Montana Public Radio

How Mike Steinberg Merges Wildlife Conservation, Performing Arts And Independent Cinema

Mar 9, 2020

What’s the common thread between wildlife conservation, performing arts and independent cinema? That would be Mike Steinberg, a gifted leader in community non-profit entrepreneurship in Montana. Mike is Executive Director of both the International Wildlife Film Festival and Missoula’s Roxy Theater.

The Roxy moviehouse operated from 1937 until a fire destroyed the building in 1994. That disaster became an opening for the International Wildlife Film Festival, a juried Missoula film festival founded in 1977. The IWFF purchased the Roxy in 2002, shaping the space into a combination of festival HQ, kids’ film academy, and wildlife film incubator.

Mike Steinberg.
Credit Courtesy

In 2013, Mike took over as IWFF festival director. He launched year-round movie programming, which transformed the Roxy into today’s double-headed incarnation. It’s simultaneously a community art house movie theater and home base for the world’s longest-running wildlife film festival – not to mention a hub for live comedy, music and theater.

What’s Mike’s vision for the two prospering organizations? What have vinyl records got to do with it? And is it true that he got fired from Hollywood not once, but three times? Listen now on Can Do: Lessons from Savvy Montana Entrepreneurs, to learn the secrets behind Mike Steinberg’s dual roles.

Production support for “Can Do” comes from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, dedicated to investing in people to improve the quality of their lives. And from the Greater Montana Foundation, encouraging communication on issues, trends and values of importance to Montanans. And from Blackfoot, providing communications solutions for Montana businesses. Plus opportunities like C2M Beta, an innovation lab aimed at helping startups thrive. C2Mbeta.com.