Steeltown is a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit revolutionizing the film industry. We educate and support filmmakers from high school through adulthood, dismantling the status quo, and rebuilding from the ground up to change an industry with discriminatory and exploitative practices.
Steeltown was founded in 2003 when the co-founders realized the opportunity Pittsburgh had to become a hub for digital media arts and the film industry. Co-founder, Ellen Weiss Kander, emphasized, “Entertainment could be Pittsburgh’s new steel.”
Steeltown’s mission is to give filmmakers of all ages and backgrounds the access, tools, and connections they need to tell their stories and transform an industry. They envision a world where all individuals regardless of race, creed, gender, ability or sexual orientation are welcomed, embraced and supported in digital media arts and the film industry with equal opportunities to learn, work and grow their craft.
Steeltown created The Steeltown Film Academy (SFA) to take students from basic skills education to paid professional experience. They offer students opportunities to elevate, amplify and center their voices among diverse, supportive peers. They pay their students, get them positions on local professional sets, and give them the tools, resources, and connections they need to tell their stories and transform the industry.
Steeltown’s filmmaker support programs provide opportunities for all ages to develop their practice and projects, and sustain their art while furthering their careers. They provide resources, fiscal sponsorship and opportunities to learn and network. They work with over 100 filmmakers on more than 25 projects each year.