Steven's first feature, HIT ME, based upon a novel by Jim Thompson
, was released in August, l998 by Castle Hill to strong critical raves for Elias Koteas
' (FALLEN, EXOTICA, CRASH, THE THIN RED LINE) performance as a high-strung loser who gets drawn into a hotel robbery gone awry. HIT ME also starred William H. Macy
and Laure Marsac, a Cesar Award-winning actress in France. The film screened at numerous festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Athens International Film Festival, and the Stockholm International Film Festival. In addition to his feature work, Steven is a principal director at one of advertising's fastest growing production companies, Lunch. Over the last several years, he has directed over twenty television commercials, including spots for Time Warner, Chanel Perfume, and Miller Beer. Steven also has been a guest lecturer at the USC School of Film and Television, Columbia School of Cinema, and the American Film Institute. SECRETARY is his second feature-length film.
Steven Shainberg received a B.A. in English Literature and East Asian Studies from Yale University. After graduation he worked on numerous films, commercials, and rock videos in a variety of capacities: as location manager, assistant director, production coordinator, grip, and assistant editor. Subsequently, Steven worked as an independent producer, developing several screenplays, including ANGELS with Denis Johnson (JESUS' SON) and adaptations of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent and Henry James' The Americans. He then entered The American Film Institute where he directed four short films, all of which he wrote or co-wrote. The last of these, THE PROM, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and J.T. Walsh, won the Grand Prize at the Houston International Film Festival, the Critic's Award at the Breckenridge Festival in Colorado, and the Silver Medal for Drama at the New York Festival. THE PROM screened at many International festivals, including the Torino Festival in Italy, the San Sebastian Festival in Spain, and the Tokyo International Film Festival. MR. VIRIL, a series of six short films Steven made in l998, ran for almost six months in rotation on MTV. At the same time, a video for Debbie Harry, Strike Me Pink, was in rotation.