Daily Trojan: "Cinematic arts students tackle questions of gender"8/15/2014: "Unlike in other stories of garage successes and Harvard dropouts, Kadie and Flynn didn’t need to leave USC to pursue their dream of producing their short film “Blackroot.” Rather, late night dorm room discussions and the atmosphere of the B.F.A. in Film and TV Production program have helped them create “Blackroot,” a short film set in 1967 that portrays a transgender Native American teen’s meeting with white hippie hopefuls in the woodlands of Washington." ... More>
Raising Money for Blackroot, a Drama Set in 1967March 24, 2013: We have reached our minimum fundraising goal, but additional donations are needed to cover music and festival submission fees. Please see our IndieGoGo page!
The fifteen minute film will tell the story of an American Indian teen named RT who struggles with their gender identity, the death of their grandmother, and now, the sudden appearance of four white teenagers who enlist their help in the search for a hallucinogenic mushroom called Blackroot.
The production team is lead by film students from across the county. Jack Flynn and I (USC) write, direct, and produce. Sam Wolff (NYU) directs photography. Tyler Brown (U. of Washington) is the local producer. See the production's Facebook page for more news.
Daily Trojan: "USC students produce Bollywood-type film"1/14/2014: "In a universe where India conquers the West Coast of the United States, Bollywood becomes the top film industry in the world. [...] Sarah Jones, the film’s producer, and Ben Kadie, the film’s director, share the details of how the film came to fruition. [...] Don’t miss out on the most exciting, and possibly the biggest, student project yet!" ... More>
Best Special Effects Award for Teen/Parent/Graffiti Film10/9/2013: On Sunday in New York City's Times Square, the All-American High School Film Festival The Painted Girl The Painted Girl
Return to Comic-Conthe nation's largest pop culture convention. Ben's film Sparks in the Night, a 2009 film noir parody, will screen as part of the children's film program, curated by San Diego International Children's Film Festival. Last year, Comic-Con screened Secret Club. Other programs at this year's Comic-Con include panels with actors Hugh Jackman and Simon Pegg.
Ben is hard at work on Big Silver Nights, his next film, and won't be able to personally attend the convention. (The new film, also a comedy, recently started fund raising.)
Sparks in the Night screens Sunday at 3:30pm in room 9.
Ben to Receive Medal in DC CeremonyCommission on Presidential Scholars, established in 1964 by executive order of the President, has designated Ben a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. The award, based on artistic and academic achievements, is the highest scholastic honor available to graduating high school seniors. The 20 Scholars in the Arts will join 121 other scholars to receive medals at a ceremony in Washington, DC. Also, on Sunday, June 16, the Smithsonian American Art Museum will screen the films of the two Cinematic Arts winners: Ben's The Painted Girl and his friend Cameron Covell's The Most Beautiful Thing. The screening is free.
Seven Screenings in Six Days for The Painted GirlToronto Student Film Fest,.
On Saturday, the film plays the San Francisco International Film Festival. Last year SFIFF screened Secret Club and two years before that Arizona International Film Festival in Tucson. Ben's grandparents will attend and have, they say, recruited many friends. Also, on Saturday, the film will play West Chester Film Festival (Pennsylvania) which last year showed Mack.
On Sunday, the film will screen at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Cast member Molly Berg, who now lives in Irvine, will attend. Last year, Secret Club played the festival. Two years before that Sparks in the Night won the festival's top youth award. In 2009, the festival showed A Friendly Game.
Also on Sunday, The Painted Girl plays National Film Festival for Talented Youth. This is 17-year-old Ben Kadie's record seventh year and eighth film in NFFTY. This screening will be the film's local première, so expect most of the cast and crew will be in attendance.
Finally, on Wednesday May 1st, the film screens at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival on a program of short films about woman that "tells the beautiful, intricate, and even hilarious stories of women as they embark into the world of love, loss, and everything in between." This will be the film's first LGBT festival screening.
Big Silver Nights World Première at NFFTY in April[5/6/2014 Follow up: Thanks for a great première! The film won the "Powerful Grit" Audience Award. Here are family pictures.]
Big Silver Nights will premiere at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY).
The story follows a pair of unlikely friends on one reckless night. Walter is a 60-year-old part time drug dealer and P.B. is a literal-minded, truth-obsessed 16-year-old kid.
Co-Winner of Semester-Long Storytelling Game Run by the USC School of Cinematic ArtsMinnie Schedeen Most Outstanding Project of the Season award (the top project award), bout 90 students participated with at least one project. The game encourages collaboration among the students by giving everyone who contributes to a project the full points of that project.
Project award details:
Most Outstanding Project
of the Season (tied, top award): “For
a Penny”, with Amanda Kang, Jack Flynn,
Kathryn Riccitiello and Kyle Hrabe. A short
documentary in which the group tries to buy
things for a penny from people on campus … 400
Additional Award Nominations --
Outstanding Project of the Season:
Storytelling Horse Race and
School of Bollywood Arts.
Twerking Madness and
(abusing the game in the most innovate way):
Tim Taylor News Update.
Tim Taylor News Update, and
Big Silver Nights.
For a Penny.
Youth Grand Prize at SIFFThe Painted Girl
Ben Kadie Films Poster
A Former Winner of the 3-Minute Masterpiece Contest Goes on to
Ben Wins National Portfolio Award from ScholasticMarch 16, 2013: The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers yesterday awarded a Scholastic National Silver Medal to a portfolio of eight of Ben's films. The portfolio included six previously-recognized films and two new ones: The Painted Girl and Soapbar Butterflies (an experimental film using puppets to dramatize an original slam poem). This marks Ben's fifth year to receive national honors from the Alliance. Three previous films earned National Silver Medals and two earned National Gold Medals.
This year, student artists submitted 230,000 works to Scholastic of which 1,900 received national awards. 171 seniors won Portfolio awards: 156 Silver Medals and 15 Gold Medals. The Alliance has given awards since 1923 to teens such as Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, and Robert Redford. The NY Observer wrote "Invasion of the Teenage Geniuses" about the June 2010 national award ceremony in NYC.
Screenings & Awards (updated 3/11/2014)
Ben loves filmmaking and his dozen films have appeared in over one hundred festivals around the world (even twice at Comic-Con!). The films have won more than 80 awards, including two dozen top youth awards at festivals such as the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Nashville Film Festival.
At the University of Southern California, he's a TV and Film Production major and a Presidential Scholar. In his first year at USC, he worked on many projects, both those of classmates and his own, both class-related and independent. (Those efforts led to co-winning the School of Cinematic Arts' semester-long story-telling game, an internal film festival audience award, and interview with the Daily Trojan.)
In his first summer in Los Angeles, he interned for di Bonaventura Pictures on the Paramount Studios lot. He also worked with friends on the post production of two independent short films and planned new projects.
More information about Ben's filmmaking can be found in