2017 Update from President & CEO, Carl Kurlander

2017 Update from President & CEO, Carl Kurlander

As 2017 comes to a close, I am excited to update you on Steeltown’s progress and ask for your support in achieving our vision of building a pathway to creative careers in media production in Western Pennsylvania.

Here are a few highlights from 2017 that I am proud to share with you:

  • We hosted the Elly Awards, our annual fundraising event named after our co-founder Ellen Weiss Kander. Ellen would have been thrilled to see Elly Awardees George Romero and retired Fred Rogers Company President Bill Isler sharing the stage with young talent: award-winning documentary filmmaker Julie Sokolow, special effects artist, Steve Tolin, and The Reel Teens: Pittsburgh.  We were so grateful tocelebrate George’s pioneering work inindependent film at his last public appearance in Pittsburgh. The Elly Awards truly illustrate how Pittsburgh’s rich history of media production created the foundation for the future of Pittsburgh’s film and television industry. Learn more… 
  • Building on George’s legacy, we took an important step towards growing Pittsburgh’s reputation for innovative independent film with the first Steeltown Film Lab—a community-driven feature film that allowed professionals towork alongside emerging talent and students. In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, the Film Lab provided over 75 on-set education and mentoring opportunities. Our students, as well as community members, experienced first hand what it means to work onset and gained professional credits tojump start their careers in Pittsburgh’s growing film industry. Learn more…
  • We partnered with 12 schools and community organizations to teach filmmaking basics tostudents through Steeltown Film AcademiesThe Reel Teens: Pittsburgh were celebratedfor their hard work and won two awards for programming excellence from the National Academy of Television Artsand Sciences. The Reel Teens continue impress all of us by creating content that matters. Meet a few of our students here…



A donation to Steeltown truly makes a difference. 

The amount we raise determines how many kids we can serve, how many projects we can help get going right here in Pittsburgh, and how we can continue to channel creative energy to improve the civic life of our region in 2018.


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Meet a Few of Our Students

The Reel Teens Take on Pittsburgh’s Entertainment Industry

The Reel Teens Take on Pittsburgh’s Entertainment Industry

Dear Friends of Steeltown,

I’m so excited to share The Reel Teens‘ entertainment episode with you.

Our teens meet some of the extraordinary people involved in Pittsburgh’s growing entertainment industry. In the episode, the teens:
  • go behind the scenes with Downward Dog creator Michael Killen,
  • visit the old Westinghouse Research Facility to interview Donora native and “Ghost Whisperer” producer Kim Moses who is in town flming her new series for ABC,
  • get a glimpse of Steeltown’s first Film Lab and see the production of the community teaching film The Rehabilitation of the Hilland
  • create particularly funny and moving piece of this year’s Elly Awards including one of the last public appearances by director George Romero.  
While all of these people and stories are inspiring, the real stars of the show are the teens themselves, who continue to do the impossible– producing, directing and hosting a high quality, entertaining half hour of television. These teens reminds us all why Pittsburgh is such a special place. 
One particular poignant story featured in this episode is our own Haji Muya, who was recently profiled by the Post Gazette. We met Haji, a Somalian refugee, through our Youth and Media program ten years ago. This year, he worked as the assistant cameraman on The Rehabilitation of The Hill. Today, Haji gives back himself as a teaching artists who works with our teens.   
This episode of The Reel Teens: Pittsburgh is as good as many network television shows produced with millions of dollars.  While we don’t have a marketing budget to match the networks, we know we can get the word out with your help. Please tell your friends and share on social media, especially with anyone passionate about Pittsburgh and the entertainment industry. 
Carl Kurlander 
Steeltown's Filmmaker Survey

Steeltown's Filmmaker Survey

Steeltown is so proud to be a part of Pittsburgh's film scene! To help us better serve our community, we'd like to get to know you better. Please take a moment to fill out our Filmmaker Survey.

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Your information will not be published publicly and will not be sold. We are, on occasion, asked for referrals for specific crew positions on local projects. Your information will be shared ONLY if you give Steeltown permission to share your contact information. There is no guarantee that you will get a job or that you will be referred by Steeltown.

Submit Your Proposal to the Steeltown Indie Program

This individual will be the main point of contact for the proposed project.

If you do not have any notable awards or acknowledgments to share, please type, “N/A”.