Checking in with MPS Grant Winners Ben & Bo Powell

Mar 8, 2016

From the set of Rosedale. Can you spot the MPS logo? 😉

Last fall the Austin Film Society awarded one of three MPS Camera & Lighting Grants to co-Directors Ben & Bo Powell. They received a $5000 grant for their feature documentary Rosedale, which explores the “tough old town in the Mississippi Delta where the scars of slavery and segregation run deep.” With the first part of the shoot in the can and the rest scheduled for the next few months, the brothers are well on their way!

Bo is the Senior Photography Editor at BravoTV in NYC, producing shoots and overseeing the network’s imagery across all shows. Ben is a freelance cinematographer and director who moved to Austin in 2008. His last documentary, Barge, premiered at SXSW in 2015 and took part in the Spotlight on Documentaries section of the IFP Project Forum back in 2012. He was also the Director of Photography for A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story which also screened at SXSW in 2015.

This will be Ben and Bo’s first feature that they co-direct. “Our roots are in photography,” said Ben. “This is a family business. Our father is a photographer, so we grew up learning about all his gear.” The guys grew up in Mississippi, and this project has been a long time coming. “We’ve been trying to get something like this off the ground for about 8 years, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity through the support of this grant. The MPS Camera and Lighting Award is huge for this project, as it allows us to shoot our film using lenses that we otherwise would not have access to.” They’re shooting on the Canon C300, a super versatile and lightweight camera fully compatible with EF and PL mount lenses. “For us, this is a really exciting opportunity,” said Ben. We’re excited too! Can’t wait to see the finished product.