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Writer | Director 2018-04-22T16:41:47+00:00

Writer | Director | Producer

With over 100 film and TV credits, multiple award-winning actor/writer/director/producer Ben Ratner has starred in numerous feature films that have played at top international festivals, including Sundance, Berlin and Toronto, and has had series regular, recurring and guest starring roles on TV shows in both the US and Canada. Up next is a supporting role in Wonder, a feature film starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay.

As a writer-director, Ratner has helmed two award-winning, theatrically released feature films: Down River (9 wins and 12 nominations, including Best World Feature at the 2014 Soho International Film Festival, NYC) and Moving Malcolm (4 wins and 1 nomination, including Best Feature Film at the 2003 Washington D.C. Independent Film Festival). His latest film is Ganjy, a hard-hitting short drama, starring, written by, and directed by Ratner. Now being developed into a feature, Ganjy premiered at The 2016 Vancouver International Film festival and will next be seen at The Kerry International Film Festival in Ireland, and on CBC television in Canada.

A committed acting teacher for over 20 years, Ratner offers scene study classes to a great many of Canada’s top actors, as well as up-and-comers, at his Haven Studio in Vancouver.

Ganjy

“Director-writer-star Ben Ratner’s “Ganjy” is a tough-minded, shaggy dog picture about the sad second act in the lives of many sporting men. He captures the broken smiles and the desperate sadness that grips the athlete when not just the body starts to go, but the mind as well. “Ganjy” is a four actor portrait of hard times and lost lives and it has a sort of sad-sack grace that would make Paddy Chayefsky smile. The filmmaking is simple and direct, just like the story, and the acting feels lived in and authentic. It is a psychic cousin to John Huston’s “Fat City” and I walked away wanting more, which is a compliment.”

Neil Labute
Playwright, filmmaker, television creator

              Down River Website

Down River

THE VANCOUVER SUN: “Emotionally successful Down River works at gut level… the characters jump off the page and into our hearts… Ratner’s movie finds real feeling without being sentimental…”

  • THE TIMES COLONIST: “Ratner balances humour, poignancy and drama…a film of considerable beauty…”

  • THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT: “…a beautiful experience from funny start to deeply moving finish…”

  • NOW MAGAZINE TORONTO: “Finally a Canadian script worthy of its excellent cast…Ratner’s story has brains and heart…”

Moving Malcolm

Vancouver’s Ben Ratner pulls triple-duty for Moving Malcolm, his directorial debut, which he also wrote and stars in opposite Elizabeth Berkley (Roger Dodger) and John Neville (Spider). The film won a special jury award at the 2003 Montreal World Film Festival for its incisive and compassionate comedy. Gene (Ratner) is a struggling writer who’s dumped at the altar by flighty B-movie actress Liz (Berkley). At odds with his family, friends, and himself, Gene spends the next year toiling away on a voluminous novel that he hopes will win back his former fiancee. Then suddenly Liz shows up at his door, asking Gene to help her father, Malcolm (Neville), move while she’s off making a low-budget flick in Prague. Is this Gene’s chance to recapture Liz’s love?
  • VARIETY: “…augers promisingly for Ratner’s future as a director.”

  • THE NATIONAL POST: “…an auspicious directorial debut for Ratner.”

  • THE VANCOUVER PROVINCE: “hilarious, with deft moments of genuine humanity.”

NOW MAGAZINE TORONTO: [Down River] Finally a Canadian script worthy of its excellent cast…Ratner’s story has brains and heart…”

THE TORONTO STAR: [Down River] …an intelligent work with moments of poignancy and emotional resonance by a talented filmmaker…”

THE VANCOUVER SUN: “Emotionally successful Down River works at gut level…the characters jump off the page and into our hearts…Ratner’s movie finds real feeling without being sentimental…”

THE TIMES COLONIST: “[Down River] Ratner balances humour, poignancy and drama…a film of considerable beauty…4/5 stars…”

THE NATIONAL POST: “Down River wears its emotions honestly on its sleeve…3/4 stars…”

THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT: [Down River] …a beautiful experience from funny start to deeply moving finish…”

THE VANCOUVER PROVINCE: “[Down River] a lot of clever, funny business amid the drama…woven seamlessly together…”

THE VANCOUVER OBSERVER: “[Down River] …very moving and delivers a highly affecting ending…strong believable performances…”

TORONTO FILM SCENE: “[Down River] …a potential classic…you will feel uplifted, entertained, amused and moved…”

POPCORNANDVODKA.COM: [Down River] …my favorite film of Cinequest 2014…full of hope and happiness and a love of life…amazing and intelligent and funny and heartbreaking and truthful…”

VARIETY: “[Moving Malcolm] …augers promisingly for Ratner’s future as a director.”

THE NATIONAL POST: “[Moving Malcolm] …an auspicious directorial debut for Ratner.”

NEIL LABUTE: “[Ganjy] is a psychic cousin to John Huston’s “Fat City” and I walked away wanting more, which is a compliment.”

Awards

DOWN RIVER

2014 SOHO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – Winner of Best World Showcase Feature Film

2014 LEO AWARD – Winner of Best Motion Picture

2014 LEO AWARD – Winner of Best Screenwriting in a Motion Picture

2014 LEO AWARD – Nominated for Best Direction in a Motion Picture

2014 VANCOUVER FILM CRITICS CIRCLE – Winner of Best BC Film

2013 VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – Winner of Audience Award for Most Popular Canadian Film

MOVING MALCOLM

2004 WASHINGTON DC INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL – Winner of the Grand Jury Award Best Feature

2004 HD FILM FEST – Winner of Best Feature Film

2003 MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL – Winner of First Film Special Distinction

Press

Links

Projects in development

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

To be announced