Academy Award® nominated director and 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur Ben Proudfoot is the founder and creative force behind Breakwater Studios.Once a world champion in sleight-of-hand magic, Ben now brings that spirit of wonder to filmmaking, directing or producing more than fifty original short documentaries a year. The Nova Scotia native drives Breakwater’s humanist storytelling across documentary, narrative, and branded mediums.

Breakwater won an Emmy for the PBS documentary Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano. In 2019, Proudfoot’s short documentary series, Almost Famous, including the films The King of Fish and Chips, Kim I Am, The Other Fab Four & The Lost Astronaut, were New York Times Op-Docs. His original film, That’s My Jazz, which  had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and won a James Beard Award, will be featured in our October 26th installment  of Jazz On Film : “Jazz as Muse (Improvisation). Ben will also appear as our invited guest for a LIVE talkback immediately following the film screening.

In 2021, Proudfoot was nominated for the 93rd Academy Awards for his short documentary A Concerto Is a Conversation, a collaboration launched at Sundance with his friend and co-director Kris Bowers and executive produced by Ava DuVernay. Proudfoot’s anthology Almost Famous was released with The New York Times to widespread acclaim. The series profiles figures adjacent to history in his signature style of intimate direct address interviews.