Ben Russell (filmmaker)
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Ben Russell (born 1976) is an American experimental filmmaker. Russell developed his reputation over the numerous shorts he made throughout the 2000s, many as part of his "Trypps" series, and as the curator of the Magic Lantern Cinema in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2009, he made his acclaimed feature debut, Let Each One Go Where He May, shot in Suriname in a series of 13 long takes accomplished with a Steadicam.
Russell attended Brown University from 1994 to 1998, where he received a BA in art and semiotics. It was during his last year at Brown that Russell became interested in filmmaking, and shot his first film on 16mm. Afterwards, Russell traveled to Suriname with the Peace Corps. The experience inspired many of his films, and the country ended up as the setting for his first feature-length work, Let Each One Go Where He May. Early in his career, Russell befriended the English experimental filmmaker Ben Rivers and the two would later co-program a touring series of their work.
He received an MFA in film and video from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. Russell currently lives in Paris. Until 2011 he was assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Russell's work has been described as drawing on elements of ethnography, early cinema and Surrealism and some of his films have been compared to the work of the French documentary filmmaker Jean Rouch.
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