R.I. Film and Television Office
Since 2004, I have had the honor of being the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office. Every day is a different adventure which requires a varied skill set. My primary goals are multi-pronged. While nurturing Rhode Island talent through education, hands-on experiences and career boosting events, I am also focused on luring high-profile, Hollywood productions which bring high-paying jobs, networking connections, positive economic activity for our local businesses and exciting, world-wide promotional, tourism opportunities for our Ocean State. It's all about building our creative economy and culture and helping to make Rhode Island the best it can be.
Q. Why is your work at RISCA important to you?
A. As the son of two loving parents who valued education, the arts, and always had a strong, moral compass, I grew up loving Rhode Island and knew, from age eight years old, that my destiny was to be a filmmaker. I made movies as a child with my neighborhood friends and then went to Los Angeles and had a wonderful career for 22 years, making movies. My work is important to me because I always dreamed of having this specific job to help make dreams come true for those who work hard and do their best to maximize their talents. I love Rhode Island and I love movies and helping others achieve their creative goals. It's the job of my lifetime and my passion for it is as strong as ever.
Q. What is a favorite artwork you made or collaborated on?
A. One of the most memorable moments of my life was on a rainy Saturday afternoon and I was about seven years old. My Dad and I made my first Aurora model of "Dracula" and we had Testor paints and glue and sat together at a card table with newspapers laid flat on top of it. He said "We have to paint before we glue it together." And he guided me through the creative process as a sixth grade teacher would do and skillfully taught me how to do it. And it is one of my favorite life moments. I will never forget the moment I asked, "How are we going to make Dracula's eyes red?" "Carefully" he replied. He turned the paintbrush around and said, "Dip the handle-tip into the red paint and then lightly tap it in the eye. Be careful now..." I followed my Dad's instructions and voila--we made the perfect evil, fiery eye of the vampire. I ended up buying the entire Universal monster model set as a child. We would go to the hobby store every other week and I'd buy the model and make them one by one. The beauty is---I still have that cherished "Dracula" model on my shelf---over fifty years later!
Steven Feinberg is the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office. Born in Cranston, R.I., he formerly spent 22 years in Los Angeles and worked with every major Hollywood studio as a writer, director and producer and officially joined the Writer’s Guild of America in 1987. His internationally successful feature film FORTRESS was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Movie in 1994.
Since 2004, in his capacity at the RI Film & TV Office, Steven shepherded over $800 million of film and television production into the state, creating thousands of jobs for local talent, crew, small businesses and providing opportunities for students. His collaborations include working with notable talents such as Wes Anderson, Lord Julian Fellowes, Mark Ruffalo, Bette Midler, Richard Gere and Zoe Saldana. Productions include the HBO’s Emmy award-winning series “The Gilded Age”, Disney’s record-breaking “Hocus Pocus 2”, Oscar nominated “Moonrise Kingdom”, and three seasons of the Peabody award, Showtime series “Brotherhood”.
Among the many awards Steven has received, he was the first Annual Imaginnaire Award winner from New England’s Imagine Magazine, was designated a “Newport Ambassador” by Discover Newport Tourism, has been the Honorary Chairman for Rhode Island's official Academy Award Oscar Night from 2009 to the present, served as the Vice-President on the Board of Directors for “Celebrate Rhode Island” in 2010 to assist families with heating, is a member of the Touro Fraternity, was designated the “Rhode Island Hospitality Ambassador of the Year 2010” by the Ocean State’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, received the George M. Cohan Ambassador Award from the Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2011 and is the Vice-President of the Greenwich Odeum Board.
In 2016, Steven wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary, PELL, which explores the challenges R.I. Senator Claiborne Pell faced to create the “Pell Grant” program and its impact on education and society today. Sponsored by the Lumina Foundation and the Rhode Island Council on the Humanities, PELL premiered at the R.I. International Film Festival and won the prestigious Providence Film Festival Award for “a New England director whose work brings cinematic excellence to an international audience”. The film also won Best Documentary awards from the Los Angeles Film Festival and Willliamsburg Independent Film Festival. The documentary had a special screening for Congress in Washington, D.C. and in February 2022, was viewed to various dignitaries in celebration of the 50-year anniversary of Pell Grants.
For five seasons, Steven has been a producer and co-host of the RIPBS weekly series “DOUBLE FEATURE which explores the art of cinema, and he previously studied cinematography at UCLA and film and television production at the prestigious USC Cinema School in Los Angeles.
In addition to his full-time responsibilities as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & Television Office, Steven Feinberg was voted by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts to assume the important position of interim Executive Director of RISCA, beginning December 18, 2021 until July 1, 2022. In 2022, The Rhode Island International Film Festival then honored Mr. Feinberg with the prestigious Sam Spiegel Producer award, and the daily digital publication, GOLOCALPROV.co], named Steven Feinberg as one of 22 of the Most Influential Rhode Islanders in 2022.