Benjamin Ross Hayden has been a member of AMPIA since 2011. The young filmmaker is an ambitious creator with a distinct visual style and an interest in futuristic narratives. Hayden was recently selected as a finalist for the 2015-2016 Telefilm Micro Budget Production Program and his feature film will be moving into production this fall.
The screenwriter/ director/ producer and managing director of Manifold Pictures
is a graduate from the University of Calgary, holds a Film & Video Production diploma – with honours- from SAIT, and is the Chairman of Film Advisory for 2016/17.
Hayden attributes the 2014 Alberta Film & Television Awards as a moment that sparked concrete interest in his work. His short film Agophobia won the Rosie Award for Best Visual Effects and former Minister of Culture Heather Klimchuk made reference to Hayden in her speech on the future of filmmaking in Alberta.It was a career defining moment that demonstrated the skill and artistry behind Manifold Pictures and Hayden was approached by influential industry members who assisted in the development of his latest project.
“Things do happen when you put yourself in league with the industry associations,” Hayden said.And the momentum continues. Agophobia was a complete knock-out at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. Hayden attended the largest film festival in the world and the prestigious Producer’s Workshop. “It was my real education of the film industry at large… a big eye and door opener.” Hayden gained a development deal with Canadian executive producers Adam Beach, Jeremy Torrie and Jim Compton as a result.
Hayden is proud that his first feature film will be 100% Canadian, from cast to crew. The Edict portrays fictional tribal society and explores a different core of mythology and Canada’s ancestral past. Inspired by the films by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall
) and the Wachowski’s sci-fi epic, Cloud Atlas
, Hayden is excited to develop his voice and visual style in a futuristic setting.“There’s more to considering the future than utopia/dystopia. I think where humanity is heading is somewhere down the middle. The future is uncertain and the perfect playground for a filmmaker. It’s a new frontier.”
Hayden’s ambitions have cut through the typical safeguards that can hold a young filmmaker back. An unknown creative or a first-time director on a feature can be viewed as a financial risk to producers. Being a hyphenated triple threat allows him to stay true to his vision and see his projects through to the end. “I don’t have to pitch someone of the vision. It’s a sci-fi world I am growing that is already established.”
His advice to aspiring filmmakers is to start as soon as possible and make your mark in the industry, and he’s doing a fantastic job at demonstrating how to do just that.
Principal photography is expected to begin in October 2015 in the Alberta Badlands and across the province.
EDICT (2015) – Trailer from Benjamin Ross Hayden on Vimeo.