Coming from a background in documentary cinematography and award-winning filmmaking, Ben Kempas has been focusing on campaigns around films in recent years, recognising how documentaries can influence public opinion and trigger social change.
Clients across Europe and North America hire Ben as strategic consultant or active outreach producer to identify and engage target audiences, create networks and partnerships, produce additional content, and build action-focused NationBuilder websites.
Ben is a frequent consultant, speaker and tutor at film industry events across Europe.
Believing in the power of documentary
It all began more than 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.
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, also overseeing the development of bespoke networking software and a number of successful fundraising drives.
A worldwide community of documentary professionals
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 credits include 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 TIME TRIAL.
Build your independent nations
Ben was the first documentary maker to embrace NationBuilder and has been a strong advocate of this campaigning software ever since, building websites and organising 'nations' for filmmakers and other clients. A certified NationBuilder Architect since 2012, 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.
More than 50 clients across Europe and North America
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.
Over the company's first 1000 days, we have served over 50 international clients: production and distribution companies, film industry events, and NationBuilder users – with the longest-running projects being BUGSfeed and Moving Docs.
Ben runs FILM & CAMPAIGN together with Aga Slawinska who is in charge of client relations and community management. We also work with many freelancers in the field, including animators, graphic designers and copywriters. As part of our team, journalist Jen Stout and award-winning author Kirstin Innes have been writing additional content, engaging audiences and broadening our clients' reach very effectively.