Steven Bognar is an independent filmmaker based in the Dayton area. His films, both documentary and fiction, have screened around the world. His first film, PERSONAL BELONGINGS, tells the story of his father Bela Bognar, WSU professor emeritus in Social Work. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened on the PBS series P.O.V., and won top awards at film festivals around the world.
Steven’s short documentary PICTURE DAY also premiered at Sundance, screened at the Guggenheim Museum, and was named one of the outstanding short documentaries of 2000 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Steven’s short documentary WAITING FOR MARTY was broadcast on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) and his short narrative film GRAVEL also premiered at Sundance, won numerous awards at film festivals and screened on the Sundance Channel.
Steven’s collaboration with his partner Julia Reichert on the documentary feature A LION IN THE HOUSE spanned 9 years.The resulting film, about kids and families fighting cancer, is, at 4 hours, the longest film ever selected for the Sundance Film Festival. A LION IN THE HOUSE screened in film festivals and venues around the world, winning multiple top prizes.
The film was cited on the floor of Congress as a significant contribution to understanding childhood cancer. A LION IN THE HOUSE was broadcast as a two-part primetime special on PBS, and continues to be used extensively in medical education around the country, including at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. The film was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award, and was awarded the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film, and the national, primetime Emmy award for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking.
Steven has been awarded funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Creative Capital Foundation, the Soros Documentary Fund, the Ohio Arts Council, the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control. In 2006, he was named Individual Artist of the Year by the Ohio Governor’s Awards, the state’s highest honor in the arts.
Steven Bognar has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Yale and Stanford Universities, among numerous others. He is a former assistant professor in Media Arts at Antioch College, and has for twenty years worked as an artist-in-residence in schools around the state through the Ohio Arts Council.