Stephen R. Powell
A native of Buffalo, New York, Stephen Russell Powell has gained national recognition as a speaker, author and expert on the history of drinking in American culture, and in particular on the subject of Prohibition.
His 1996 book entitled "Rushing the Growler" was a study on the history of the brewing industry in Buffalo. The popularity of the book took him by surprise and it has gone through three printings since then. He currently serves on the board of the Western New York Heritage Press. Steve also founded the Peoples History Coalition which administers a major online archive of Buffalo History (buffalonian.com).
Currently Steve works as a producer, field producer, camera operator, editor and director on a wide variety of projects including programs for ABC, CBS, The History Channel, PBS, Bravo!, Fox News, CourtTV, RAI Uno, and Discovery Channel along with numerous independent documentary and commercial productions.
Powell got his start in the business in 1996 after the publication the popularity of the book led to a series of appearances on national television, which ultimately opened the door to production work on an increasingly diverse range of projects. In the spring of 2003, after participating in the production of two prime-time programs for the History Channel, Powell established Odessa Pictures, Inc. as a media development company. Combining his early training in marketing and economics with his proficiency at shooting and editing film and video, the organization has both generated original content and facilitated the projects of clients around the U.S.
Among Powell’s most recent endeavors is an 82-minute feature documentary entitled The Forgotten City, for which he served as both editor and story editor. Directed by young filmmakers Addison Henderson and Korey Green, Forgotten City takes a hard-hitting, unblinking look at life in Buffalo’s inner city as one example of phenomena affecting the entire nation. Currently touring the festival circuit, the film has been featured in the HBO/Film Life Black American Film Festival, the Starz Denver Film Festival, and the 2006 New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, where it won Best Urban Documentary. This film has gone on to win several other festival awards.
A lifelong resident of Western New York, Powell has a long history of activism and community organizing, and many of the projects he has generated himself reflect his commitment to social justice, while others bring light to aspects of life in his hometown that might otherwise go unnoticed. No matter what he’s involved in, however—from TV commercials and documentary series to promotional shorts for non-profits to his more personal projects.
In addition to producing video programming, Steve is active in the community. His is a member of the International Documentary Association and the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) as well as several local producers groups. Currently, Steve lives and works in Western New York State.
Selected Production Credits/Clients:
Steve is a producer for Odessa Pictures, Inc.
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