Ben was the director/producer/director of photography/writer of A Summer in the Cage, a feature-length documentary about bipolar disorder that premiered on Sundance Channel in October 2007 and is being distributed for home video by Indiepix Films, for educational by 7th Art Releasing and for digital content by Cinetic Rights Management (CRM). A Summer in the Cage won the 2009 Mental Health America Media Award in the Documentary Category. The film also received an honorable mention at the 2009 Voice Awards and was nominated for a 2008 Prism Award for Bipolar Disorder Depiction by the Entertainment Industries Council. A Summer in the Cage has screened internationally in film festivals and partnered with mental health groups to bring awareness and community to those patients and family members coping with mood disorders.
Ben Selkow and A Summer in the Cage were featured on the cover of Wesleyan University’s alumni magazine in an article entitled “Focus on the Truth” by Katherine Jamieson.
Ben produced the feature documentary film The Carrier for first-time director Maggie Betts. The film is about a young mother Mutinta, a Zambian subsistence farmer in a polygamous marriage who has just learned she is HIV positive. Newly pregnant, Mutinta does everything she can to protect her unborn baby while navigating complicated family dynamics and village politics. The Carrier sculpts a sensitive observational portrait of one woman's struggle leading up to her newborn's birth. The film will premiere in the World Documentary Competition section of the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.
Recently, Ben was selected as a Fellow for The Carter Center’s 2010-2011 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism for his documentary Buried Above Ground. The fellowship program is part of the Carter Center's Mental Health Program, which works around the world to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses and to decrease incorrect and stereotypical information. The program also seeks to increase access to mental health services and inform mental health public policy. Ben also was selected to participate in The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma’s 2010 conference entitled “When Veterans Come Home: A Workshop for Working Journalists” at The Carter Center in Atlanta, GA. The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is dedicated to informed, effective and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy.
With his project Buried Above Ground, Ben was selected to participate in The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma’s 2010 conference entitled “When Veterans Come Home: A Workshop for Working Journalists” at The Carter Center in Atlanta, GA. The workshop featured a wide range of leading mental health and policy experts, award-winning journalists and veterans’ advocates, in addition to opening speaker Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is dedicated to informed, effective and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy.
In 2007, Ben was honored as one of 50 Non-Fiction Filmmakers at the Current TV/Fader Films Symposium “A Day of Dialogue and the Future of Non-Fiction Film," featuring keynote speaker former Vice President Nobel Prize honoree, Academy Award winner and Current TV founder Al Gore, as well as luminary documentarians Barbara Kopple, Albert Maysles, Alex Gibney, and Marc Levin.
Ben was the Co-Producer of Onward Christian Soldier, a feature-length documentary film about fugitive bomber and domestic terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph and was a participant with the film in the highly selective Sundance Producer’s Conference at the Sundance Institute in 2003.
Ben first became interested in film after seeing his mother, a psychologist, being featured in the National Film Board of Canada documentary L’Interdit (1976), about an alternative commune for treating schizophrenics in Canada. Ben is a member of the Independent Film Project (IFP) the International Documentary Association (IDA), as well as being fiscally sponsored by the IDA. Ben was born in Montréal, Canada and is a dual-citizen.
Ben holds Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Film Studies and African-American Studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where he received the W.E.B. DuBois Academic Award for Overall Excellence. He received a certificate from the School for International Training in Tanzania, East Africa.
He resides in Brooklyn, NY.