A native of Buffalo, New York, Stephen Russell Powell has earned screen credits as a director, story editor, producer, field producer, director of photography, camera operator, and editor on a wide variety of projects including programs for A&E, National Geographic, CBS, ABC, NBC Universal, The History Channel, PBS, Bravo!, Fox News, CourtTV, Animal Planet, ABC, and Discovery Channel–Canada along with numerous independent documentary and commercial productions.
Powell got his start in the business in 1996 after the publication of his book Rushing the Growler, a history of the brewing industry in Buffalo that was originally intended as the screenplay for a feature documentary. 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, while participating in the production of a prime-time program 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 world.
In 2006, Powell worked as editor and story editor on the award winning, 82-minute feature documentary entitled The Forgotten City. The film takes a hard-hitting, unblinking look at life in the inner city. 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. The film recently picked up two more awards at the 2007 Buffalo Niagara Film Festival.
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 national television shows and documentary series to promotional shorts for non-profits to his more personal projects—Powell brings to all of his work a combination of outstanding storytelling, technical expertise, business acumen, and total reliability.
In addition to producing documentaries and programming, Steve has served as a judge for the 2009 and 2010 Emmy Awards (Northeast Region). In 2010, Steve was selected to work as a producer for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Whistler, B.C. Canada for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
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
Currently, Powell is directing a feature documentary that takes a personal look at god and spirituality.