Benedict Campbell is a writer and director focused on fictional dramas for short and feature films. His interest in filmmaking grew from photography and he studied film & television at New York University.
His short film, LLOYD NECK, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and screened at 20 international film festivals. The film won Best Director at the HollyShorts Festival. His short documentary, THE WATCH & THE WAR, premiered on the watch news website hodinkee.com.
He recently completed A QUAKER SOUND, a short film that screened at the 2017 Provincetown Film Festival. Benedict was a Teaching Artist at The Ghetto Film School and he is developing THE HIGH BRIDGE, a feature film about a teenager confronting fatherhood in the Bronx.
A Q&A WITH FILMSHOP BREAKTHROUGH SERIES 2018 FEATURED ARTIST Benedict campbell...
What was the inspiration for your project?
I started writing “The High Bridge” as a feature a few years ago when I realized the subject of teenage fathers was rare in film and television. Teen dads are usually portrayed negatively as absent, uncaring or unloving, and the stories we see tend to focus on the experience of the mom. My friend grew up in the Bronx and had children at 16. I was inspired by his story and realized it’s one we hardly ever see.
How did the Filmshop community contribute to its development?
I brought the script for the short film to Filmshop before I presented the feature script. It helped me stress test whether the characters could work in a short and whether three scenes would give the audience enough. You’re not getting the whole story but I like when shorts suggest there is more to the world the characters are in. The room was split on some scenes, and there is definitely feedback from Filmshop members that made it to the screen.
What might Filmmaker Magazine say about your project?
They might say that “The High Bridge” avoids raising the stakes. The focus is on a father trying to figure out what he should do and the film lingers on moments that can be tense or tender.
I’m submitting to film festivals in 2019 and I’m figuring out the best way and timing to share the film online. The goal is to launch the feature so that is ultimately guiding the steps I’ll take with the short. I’ll continue assembling the package for the feature so it’s ready to go when people see the short and want to learn more.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I’m a Quaker and an eagle scout with a cat named Mo’nique.