Steven Cantor

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Steven Cantor is an American film/television director and film/television producer.[1] Seven of his films have been nominated for Emmy Awards, with one winning, and he was nominated for an Academy Award for his first film. Notable works include the films Tent City, USA,[2] Unraveled, No One Dies in Lily Dale,[3] Reporter with Nicholas Kristof, I Am an Animal, What Remains, loudQUIETloud: A Film about Pixies,[4] American Masters: Willie Nelson,[5] Devil's Playground, Blood Ties, and "Dancer."[6]

Cantor also directed and executive produced the HBO series Family Bonds, and has executive produced numerous other television series through his Stick Figure Productions banner.[7]

In 2017, Cantor released "STEP" with Fox Searchlight Pictures, documenting the senior year of a girls' high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore.[8]


Cantor graduated from the USC School of Cinema-Television. He is the founder of NY based Stick Figure Productions, which he ran for 12 years, prior to selling it in 2013 to Ora, the digital network owned by Carlos Slim Helu.[9] In 2016, Cantor reacquired the company from the Slims and is now once again the sole proprietor.


Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann (1994) Director/Producer: Nominated for a 1994 Academy Award in the category of Best Short Subject Documentary;[10] examines renowned photographer Sally Mann's pictures of her children.

Devil's Playground (2002) Producer: Nominated for an Emmy;[11] explores the supposed tradition in Amish culture called Rumspringa; the film follows several Amish teenagers who leave their communities to explore the non-Amish world (widely but erroneously believed a normative practice among the Amish). At some point they must decide whether to commit to the strict rules of the Amish Church, or leave their families behind to join "English" society. The film spawned a reality series, "Amish in the City", which Cantor's Stick Figure banner executive produced, as well as a non-fiction book Rumspringa by Tom Shachtman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007).

"American Masters: Willie Nelson: Still is Still Moving" (2004) – Director/Producer: An inside look at an American icon as he deals with two families, his relations and his nearly lifelong bandmates.

What Remains (2005) Director/Producer: Studies a further project of Mann’s, a provocative photo series exploring the way in which nature assimilates the body once life has left it, directly confronting American attitudes towards death. The film screened first at The Sundance Film Festival in 2006 before premiering on HBO.[12]

loudQUIETloud (2006) Director/Producer: Follows the ups and downs of alternative music group The Pixies in their unexpected reformation and the reunion tour.

"I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA" (2007) Producer: A candid and introspective look at the extreme beliefs and motives of Ingrid Newkirk, the British-born co-founder and driving force behind People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the world's largest animal-rights organization.

"Reporter" (2009) Producer: Follows journalist Nicholas Kristof to the Democratic Republic of Congo to investigate the growing humanitarian crisis.

No One Dies in Lily Dale (2011) Director/Producer: Explores the idyllic community of Lily Dale, a small town boasting the world's largest concentration of mediums (people who claim to communicate with spirits of the deceased).[13]

Unraveled (2011) Producer: Scrutinizes prominent lawyer Marc Dreier's financial crimes, and depicts his struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of his actions.

"Tent City, U.S.A." (2012) Producer/Director: A look at a homeless community in Nashville, Tennessee.

"Chasing Tyson" (2015) Producer/Director: Evander Holyfield's career defining quest for respectability by beating his notorious rival.[14]

"Dancer" (2016) Director: The life of talented but controversial ballet phenom, Sergei Polunin.

STEP (2017) Producer: Documents the senior year of a girls' high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore.[15]

Between Me and My Mind (2019) Director/Producer: A documentary about Phish frontman Trey Anastasio.[16]

What Will Become of Us (2019) Director: A documentary about Sir Frank Lowy, the self-made billionaire and founder of Westfield Corporation.[17]


Family Bonds (2004) Director, Executive Producer: explores the lives of the Evangelistas, a family of bail bondsmen and bounty hunters in Long Island.[18]

#1 Single (2006) Executive Producer: documents the dating life of singer Lisa Loeb.[19]

Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane (2007–2008) Executive Producer: Documents the life and Baby Phat fashion empire of former model Kimora Lee Simmons.[20]

"Amish: Out of Order" (2012) Executive Producer: Documents Mose Gingerich, an Ex-Amish man living in Missouri, and the group of Ex-Amish youths he guides and helps to adapt to English society.

"American Gypsies" (2012) Executive Producer: An unprecedented look into the clandestine world of gypsies, through the eyes of one of the most powerful families in New York, the Johns Family.

"Catching Hell" (2014) Executive Producer: A team of underwater spear fishermen battle the challenges of the seas, while trying to eke out a living.


Year Film Role Notes
1994 Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann Director/Producer Nominated — Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject)
1996 Recon Director/Producer
2000 Bounce: Behind the Velvet Rope Director/Producer
2001 Crossover Producer
2002 Devil's Playground Producer Nominated — Emmy Award
2002 Willie Nelson: Still is Still Moving Director/Producer Won — Emmy Award
2003 The AMC Project Executive Producer
2004 Slasher Producer
2004 Amish in the City Executive Producer
2004 Family Bonds Executive Producer Nominated — Emmy Award
2005 What Remains Director/Producer Nominated — Emmy Award
2005 The Biz Executive Producer
2006 #1 Single Executive Producer
2006 loudQUIETloud: A film about the Pixies Director/Producer
2007 James Blunt in Kosovo Director/Producer
2007 I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA Producer
2007–2008 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane Executive Producer
2009 Reporter Producer Nominated — Emmy Award
2009 Inside: Night Shift – Repo Men Executive Producer
2009 Guardian Angels Executive Producer
2009–2010 Repossessed! Executive Producer
2010 Amish at the Altar Executive Producer
2010 Amish: Out of the Order Executive Producer
2011 Tent City, U.S.A. Producer
2011 No One Dies in Lily Dale Producer Nominated — Emmy Award
2011 Unraveled Producer
2012 Amish: Out of Order Executive Producer
2012 American Gypsies Executive Producer
2012 American Gypsies Executive Producer
2014 Catching Hell Executive Producer
2015 Chasing Tyson Director
2016 Dancer Director
2017 STEP Producer
2018 Ballet Now Director
2019 Between Me and My Mind Director
2019 What Will Become of Us Director
2021 When Claude Got Shot Producer
2021 Citizen Ashe Producer


  1. ^ "Steven Cantor (I)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  2. ^ Tent City, USA Trailer.
  3. ^ No One Dies in Lily Dale.
  4. ^
  5. ^ American Masters: Willie Nelson.
  6. ^ .[user-generated source]
  7. ^ "Steven Cantor". Stick Figure Productions. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  8. ^ "Step". IMDb. August 4, 2017.
  9. ^ "Steven Cantor". Quora. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  10. ^ "66th Academy Awards (1994) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  11. ^ "News & Documentary Emmy Awards (2003)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  12. ^ "What Remains". Sundance Institute. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  13. ^ "No One Dies in Lily Dale". HBO. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  14. ^ "Steven Cantor". Fire Movies. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  15. ^ "Step". IMDb. August 4, 2017.
  16. ^ Lello, Michael (April 27, 2019). "New Trey Anastasio doc takes deeply personal look at Phish frontman". New York Post. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  17. ^ Quinn, Karl (May 3, 2019). "Frank Lowy reflects on love, loss and the trauma that shaped him". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  18. ^ "Family Bonds". Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  19. ^ "#1 Single". Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  20. ^ "Kimora Life in the Fab Lane". Retrieved December 15, 2011.

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