Ben Kempas is a documentary campaigner and filmmaker.
FILM & CAMPAIGN is his new start-up based in Scotland, serving clients worldwide.
It all began 20 years ago in Germany when Ben first offered his documentary services as expressive.tv, mostly in cinematography and editing. He moved to Munich to study documentary film and TV journalism at the University of Television and Film. Remaining active until 2011, expressive.tv served clients across Europe and North America.
Believe in the power of documentary
For 12 years, Ben spent his much of his spare time co-hosting The D-Word, an online community for documentary makers. He helped grow the platform from a few hundred to more than 10,000 members worldwide, overseeing the development of bespoke networking software and a number of successful fundraising drives.
Ben managed The D-Word's joint activities with the European Documentary Network and Documentary Campus and occasionally wrote for DOX magazine, covering Hot Docs, Sunny Side of the Doc, and some stories from Germany.
Ben shot dozens of TV documentaries, mostly in Germany and the United States but also in countries like China, Cuba, or Kenya. His cinematography work includes the high-profile series MASTER CLASS OPERA.
Change is the only constant
All along, every couple of years, Ben has managed to find some time to make his own films – mostly focusing on people trying to make the world a better place. He is best known for the award-winning UPSTREAM BATTLE, about Native Americans successfully taking on an energy giant, and currently works on AND THEN YOU WIN, about four women fighting for Scottish independence.
From 2011 to 2014, Ben explored the latest tools and strategies for sustainable audience engagement at the Scottish Documentary Institute. As part of their Virtuous Circle initiative funded by Creative Scotland, he worked across a slate of feature-length docs including STEM CELL REVOLUTIONS, FUTURE MY LOVE, I AM BREATHING, PABLO'S WINTER, and the upcoming DAVID MILLAR PROJECT.
Build your independent nation
Ben was the first documentary maker to embrace NationBuilder and has been a strong advocate of this community organising system ever since, building websites and organising 'nations' for filmmakers and other clients. A certified NationBuilder Architect, Ben's thorough understanding of the documentary industry makes him unique in this field.
Also at the Scottish Documentary Institute and funded by Nesta Digital R&D Scotland, he developed the Portable Fundraiser toolset together with Distrify, offering different types of crowdfunding inside an embeddable video player.
In October 2014, Ben combined his knowledge in documentary filmmaking, campaigning and 'nationbuilding' and founded FILM & CAMPAIGN Ltd, now offering his services to everyone, anywhere.