Based in Canada
Not to pull the curtain back too far here… but Jonathan is the one writing this biography. He finds it awkward having to refer to himself in the third person, but seeing as that’s what everybody seems to be doing, he’ll play along. And no, he would not jump off a cliff, he’s got too much going on to even consider that.
This is the part where he opens strong, going on about how he was mentored by Oscar winners Vilmos Zigmond and Laszlo Kovacs. Hoping that the legendary cinematographers had sprinkled some of their Genius Dust ™ he went off into the world as a director of photography shooting films, docu-series, and music videos… But something was missing. The narcissist in him thought “I can direct”.
For the past decade Mr. Bensimon (too much?) has been directing and serving as his own cinematographer (he really has a passion for this stuff and has found a unique way for him to blend the two crafts.) His visual style has allowed him to work in multiple genres, all the way from comedy to documentary.
Jonathan has been lucky enough to travel the world working in film, TV and advertising. He’s won a number of awards along the way, but still no Oscar, Palm D’or, Lion, or Emmy. So, until then, he regards awards as meaningless and superficial. Nonetheless, after writing this bio, and considering the amount of visually poetic (i.e. artsy-fartsy) images he creates Jonathan feels like, maybe he does deserve to refer to himself in the third person. Jonathan is presently childless, splitting his time between L.A. and Toronto -where he is constantly creating to fill the void.
Siri, read that back to me.
Beginning her career in Los Angeles, Courtney Dixon had early success in the digital media space and has since been working with many well-known brands. One of her first branded documentary gigs came from a Craigslist ad. Yes- actually, Craigslist. Ironically, it was through that project that she found a love of documentary filmmaking…and from another Craigslist ad, a killer, vintage loveseat which, sadly, went tumbling down the 101, but that is a story for another time.
Courtney is deeply focused on the power of the individual voice and applies a creative, stylized approach to her work. She uses her voice to help inspire empathy and raise awareness, or, to simply leave a lasting impression.
With her first project, the ones that followed, and the ones to come, her passion for this type of storytelling, which includes discovering the magic and authenticity of the moment, continues to grow.
Her work has been featured in festivals such as Tribeca, SXSW, DOCNYC, The Webby Awards, and when she is not working with brands, Courtney immerses herself in passion projects and writing the occasional Craigslist post.
“The Green Light” Short Film Teaser
“Let Yourself Rest: Life With Narcolepsy” Short Film (6min)
Based in Germany
Christopher Schlierf studied film and animation before he started a very successful career as a director. He won over a dozen prizes for his emotional, suspenseful or dialog-driven short films and commercials. Benjamin Kratzin’s background as a photographer and VFX supervisor formed his visual style and deep knowledge about state-of-the-art technology very early on. Always interested in new techniques that support his desire for creating unique visions, he became a very successful director in the commercial world.
Ben and Chris, partnered in 2015 as The Directors Duo, live for visionary storytelling that is fully packed with big scope and cinematic pictures. The Duo are driven by passion for thrilling, emotional stories, fast pace dynamic action sequences and highly stylized filmic visions. Both loves to go the extra mile to create the best work possible in every project they work on.
Alex’s career began as a copywriter in San Francisco. He moved to L.A. where he studied with the Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade as he continued his writing and directing career. His first feature film, Hickey, won best directing honors at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival and went on to competition at SXSW. Adweek named his work for Alliance Francaise as one of the top fifteen campaigns in the world. The campaign swept every major awards festival, making Alex the most awarded comedy director in the world for 2017/18.
In addition to directing, he currently performs stand-up around the country, including gigs at The World Famous Comedy Store, Flappers, and Stand-Up NY.
Sam Jones is an acclaimed photographer and director whose seminal portraits of President Obama, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Bob Dylan, Kristin Stewart, Robert Downey Jr, Amy Adams, Jack Nicholson, and many others have appeared on the covers of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Esquire, GQ, Time, Entertainment Weekly and Men’s Journal. His photos have received numerous awards from American Photography, Communication Arts and Life magazine’s respected Eisie award; and his image for the cover of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was published in “The Greatest Album Covers of All Time”.
Jones is also an acclaimed director, creating numerous commercials for Nespresso, One Plus, Skype, Sonos, Canon, Target, Dove and many others. In addition, Jones’ is a sought-after documentarian and music video director who won MTV’s music video of the year for Foo Fighters “Walk”. In 2013 he launched “Off Camera with Sam Jones” on Directv’s Audience Network. Off Camera is an hour-long show created out of his passion for long form conversational interviews. Via worldwide broadcast, online magazine, and podcast, Jones shares his conversations with the artists, actors, and musicians who fascinate and inspire him most.
Steven Leckart is an Emmy-winning writer, director, and investigative journalist who has interviewed everyone from crooked DEA agents and serial bank robbers to female bull riders and 1980’s pro wrestlers like The Iron Sheik.
Raised by New Yorkers in Los Angeles, Steven spent a decade living in San Francisco, where he attended the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley and began his career as a freelance journalist. On assignment for publications like Wired, Esquire, Men’s Health, The New York Times, Popular Science, and Maxim, Steven was tear gassed on an Army base in Missouri, performed as a pro mascot in San Francisco, and ate the world’s hottest pepper in Ohio.
Steven is also the writer and managing editor of Cabin Porn, a New York Times bestseller about hand-built architecture that has been translated into several languages. According to Powell’s Books, “It’s sweet to look at beautiful photos of woodsy cabins… But the stories about the work behind the cabins — that’s the magic.”
Steven’s directorial debut is CHALLENGER: THE FINAL FLIGHT, a four-part documentary about the space shuttle that Steven developed, produced, and co-directed for Netflix. Executive produced by Bad Robot, the series was called “insightful, deeply moving” by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Steven’s other documentary work includes writing WHAT’S MY NAME: MUHAMMAD ALI, an Emmy- and PGA Award-winning two-part documentary directed by Antoine Fuqua. Steven also co-executive produced and wrote INSIDE BILL’S BRAIN: DECODING BILL GATES, a three-part series for Netflix that was created by Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim. The first documentary Steven wrote was ALL THINGS MUST PASS: THE RISE & FALL OF TOWER RECORDS, a feature which Newsweek called “disarmingly intimate.”
For Steven, the best part of filmmaking has been transitioning away from writing alone at a desk to collaborating on set and in the edit with other creatives.