Tony Steyger

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Tony Steyger has worked at the BBC, ITV and Channel as a producer and director and co-founded Maverick Television in Birmingham as well as The Bridge in Brighton.


After directing a documentary series for Channel 4 including the influential Paralympics '84, Tony produced for the BBC’s Emmy-award winning series Video Diaries. Here he conceived the BBC's Mass Observation series Video Nation, a camcorder anthropology of everyday life, which went on to win a European Prix Iris. Tony extended the emerging ‘first person’ documentary genre with Michelle’s Story for BBC1's 1995 Comic Relief season, winning an RTS award.  


Once the internet arrived Tony headed up the BBC's first New Media department, creating interactive programming for their new digital channels and later supervised the live stream for the debut UK series of Big Brother in 2000. Over the past few years Tony has made arts and music documentaries for BBC, ITV and Five before combining his film making with teaching and research. In 2014 he won a BUFVC Learning on Screen award for his campaigning documentary The Last Taboo.


At key moments in his career Tony has collaborated with video artist Steve Hawley, on projects such as The Science Mix (1983, Stedelijk, MoMA, NY), Language Lessons (1995, Channel 4) and, more recently, South Home Town (2015, New York Independent Film Festival).


At the heart of all his work is a desire to harness new technology to tell stories and to extend the possibilities for participatory media and authentic representation.


Official Selection, New York Independent Film Festival, 2015


A trailer for the experimental documentary South Home town, by Steve Hawley and Tony Steyger, a "stunning and poetic" evocation of a port city without an identity - Southampton, known for transit and fugue rather than the people left behind.


Tony Steyger and Steve Hawley, Directors

South Home Town (2015)


Winner, Best In-House Production at Learning on Screen Awards 2014 and Official Selection at Ethnografilm Festival, Paris 2014. Transmitted on The Community Channel.


The Last Taboo tells the stories of two remarkable Kenyan men who are helping their communities to become open defecation free (ODF) and start tackling sanitatin challenges. In Ganze village, Chief Charro takes his villagers through a remarkable “triggering” process, collecting fresh faeces and shocking his community into change. And in the slums of Nairobi, Mambo Dennis makes s**t his business, bringing people together to demand change.


Tony Steyger, Director

The Last Taboo (2013)

One of a series of films made in the 'video diary' style by Tony Steyger at Maverick Television for the BBC's Comic Relief campaign. This abridged version is the story of Michelle from Belfast, fighting her addiction to drugs and alcohol, and which went on to win an RTS award.


Tony Steyger, Producer

Comic Relief (1995)

There have been over two thousand invented languages, of which only a handful are still spoken in Britain. Using interviews with speakers of Ido, Esperanto, and Volapruk, and rare archive material, Language Lessons examines the history of the artificial language movement. The lessons take in Logopandecteision, Lips Kith, and the musical language Solresol, which can be whistled and sung as well as spoken.


Language Lessons was commissioned by Channel 4 Television and the Arts Council of England. It uses humour and irony to explore the nature of eccentricity, of language, and of our anglocentric linguistic culture. Held in the permanent collection at Fundacio La Caixa, Barcelona, the programme has been shown extensively around the world.


Tony Steyger and Steve Hawley, Directors

Language Lessons (1994)





Commissioned as part of the BBC's Teenage Diaries series, Between Two Worlds uses first person storytelling techniques to chart a year in the life of twelve year old Rachel, a new age traveller who spends her time on the road outside the school system.


Tony Steyger, Producer

Between Two Worlds (1992)

This was the first full length documentary about the Paralympics held in the UK in 1984. Commissioned by Channel 4, the film led the way for the acceptance of disabled athletes in the mainstream. This was the last time the event was held separately to the Olympic Games.


Tony Steyger, Director

Paralympics '84 (1984)

The first collaboration between Tony Steyger and Steve Hawley, this early 'scratch video' draws inspiration from Grandmaster Flash by mashing two tv commercials and speculates on the theme of science and modern life.


Tony Steyger and Steve Hawley, Directors

The Science Mix (1981)

Now a cult classic, this BBC Teenage Diary follows Chris Needham, a 17 year old aspiring rock star from Loughborough. It has become a touchstone for disaffected teenagers everywhere, raging at the world. As Chris says, “All you fogies and old people may as well switch off now!”


Tony Steyger, Producer

In Bed With Chris Needham (1992)

Made for Southampton's first spoken word festival in 2015, SO: To Speak. Author Phillip Hoare reads from his extraordinary book, The Sea Inside, about the sea and its defining effect on our soul.


Tony Steyger, Director

The Sea Inside  (2015)