NEVER GIVE UP

Ben & Bogdan


Tom & Jerry (in no particular order) met in 2011 a few years after Bogdan quit the corporate world to dedicate himself to making films. Around the same time, Ben buckled down to learn the craft spending the next decade making short films.

The pair reunited in 2021 to incorporate Itchy Rodent Films. The rest is history... Scroll down to read more.
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“Like that other horrible word infecting the discourse, 'content,' 'streaming' coldly labels works of art as mere products, things to be used and then thrown away. It turns stories and experiences that should be resonant and special into mercenary commodities.”

BENJAMIN ROSS JOHNSON

Founder, FILM DIRECTOR

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Benjamin Ross Johnson was born in Alabama in 1992 and raised in Washington State. He was once told by his mother that when he was a baby he slept with one eye open. Perhaps he was already exited to look through a camera. From his first words Ben held a dream to make movies and he's been doing so professionally now for ten years. 

Ben believes deeply in cinema's transformative power and is dedicated to using the medium to tell thoughtful, emotional stories that bridge the gap between people. He is the writer/director of the short films "Embers," "Nacre," and "Away" which was adapted from a short story by Xoe Amer. 

"Embers" was the first project for Itchy Rodent Films, the company Ben founded in 2021 with his longtime friend and collaborator Bogdan Darev. 

Ben is currently working on developing his first feature film and plans to start shooting in 2024. A journey he plans to document in his blog "Humanity and Magic Lanterns". He lives on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, with his wife, three dogs, and newborn daughter who, to his great joy, is already sleeping with one eye open.


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Bogdan Darev was born in Bulgaria. In 1995, at age 18, he immigrated to the US together with his younger sister. He attended and graduated acting and film schools. In 2007, Bogdan left his day job to pursue filmmaking full time. 

In the spring of 2014, Mr. Darev premiered "This Baba" - his first documentary. The movie tells the story of the ordinary life of one extraordinary Bulgarian grandmother in the US. In 2018, after 23 years without a green card, Bogdan could finally travel outside of the US. He made the long awaited journey back to Bulgaria that same year. The director inked this moment in his full length documentary debut "There".

He is currently on a world tour with his latest film "Kaval Park" and documents his travels in the blog "Follow the pen (and the camera)".

“Bogdan DArev is a genuine dreamer that, with a lot of optimism and energy almost to the point of madness,  works with ideas that look almost impossible. I knew that the movie would be a unique experience, but once again, it exceeded my expectations.”

VANYA (Canada) AUDIENCE MEMBER