Filmmaker Ben Rekhi grew up in Silicon Valley surrounded by entrepreneurs and startup. It was not tech startups, but making films that was his passion. We sit down with Rekhi to find out why he left Silicon Valley and why he headed south to Los Angeles to become a dream merchant. There is a lot in common between technology startups and films shares Rekhi.
His journey as a film maker started by studying film at New York University. He interned for the Coen brothers production of O Brother Where Art Thou? where he says he learnt more about film production that his years as a student. He also worked with George Clooney in making a behind-the-scenes film for Confesstions of a Dangerous Mind.
Rekhi wrote and directed a couple of films and then decided and then pivoted to learn the business side of film making. “In New York you make films and in Los Angeles you make deals” shares Rekhi. He went on to get a Masters from USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program and got involved in the sale and distributions of films. It is not making film, but “how do you get it out to the world,” is what kept Rekhi occupied. “I was so hungry to learn about the distribution of films,” he shares. And his quest to learn the distribution and finance side of the films took him to India, where he spent a couple of years.
After a few years Rekhi decided to get back to writing and directing films. The result is Ashram (2018) that he directed and co-wrote and released in March 2018. He is busy with a project for PBS and a feature film called Maria that is set in the Philippines.
Ben Rekhi’s conversation is part of our interviews with Actors and Filmmakers.