Director's Bio

Photo: Errisson Lawrence

Ben Proudfoot

Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Age: 21

Ben Proudfoot is a sleight-of-hand magician and an award-winning filmmaker from Halifax. A recent graduate of the University of Southern California, the 21-year-old has directed the acclaimed short films Dinner with Fred and ink&paper. An avid squash player, Proudfoot currently resides in Los Angeles and is developing his first feature movie, a true story set in Oceana County, Michigan.

Name three of your interests (not film-related) and one pet peeve. 

I like cooking elaborate dishes with the people I love, I have an undying passion for typography and I'm a sponge for anything about the early lives of great individuals in history. My pet peeve? Chewing gum.

What is your favourite movie?

At the moment, my favourite movie is Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington because it still makes me well up with tears, even though I've watched it more times than I care to admit.

When did you make your first film?

My first bona fide movie (besides little ones I made for fun with my pals as a kid) was Dinner with Fred. It's a lemons-to-lemonade story about my grandfather who was a breakthrough poultry geneticist during WWII.

Sum up your film, ink&paper, in a 5-word sentence. 

Dear craftspeople: hang in there.

Which films or directors inspire you?   

I'm inspired by the old masters: Capra, Ford, Hitchcock, Disney, Lean. I also love newer directors like Peter Weir and Steven Spielberg and I was recently floored by first-time feature director Benh Zeitlin’s magical film Beasts of the Southern Wild.

What's your motto as a filmmaker?

I don't know if I know the answer to that yet. Maybe something like 'a story worth telling is a story worth telling well'. 

What's your dream film project?

There are a lot. I'm a frustrated musical director, for one. I'd love to do a musical sometime before I die.

You're also a sleight-of-hand magician. What's your most impressive trick?

 I'll think I'll keep that a mystery...

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