Ben Johnson is an author, screenwriter, and content creator, who's passionate about telling authentic, emotionally compelling, universally-appealing stories.
Ben grew up in a previously disadvantaged community in South Africa during the apartheid years. His strict upbringing was peppered with loads of personal trauma, rebellion, and domestic violence. While his mother was a God-fearing woman, his father was an alcoholic. One of his brothers was a minister, the other, a drug addict and gangster. As a result of this domestic dichotomy, he's interested in what makes people either embrace or fight their inner darkness.
Ben tells stories about deeply flawed and conflicted characters, thrust into difficult circumstances, which force them to make tough, moral choices that reveal their true nature. All his stories have strong action, thriller, and drama elements, and on occasion, they include the liberal use of machetes(don't ask).
He's worked as a head-writer, story-liner and scriptwriter on 9 television shows, and led several series developments for VOD platforms. To date, he has written 5 short films and 6 feature films, including two novel-to-screen adaptations, and a martial arts co-production between South Africa and Thailand. His screenplays have placed regularly in the finals of both local and international script competitions, and in 2019, his thriller script, Canaan, won the diversity category of the Final Draft Big Break Contest. In January 2020, Ben was invited to pitch two of scripts at the Berlin Film Festival's Africa Finance Hub, and most recently he was awarded a screenwriting fellowship to New York Film Academy.
Ben's script editing clients include the Kwazulu-Natal Film Commission(KZNFC), the National Film and Video Foundation(NFVF), and the Namibian Film Commission(NFC). He has served as a council member of the Writers Guild of South Africa(WGSA )and a judge for both the WGSA Muse Awards and the South African Film and Television Awards(SAFTAS).