Founder & Campaign Strategist
Coming from a background in documentary cinematography and award-winning filmmaking, Ben has spent the last 12 years developing and organising campaigns around films, also recognising how documentaries can influence public opinion and trigger social change. Ben is the founder and company director of Film & Campaign Ltd.
Clients across Europe and North America hire Ben as strategic consultant or hands-on outreach producer to identify and engage target audiences, create networks and partnerships, organise grassroots events, produce additional content or virtual screenings, and build action-focused websites.
As a producer of marketing and distribution at the Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) from 2011 to 2014, and since 2014 with his Scottish-based company Film & Campaign Ltd, Ben has worked on high-profile projects including DIE KINDER DER UTOPIE (mobilising 20,000 visitors in 170 German cinemas on a single nationwide day of action), FREE TRIP TO EGYPT (developing the #PledgeToListen), I AM BREATHING (hosting a global screening day across 50 countries), FUTURE MY LOVE (inventing ‘pay-it-forward’ VOD distribution), BUGS (building BUGSfeed, a story universe about edible insects), and Moving Docs, a pan-European initiative for audience development. He currently runs the UK-wide impact campaign for THE OIL MACHINE.
Throughout his work, Ben has been focusing on the best solutions for showing films online, from pushing the limits of VOD self-distribution to enabling remote participation in live events. More recently, triggered by the pandemic and commissioned by the Doc Society, he has been testing different ways of live-producing impact screenings online, with all guests joining remotely, yet preserving the feeling of a live event to the best extent possible.
A native German, Ben is also on a mission to promote the concept of social impact documentary in German-speaking countries and currently developing campaigns for these countries.
Ben specialises in adapting NationBuilder campaigning software for outreach work around films like TIME TRIAL, AWAKE - THE LIFE OF YOGANANDA, SEVEN SONGS FOR A LONG LIFE, BIKES VS CARS, and for organisations like SDI, Aconite Productions, Auto Images, Meridian Hill Pictures, Danish Documentary, WG Film, Fathers Network Scotland, or Van Jones’s Magic Labs Media.
Ben is well-known in the documentary industry from his time as volunteer co-host of The D-Word (2002 to 2014), helping to build a worldwide online community of more now than 20,000 documentary professionals.
He is a frequent consultant, speaker and tutor at film industry events across Europe.
Amaya Bañuelos Marco
Amaya joined Film & Campaign in August 2023 to coordinate impact campaigns for a number of documentaries, beginning with the second phase of our campaign for THE OIL MACHINE with a focus on politics and international activities.
Amaya is a film curator and educator with a passion for creative documentaries and film education. Originally from Spain and since 2013 based in Scotland, she has vast experience in the world of film festivals and is keen on finding innovative ways of connecting audiences, particularly young ones, with urgent films.
Amaya also delivers film educational events for children aged 7 to 17 for the BFI and produces film events for Cinetopia. Amaya is passionate about sustainability and the environment, and is an active travel campaigner in Edinburgh.
Admin and Client Relations Manager
Aga has been part of Film & Campaign since our beginnings and is in charge of client relations, database maintenance, bookkeeping, human resources, and general admin.
Originally having trained to become a teacher in Poland, she moved to Scotland in 2005 and worked for Scottish Power, Adam & Company, and RBS Private Banking. After becoming a mother, she didn’t want to return to the corporate world and joined Film & Campaign in 2014.
Since then, she’s been the clockwork keeping things running behind the scenes.
Rachel was employed by Film & Campaign in 2022 and 2023 to help deliver the impact campaign for THE OIL MACHINE and develop campaign proposals for a number of other new titles.
With over 25 years of experience in the film industry, she is passionate about storytelling as a catalyst for social and environmental change.
In 2010, she founded and launched the San Francisco Green Film Festival, the region's first environmental public programme of any kind. During her ten-years tenure as CEO, she grew the festival into one of the largest and most influential events within the field globally. She has also held positions with film organisations in the UK and USA, including the Edinburgh, BFI London, and SFFILM International Film Festivals, and was Festival Director of the International Ocean Film Festival.
Rachel is an active committee member of the Green Film Network, a global association of 30+ film festivals that supports the diversity and strength of environmental filmmaking worldwide. In 2021, she produced Scotland’s Climate Festival, a nationwide community events programme funded by the Scottish Government to engage the public in COP26.
Rachel holds a MA in Cinema & Television Studies from the British Film Institute (BFI) and is a Documentary Chapter member of BAFTA. She has been a guest lecturer on Environmental Communications at UC Berkeley and has served as a festival juror at several international film festivals.
Rachel has recently launched LandxSea, Scotland's first climate-focused film festival in Montrose.
Chris is a writer and researcher with a PhD in Communication and Media Studies. First as an employee of Film & Campaign and later as a freelancer, Chris has been our researcher, analyst, copywriter – and brilliant extra brain. Most recently, he helped shape the impact campaign After THE OIL MACHINE, working on development, funding applications, and stakeholder portraits.
Chris has bylines in Prospect, Tribune, The Herald, Scotland on Sunday, The National, openDemocracy, Bella Caledonia, DeSmog, and Sceptical Scot. He has produced podcasts and events for the Traverse Theatre, The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, and Citizens Theatre.
In January 2023, he took on a job as full-time lecturer at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.
Jen is a freelance journalist, writer, and radio producer who has often worked with Film & Campaign to support the release of films with a wider story universe around their subject matter.
Jen played a crucial role in building a content platform around the release of the film BUGS, exploring the world of edible insects. BUGSfeed turned into an amazing journey of discovery, curious but never commercial, pitching the need to feed the world sustainably against our feelings of disgust. She also placed the release of the film A GOOD AMERICAN (about an NSA whistleblower whose insights may have prevented the 9/11 attacks) in the context of new surveillance legislation in the UK which drew a lot of extra attention to the film.
Jen has since worked as a broadcast journalist for BBC Scotland’s news programme The Nine and for BBC Radio Shetland. She is currently a freelance journalist specialising in in-depth reports from Ukraine for BBC radio, newspapers and magazines.
Lia is a communications specialist based in Heidelberg, Germany, who has worked with Film & Campaign on the acclaimed campaign around DIE KINDER DER UTOPIE (Children of Utopia) in 2019 and who has since worked on the development and project management of a campaign around the Swiss production WER SIND WIR? (Who are we?).
Lia focuses on communications always being bespoke rather than out-of-the-box.
Originally from Spain, Mar is the director of IberoDocs, the first showcase for Ibero-American culture in Scotland, focussing on documentary films by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American filmmakers, which she founded in 2013.
This made her the ideal choice to work on our campaign development for APENAS EL SOL (Nothing But The Sun), Arami Ulon’s film on the plight of the Ayoreo people in Paraguay that went from being the opening film of IDFA to becoming Paraguay’s official candidate for the Oscars race.
Mar worked with Film & Campaign from 2021 to 2022 to develop bilngual impact proposals and scope potential partner organisations.
Based in Munich, Germany, Dubi is a freelance author and producer for broadcast formats focusing on travel, history and science. She studied history and politics in Munich and Bordeaux. More recently, she has been focusing on image films both for corporations like BMW or Telefonica and for organisations working in healthcare and social care.
The birth of her daughter with Down syndrome made her focus on inclusion. In parallel to her work, she has studied special education and inclusive pedagogy.
The combination of both of these backgrounds made her the ideal person to work as an outreach producer for our campaign around DIE KINDER DER UTOPIE (Children of Utopia) and for the campaign development for WER SIND WIR? (Who are we?).
Kirstin is an award-winning arts journalist, novelist, arts publicist and playwright with two decades of experience working at various levels in the Scottish arts world. For Film & Campaign, she has written many posts about films that were part of the Moving Docs network, such as BECOMING ZLATAN and DOLPHIN MAN, to create a story universe around these titles.
She is the author of two novels: Fishnet (winner of The Guardian ‘Not The Booker Prize’ 2015; published by Black & White in UK and Scout Press in the US/Canada) and Scabby Queen (published by 4th Estate April 2020), and co-authored a non-fiction book Brickwork: A Biography of The Arches (Salamander Street, 2021). She regularly writes for radio and has a column in The Press and Journal.
Case study – key challenges:
- How do you make a film stand out when it is one of dozens of climate documentaries released that year?
- How do you keep your film relevant when the context is changing by the day due to current political and economic turmoil?
- How do you encourage people to watch a heavyweight film on the big screen at a time when cinema audiences are worryingly shrinking everywhere, especially for documentaries?
Case study: WER SIND WIR? (Who are we?) is a bold documentary from Switzerland by Edgar Hagen which has inspired us to develop a campaign for greater togetherness between people with and without disabilities.Read more
- Client: Liz Marschall, LizMars Productions, British Columbia
- Livestream producer: Ben Kempas, Film & Campaign
- Event producers: Talia Woodland, LizMars Productions; Erin Sorensen, Third Stage
- Audience platform: Doc Sessions and Eventive
- Impact evaluation: Che Green
Shortly after its festival premiere we produced an online brain trust event for this multi-award winning feature on lab cultivated meat. Since then, the team behind MEAT THE FUTURE has gone on to develop a stand-out impact campaign to bring their message to a wide-range of audiences. This private online event brought together voices from the emerging cellular agriculture industry, impact producers, and the wider documentary community.Read more
- Client: Dan Edelstyn, Optimistic Productions, London
- Livestream producer: Ben Kempas, Film & Campaign
- Audience platforms: Eventive and Vimeo Live feeding into Kartra
Hillary Powell and Dan Edelstyn’s Grierson-nominated film BANK JOB is about debt and our often misunderstood relationship to it. It was described by the Financial Times as a ‘jape with a gravely serious centre.’ So it was always going to require a unique impact event to match its idiosyncratic flavour.Read more
Responding to the big challenges of our times, PBS’s FUTURE OF WORK series looks at the many different issues confronting America’s changing workforce.Read more
FAST FORWARD is a PBS documentary about how to age successfully.
In connection with the film, we produced a live panel together with Third Stage called Look Into Your Future: Millennials, Baby Boomers and Caregiving.
The event was hosted by multimedia artist and millennial caregiver Jacquelyn Joyce a.k.a. @momofmymom who did an extraordinary job ("I stutter. It's not your Wifi acting up.").Read more
Case study: Our biggest campaign yet, with a nationwide day of action beating the blockbusters and changing audiences' attitudes.
- Film director and producer: Hubertus Siegert, SUMO Film
- Campaign host organisation: Christine von Kirschbaum / Eva Thomas / Tina Sander, mittendrin e.V.
- Campaign strategist: Ben Kempas, Film & Campaign
- Fundraiser and spokesperson: Raul Krauthausen
- Content and social media producer: Suse Bauer
- Publicity: Edith Kleibel, Media Office
- Influencer communications: Lia Gänzler
- Outreach managers: Dubi Petrak, Film & Campaign / Tanja Grundmann, mittendrin e.V.
- Databases and event publishing: Aga Slawinska, Film & Campaign
- Graphic design: Propaganda B
- Website build and publishing: Film & Campaign
- Campaign funders: Aktion Mensch / SAP / Bertelsmann Stiftung / DATEV / Randstad Stiftung
The biggest campaign we’ve ever worked on, DIE KINDER DER UTOPIE (Children of Utopia) would find itself competing with cinema blockbusters thanks to innovative outreach work bringing the first ever 'cinema on demand' campaign to hundreds of screens in cities and towns all over Germany.
From the earliest stages of this project, it was clear that this film, about inclusive education, already had several of the crucial ingredients required to build a compelling campaign – a strong message, a great cast and creative team, and a fresh perspective on a topical issue.
But the task of bringing those qualities to the fore was far from simple. Like many independent docs, Children of Utopia’s distinctive voice risked being lost in the clamour for attention in an industry where funding and high-profile exhibition slots can make the difference between success and failure.Read more
Case study: How a timely micro-campaign for the world premiere at a key industry festival can put a film on the map.
- Director: Olivier Magis
- Producer: Hanne Phlypo, Clin d'oeil films
- Campaign strategist: Ben Kempas, Film & Campaign
- Outreach and copywriting: Chris Silver, Film & Campaign