Steven Ascher is an American independent director, producer and writer. He was nominated for an Academy Award and has received the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival among many other awards.
His feature documentaries include the Families in Trouble trilogy, co-directed with his wife, Jeanne Jordan.
Troublesome Creek: a Midwestern is about the Jordan family and their effort to save their Iowa farm. It was released theatrically and broadcast on PBS The American Experience, the BBC premier documentary strand Storyville, ZDF Germany and many other networks around the world.
So Much So Fast tells the story of the Heywood family when son Stephen Heywood was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and his brother Jamie started a research group to try to find a cure. So Much So Fast was released theatrically and broadcast on PBS Frontline, BBC Storyville, ZDF Germany, Arte in France and others.
Raising Renee, part III of the trilogy, is about artist Beverly McIver and her promise to take care of her mentally disabled sister Renee when their mother died. Broadcast on HBO, AVRO Netherlands, SVT Sweden and Knowledge Network in Canada. Nominated for a 2013 Emmy.
Ascher produced, wrote and directed the drama, Del & Alex, starring Thomas Derrah and Polly Corman (broadcast on A&E and many European networks). He has produced and directed several pieces for PBS Newshour, films for the PBS series Art Close Up, which won and were nominated for Emmys, and an episode of the Emmy-nominated Postcards From Buster.
He has directed TV spots and image/marketing pieces for major corporations, government agencies and nonprofits including Disney, Sheraton, Cisco Systems, Health Dialog, the Texas Rangers and the IRS.
Among his awards are the Prix Italia, a Peabody award, an Emmy Award and an International Documentary Association Distinguished Achievement Award. He was nominated for an Oscar, two Daytime Emmy Awards, a Directors Guild of America Award and an Independent Spirit Award. His festival awards include Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance, audience awards at the Sydney Film Festival and the San Francisco Film Festival and others. He received the Michael DeBakey Journalism Award and an Insight Award from the National Association of Film and Digital Media Artists.
He is author of the Filmmaker’s Handbook: a Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age (with Ed Pincus) a bestselling text and a staple of universities and film schools internationally. The Independent called it "the bible." The Boston Globe called it the "gold-standard technical reference."
Academics and Teaching
- Raising Renee
- Postcards from Buster
- So Much So Fast
- Troublesome Creek
- Del and Alex
- Life and Other Anxieties