which have been exhibited internationally. In 2003, he was nominated for a Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild Golden Reel Award for his sound design for Dolly. In 2008, he was appointed as a Northwestern University Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence. In 2009, he cocurated The Horror Show at Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs in New York City which explored horror in film, video, installation, photography, sculpture and painting and which was featured as a The Village Voice "Voice Choice for Art" and on their blog, and which was accompanied by a 32-page catalog. In 2011, he co-produced Debra Tolchinsky's feature documentary, Fast Talk which investigates the accelerated speed of argumentation in college debate, is available on iTunes and Amazon instant, was named best documentary at the LA Femme International Film Festival, best documentary feature at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, was the subject of a symposium at the Supreme Court Institute and has been discussed in such publications as the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Reader, the National Law Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Onion A.V. Club. Recently, he published "Where's the Rest of Me?" a reflective humor piece about Spalding Gray in Paraphilia Magazine and cocurated The Presence of Absence sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Council at Hairpin Arts Center, chosen by Chicago Magazine as one of the "16 best art gallery shows to see now in Chicago" and described in The Huffington Post as "The space is gorgeous, the art solid, challenging, yet accessible. This is a wonderfully odd, powerful, thoughtful show" and in The Chicago Tribune as "a remarkable group exhibition" and "a rich viewing experience and also a rare one." He was also ranked #14 on New City's Film 50 2013: Chicago’s Screen Gems, was the recipient of a 2014 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Literature (Poetry, Prose, Scriptworks) and was voted Best Director for the New York production of his play, Where's the Rest of Me? (which was nominated for Best Play and chosen to be included in the anthology, The Best Plays from the Strawberry One-Act Festival Vol. 8). Most recently, his play Clear was published in Issue 3 2015 of Proscenium Journal, he was No. 8 on New City's Film 50 2015: Chicago’s Screen Gems, and co-curated Sick by Seven (seven plays/films about mental health in the modern world) at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago as part of its Incubator Series. His students have included Dave Holstein (staff writer, the Brink), Jen Spyra (staff writer, Late Night with Stephen Colbert), Eoghan O'Donnell (creator of The CWs The Messengers),Marisha Mukerjee (staff writer, Heroes Reborn), Sarah Gubbins (playwright, The Kid Thing and Cocked and TV writer, I Love Dick for Transparent's Jill Soloway), Erik Gernand (playwright, The Beautiful Dark), Andy Miara (former head writer, The Onion News Network)), J. Ryan Stradal (author of the New York Times best selling novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest), Ethan Kass (staff writer, TNT's Murder in the First), and Jenny Hagel (staff writer, The Late Show with Seth Meyers). He is a graduate of Yale (BA, magna cum laude) and USC School of Cinematic Arts (MFA).


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