Most recently seen in the celebrated 2020 Oscar-nominated film “Crip Camp”, Ben Levine’s award-winning work expands uses of documentary video from storytelling to engaging both the film and the filmmaking process to motivate social change, address injustice and trauma stories, and revive endangered languages. A documentary filmmaker who trained as a clinical psychologist, Ben teaches an approach that offers the opportunity to achieve visual and thematic intimacy with subjects where cultural differences, trauma, or marginalization affect communication. Often people are motivated to talk about what they have never been able to share openly before.
One of the methods he developed with the Camp Jened footage he shot, featured in “Crip Camp,” is using video feedback to deepen and recall emotional response that stimulates creative action to further the story. Available on Netflix, “Crip Camp” was executive produced by Michelle and Barack Obama, and was co-directed by James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham. Ben’s filmmaking has been supported by major grants from the Administration for Native Americans, FEMA, the US Department of Justice, the National Science Foundation, the CDC, many family foundations, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.