Congratulations to Alumnus Ben Proudfoot '08 for having his film 'A Concerto is a Conversation' for The New York Times shortlisted for the 2021 Academy Awards under the documentary short subject category.
The film follows Hollywood composer Kris Bowers, focusing on Bowers' grandfather Horace Bowers and his journey from the Jim Crow South in the 1940s to becoming a successful business owner in Los Angeles. A Concerto is a Conversation is a 13-minute documentary exploring Bowers' feelings of breaking into new spaces as a virtuoso Black jazz pianist and film composer. The film is a must-watch.
Ben attended Grammar from grade 3 to 9, then moved on to Queen Elizabeth High School (now Citadel High School). Nearing the end of high school, he decided that he would need to move if he wanted to advance in the film industry. After graduating high school, his journey leads him to California, where he attended the University of Southern California (USC) for a Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts, graduating in 2012.
Not long after graduating from USC, Ben founded his Los Angeles-based company, Breakwater Studios, in 2012. He and his talented team produce many documentaries throughout each year. In 2020, he was named one of Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 for Media, an annual list by the magazine highlighting influential young people.
Speaking to many Grammar faculty and staff, entertaining people came naturally to him. It was at a young age when he took up the act of being a magician. Something we are sure his parents were not keen on but supportive of. Ben won the National Junior Magician Championship in June 2005, which was his first international magic competition. Ann Marie Kent, Admissions Officer, recalls helping him order magic tricks online for a birthday act he planned to do with Past Headmaster John Messenger.
Grammar has had the pleasure of Ben volunteering his time with the school. He has been a Judge at Grammar’s Annual Film Gala for several years and most recently a virtual guest speaker to the Grade 10 Media Arts class taught by Mr. Tim Beers.
Ben joining Mr. Beers Media Arts class on Zoom as a guest in May 2021