Dan Abramovici, Actor/Producer of Ben’s at Home: 2014 Heartland Film Festival Interview

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Dan Abramovici has established himself as a respected actor, writer, filmmaker, and photographer over the last 12 years. He recently starred in Unlucky, The Way It Used To Be, The Case For Christmas, and co-wrote and starred in Altarcations, for which he earned 11 Official Selections as well as a Best Screenplay award. On television he can be found playing the role of Detective Marelli on the CW show “Beauty and the Beast.”

A Personal Message from Dan

HFF: What is your film about, and how did the project come to be?

DA: Ben’s at Home is about a guy who, after a terrible breakup and turning 30, decides not to leave the house any more. Thanks to social media and the powers of the internets he’s able to make that work for himself…until  it doesn’t.

Almost everybody has experienced that time after a long term relationship when going back out there to date or socialize sounds just awful. We felt that this decision to just embrace being a hermit would resonate with people. Aside from that, from a technical perspective, we financed the film ourselves and knew that we didnt want to compromise and attempt a story we couldn’t afford to shoot. We didn’t, say, want to write an action movie because all we’d be able to afford on our budget for the car chase scene would be a kid on a bicycle. Keeping our story contained allowed us to really tell the story we wanted.

HFF: What was your role in the production?

DA: I play the character of Ben. I also co-wrote and co-produced the film. Ben’s home in the film is my home in real life and Schnitzel the dog is my very real puppy dog.

HFF: Why did you submit to the Heartland Film Festival? Have you been to the Festival before?

DA: Heard amazing things about Heartland! Heard that its well run and the audiences are very enthusiastic. We weren’t able to make it in person to Indy Film Fest a few months back so were thrilled to make it to Indianapolis this time.

HFF: This year’s tagline is “Shift Your Perspective” – what lasting effect will your film have on moviegoers?

DA: We hope they like the film. We hope they laugh and that they take little moments home with them. But very much we hope that the collaborative spirit that made this film possible influences would-be filmmakers in some way. This film was made through a lot of favours from Toronto’s indie film community and a lot of people coming together because they wanted to make something. That can happen anywhere.


HFF: What has inspired you to become a filmmaker?

DA: I got tired of waiting for the phone to ring and wanted to make my own work. As an actor you often feel like you have very little control over your destiny so writing and producing something was a way of gaining some of that back and controlling my own fate a bit. More generally…I love movies. Love movies and TV. Wanted to be in that world ever since I was little.

HFF: What is something that you know about filmmaking now but you weren’t told when you started your career?

DA: The glacial pace of filmmaking. How much everything costs. That there are a million details in budget, location, contracts, and politics that you don’t think about when you initially go “this will be a fun story to tell!” On the flip side, I also didnt think id get to meet so many awesome people. Like my best friend and writing partner Mars. Getting to know her and her husband JP through this experience is one of the great joys of my life.

HFF: What are some of your favorite movies? What’s your favorite worst movie (you know it’s bad, but still love it)?

DA: Oh boy! Here are some favorites off the top of my head: Ratatouille, Chasing Amy, Humpday, Moon, Fight Club, Jackie Chan’s First Strike, Vickie Christina Barcelona, Shame, and Under the Skin.

My favorite bad/great movies: Anaconda, Anacondas, and Deep Blue Sea.

HFF: How many film festivals has your film been a part of? What do you like the most about the festival experience?

DA: I’ve attended about a dozen with my short films and about five with Ben’s at Home. I absolutely love attending festivals. Love meeting movie fans, seeing new places, and meeting other filmmakers. And, of course, checking out awesome films.

HFF: Heartland Film Festival moviegoers love filmmaker Q&As. Let’s say a Festival attendee wants to earn some brownie points—what is a question that you’d love to answer, but haven’t yet been asked?

DA: Wanna join us for drinks? The answer would most likely be “yes.”


See Ben’s at Home at the 2014 Heartland Film Festival:

  • Saturday, Oct. 18 – 8:15 pm at AMC Castleton Square 14
  • Tuesday, Oct. 21 – 2:00 pm at AMC Traders Point Showplace 12
  • Friday, Oct. 24 – 8:45 pm at AMC Castleton Square 14
  • Saturday, Oct. 25 – 8:00 p.m. at Wheeler Arts Community
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