A former architect, Steve Zehentner is a filmmaker, theater designer/director and archivist based in New York City. His first independent film project, The Color Line: Racism in America, was broadcast on PBS and screened at the New York Film Festival. Recently, The Sunflower Project, a film that questions the limits of forgiveness through the lens of the WWII holocaust was broadcast on Idaho Public Television.
As a stage designer, sound designer, co-director and dramaturge, since 1992 he has collaborated with theater artist, writer and performer Penny Arcade on dozens of shows including Sisi Sings The Blues – a commission for the Vienna Festival, Love, Sex and Sanity, Rebellion Cabaret, New York Values, Bad Reputation, True Stories and Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!, their internationally acclaimed sex and censorship show. CLICK HERE for latest review of B!D!F!W! – London Times, July 2012. Together they have produced political-theatrical-humanist spectacles in over 30 cities around the world with Steve designing the playground for anarchist provocateur Penny Arcade to run free and deliver her message of love, authenticity, tolerance and freedom-to-the-people. Currently they are developing three new shows, Old Queen, Longing Lasts Longer and Aftermath. pennyarcade.tv
With over 20 years experience Steve’s independent video production company brings creative passion, intelligent design and solid management to projects of all sizes. As a writer, editor, director and director of photography, Steve can work solo or put together a team with some of New York’s best DP’s and sound crew. He has created story-based socially aware and visually sophisticated documentaries, promotional videos, performance videos and event documentations for a variety of non-profit clients, schools and universities including: The Children’s Defense Fund, The Memorial Library, PBS Channel 13, Angel Orensanz Foundation, American Institute of Architects, Telegraph Records, Kulturzeit ZDF Germany, City University of New York Graduate Center, The New School University, The Children's Aid Society, Penny Arcade Productions, Idaho Public Television and Syracuse University.
With Penny Arcade, he is co-founder of the Lower East Side Biography Project, a video oral history documentary project and archive that works to ensure that future generations have access to the mad souls of invention that built this New York City neighborhood's reputation as an incubator for authenticity, rebellion and iconoclasm. The Lower East Side Biography Project streams it's biographies live every Wednesday at 11pm EST on Time Warner Channel One mnn.org.
Steve’s video work has screened at many festivals and is in the collection of libraries and museums: University of Florida - Harn Museum of Art, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Walker Arts Center – Minneapolis, Virginia Commonwealth University, New York Public Library, Free Speech T.V., Independent Focus, Ch. 13 PBS, Idaho PBS, New York Film Festival, Black Int'l Cinema Festival, Video Drive-In – Chicago, Drexel University Television – Philadelphia, OUTFEST Film Festival – LA, New York University, Film Anthology Archives, Hampshire College, Santa Fe State College, Portland State University, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture – Moscow.
He is a co-recipient (with Peter Norrman) of an Aurora Independent Film and Video Award. He has received a NYSCA grant for The Lower East Side Biography Project and a Bogliasco Fellowship to develop The Money Machine, a film animation and multi-media performance piece that presents a debate about the omnipresent culture of "free market" capitalism.