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Tanya Steele

Former Crisis Intervention Counselor to victims of domestic violence, people who were suicidal, incest survivors and sex offenders. Commitment to violence cessation led her to Produce Radio at WBAI- Pacifica Radio in NYC. Produced programs, including “Rape, Incest & Battery- Making the Connections.”

Awarded Dean’s Fellowship to NYU Tisch School of the Arts -Graduate Film Program. Second-year short film won her the Director’s Guild of America, East Award for Best African-American Student Filmmaker. Received M.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts-Graduate Film Program.

Awarded IFP/NY Emerging Narrative Award & Slamdance Screenwriting Award for feature length screenplay The Parachute Factory. The script explores violence as a “rite of passage” for young people in America.

In 2010, produced and directed a feature length documentary about the Aboriginal Artist Richard Bell. A dispute about the film resulted in litigation. In 2014, a U.S. Federal Court granted judgment in favor of Steele and against Bell and the Milani Gallery.

Currently, in development on feature length screenplays: The Parachute Factory and Cry Laughing, writer and director on both.

At work on a memoir, which includes observations about America, race, and pop culture.

Contributor to Shadow & Act/IndieWire and Article topics include: “The death and genius of Whitney Houston,” “Quentin Tarantino’s- Django Unchained (Slavery in the White Male Imagination).” Writings are observations and critiques of the culture and cinema. Follow Tanya Steele on Twitter at @digtanya. Or on Facebook at Or visit

All Work

Tanya Steele
Tanya Steele

Commentary Race

Sandra Bland in Her Own Words

In the media, Sandra Bland’s views and political beliefs have been overshadowed by the one police encounter that ended in her death, and by her alleged suicide. We have not been given a rounded view of who she really was, which can be found, among other places, in the 29 #SandySpeaks videos she left behind.