Writer | Director | Producer
A recipient of over a dozen awards, including the 2013 UBCP/ACTRA John Juliani Award for Outstanding Achievement, Ben has amassed over 100 film and TV acting credits, including lead roles in feature films that have played at prestigious festivals such as TIFF, Sundance and Berlin.
As a writer/director/producer, Ben has helmed 2 award-winning, theatrically released feature films: Down River (9 wins and 12 nominations, including Most Popular Canadian Film at VIFF 2013 and Best 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. Film Festival). He has also written and/or directed and produced numerous short films and web series episodes, has directed Robson Arms for CTV, and has developed several original television series for Canadian networks.
For theatre, Ben has appeared in many plays including This, by Melissa James Gibson, Dinner with Friends, by Donald Margulies, and Italian American Reconciliation by John Patrick Shanley. Early in his career, Ben was nominated for a Jessie Richardson award for his portrayal of “Bobby” in David Mamet’s American Buffalo. He has also directed numerous plays, including the Canadian Premieres of Tommy Smith’s White Hot and Christopher Shinn’s Dying City, as well as Either We Talk Or We Don’t Talk, created in collaboration with actors from Haven Studio. In 2020, Ben wrote and directed the one-man show Casey and the Octopus for the inspiring and dynamic 19-year-old cancer survivor Casey Wright.
Next up for Ben is his television series, Trigger Me, which he created and directed and features many Haven Studio actors in lead roles. HBO’s Westworld director/executive producer Richard J. Lewis has come onboard as executive producer.
Ben started his teaching career in 1995, under the tutelage of his mentor Ivana Chubbuck (author, The Power of the Actor). He has also studied with and been greatly influenced by Larry Moss (author, The Intent to Live), Patsy Rodenburg (author, The Second Circle) and Canada’s Mel Tuck.
Having taught acting in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, Ben established Haven Studio in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood in 2002. He and his team at Haven Studio continue to offer extremely in-demand classes to both top-notch veteran actors and ambitious up-and-coming performers.
NOTE: In 2021, Ben changed his name from Ben Ratner to Ben Immanuel (Immanuel is his middle name) to avoid being repeatedly mistaken for or associated with director/producer Brett Ratner, to whom he has no relation.