MEET THE TEAM
B E N J A M I N S O U T H
D I R E C T O R + P R O D U C E R
Benjamin South is a director and producer based in Los Angeles, California.
He is currently completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking
at The New York Film Academy, Los Angeles.
Originally from Surrey, England, Ben has been involved with the entertainment
industry from a very young age. He started his career as a child actor
working in national theatre productions around the South of England.
To date, Ben has worked on over fifty short films, music videos, commercials,
and creative projects. He has worked alongside Grammy award-wining artist
Todrick Hall on his chart-topping visual album Forbidden.
Ben has also worked for the Oscar-nominated production company,
Dirty Robber on their Showtime limited series with LeBron James,
Shut Up and Dribble.
Most recently, Ben has worked with Oscar nominate Flynn Picture Company
which cites among its credits San Andres, Rampage, Baywatch and
Two Night Stand. He has also worked for the BBC on
The Women's Lacrosse World Cup. Ben's most recent short film
No Child Left Behind is enjoying a successful run on the American
film festival circuit. He wrote, produced and directed it.
The ARK is the science fiction television project Ben has been dreaming of.
He is currently preparing to shoot a segment of the original pilot screenplay
of The ARK as a short film proof of concept.
WRITER + EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
A.M. Khalifa is a critically acclaimed and bestselling author based in the eternal city of Rome. He writes up-market political thrillers and literary fiction with a focus on niche international stories that breach cultural taboos and provoke dialogue on sensitive issues.
His debut novel, Terminal Rage, was described by Publishers Weekly as “dizzying, intricate, and entertaining,” while referring to its description of post-Mubarak Egypt as “among the best set pieces of the book, displaying a wry grasp of Egyptian mores and deft pacing.” Booklist gave it a starred review and described it “a rousing cat-and-mouse game between two broken men… An unpredictable, deft, fast-moving thriller with a solid hero and one of the most interesting villains this side of Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects.
In addition to his debut novel, Khalifa has published, Paper Cut Hearts a collection of soul-rinsing stories of reinvention, redemption and retribution. Khalifa is currently working on the much-anticipated sequel to his debut novel, tentatively titled Terminal Deception.
When he is not writing, Khalifa works for a boutique film and communication company specializing in cause-based storytelling, working among other things on serving the United Nations’ global efforts to eradicate chronic hunger. When his schedule permits, he also serves as an independent film expert, and has worked with Stephen Gaghan, Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney and Ridley Scott.
Scotty Owen is originally from Sydney, Australia, and brings outstanding experience, practical knowledge and creativity to the production of The ARK. He is a graduate of the New York Film Academy Los Angeles, with a Fine Arts degree in Producing for Film and Television Production.
Scotty has written, directed and produced several short films including Final Focus, Block’d and Tranche de Vie. He has produced the short films Bobby’s Spectrum and Grillin’ and assisted Mark Ordesky and Jane Fleming on the features The Frozen Ground and Exists. With Lifeboat Productions he production coordinated Watch Dogs for Ubisoft and Zero, executive produced by Michael Fassbender and Ridley Scott. As a television screenwriter Scott has written pilot scripts for Circle, Signs of the Vril, Within, Lion of Anacostia and SWING, as well as numerous television spec episodes.
Scotty has acted and danced in major musical productions internationally for the last twenty years, including Candide; Disney’s Beauty & the Beast; Lord of the Rings; Mary Poppins; Cats; Saturday Night Fever; Disney’s The Hunchback Of Notre Dame in London’s West End and internationally. Scotty featured in the West End production of Mary Poppins where he performed at the Queen's 80th birthday celebrations at Buckingham Palace.
LA PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Iunia Dinu is originally from Romania but grew up in mainland China and Hong Kong. She began her career in the arts as a child actress in television shows in China. After moving to Hong Kong, she became involved with the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts, both as a musical performer and mentor.
To date, Iunia has performed, directed and produced works in Hong Kong and Los Angeles including Absurd Person Singular, Remote, Footloose, Bugsy Malone among others.
Iunia has also worked extensively with the Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association, organizing pantomimes with children. She has also worked at various Hong Kong public schools to put together theatrical shows in English. She was also was a part of a team that organized and ran the sustainable fashion show Trashion in 2017.
Iunia is now pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at The New York Film Academy, Los Angeles, where she has found an ideal middle ground between performing and production. Iunia is thrilled to converge her experience and passion on a script that incites critical thinking in audiences and promotes women in positions of power.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Tom Gass is originally from Surrey, England. He has worked on commercial and narrative projects for the BBC, Dunhill, The Arctic Monkeys, Skepta, Ballentine's, Ben Sherman, Lacoste to name but a few.
He began his career in television and film as a runner and production assistant on Hollywood productions based in the UK. Tom worked his way through the ranks of camera assisting to operating and now finds himself at the helm of 'The ARK's' camera department as director of photography.
Tom has been working with Ben South for the last four years, they met at Hurtwood House, Surrey. Their collaboration commenced on UK pop-rock band Deacon Blue's music video Gone. Most recently, Tom helmed the camera on Ben’s debut short, No Child Left Behind, which is currently enjoying a successful run on the US film festival circuit.
For the last 6 years, Mitch Martin has specialized in post-production within the film industry. Throughout this time, Mitch has edited, colored, and supervised projects of all sizes for national brands such as FedEx, Terminix, TruGreen, ServiceMaster, The Memphis Grizzlies, and many more. He has recently collaborated on projects with talent such as Empire Writer & Director, 'Craig Brewer,' as well as Grammy® Award Winning Singer/Songwriter, 'Lady Rizo.'
Mitch's work ranges from short-form to short film; commercials to music videos. Mitch enjoys working closely with directors, producers, writers, cinematographers, and clients at all points during a project's lifecycle. Understanding each piece's theme, emotion, message, and audience is something he aims to do on every project.
Mitch very deservingly has received 3 EMMY® Awards in the Mid-South region over the past three consecutive years for his short-form editing. Mitch has also worked on numerous projects that have received Golden ADDY® Awards in the Mid-South District over the past 4 years.
Mitch and director Ben South are reigniting their dynamic partnership after working together in 2019 on Ben's mockumentry comedy short No Child Left Behind.
Mitch is thrilled to be apart of The ARK and to have the opportunity to come on board so early. He said "having a real hand in the creative vision for the project is a dream as an editor. To be doing it with such a great script is an added bonus, this script gave a great sense of time that I just can't wait to get my hands on in post production and further the fantastic vision Ben has for the project."
Christof Unterberger was born in Bregenz, Austria. He received his first cello training at the Conservatory of Graz. He took his Master’s courses under Phillipe Muller und Paul Tortelier. From 1991-1995 he studied at the "Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique" in Paris with Klaus Heitz, and then again with Phillipe Muller, under whose teaching he completed his concert cello diploma.
Recently, Unterberger has been working with styles of music outside the realm of classical music. Appearances with Soap & Skin, Kenny Werner, Arkady Shilkloper, Ulrich Drechsler, Christina Stürmer, Etta Scollo, Patricia Kaas, Michael Bolton, Sarah Brightman, Natalie Cole, Marque, and Nneka have led him into the world of jazz, soul, and pop.
Unterberger started composing in 2006 and has since embarked on a prolific career scoring musing for film and television across the globe.
His credits include work on the Steve Jobs film by Danny Boyle and Iceman 3D starring Donnie Yen.
A collaboration with Hollywood-based composer Jeff Rona was his first encounter with the world of music for visual media.
This is not the first time Christof has worked with writer A.M. Khalifa, after a hugely successful collaboration bringing Terminal Rage A.M.'s debut thriller to life musically, Christof Is back, better than ever for The ARK! His initial script inspired compositions can be found below.
READ ABOUT THE REST OF OUR CREW IN THE EPK!