Benten Films
Features

  • What is Benten Films?

    We're the first distribution label curated and run by film critics, ever passionate in bringing the best of independent and world cinema to the North American market. Benten is designed for cinephiles to uncover lost masterpieces and future classics, with an eye on overlooked gems that deserve greater recognition.


  • Film critics... who are you guys?

  • President and founder Andrew Grant is best known in the New York scene as "Filmbrain," online editor of Like Anna Karina's Sweater. Vice president Aaron Hillis is a freelance journalist for such outlets as The Village , LA Weekly, GreenCine Daily and IFC. They live within blocks of one another in downtown Brooklyn.


  • How do I contact you?

  • For all general inquiries, including publicity, acquisitions, sales and support, please email us at news@bentenfilms.com. If you need to reach either Andrew or Aaron directly, you can do so via andrew@bentenfilms.com and aaron@bentenfilms.com.


  • Where can I find Benten DVDs?

  • Through our parent distributor E1 Entertainment, our titles may be found on retail and rental shelves everywhere. If they're not, please do us a favor and complain to your local store manager! You can also find our DVDs on Amazon.com, and available for rent on Netflix.

  • Are you on Facebook?

  • Yes, please join our official Facebook group: facebook.com/group.php?gid=8027887482


  • Where does the name “Benten” come from?

  • It's a colloquial form of Benzaiten, the Japanese goddess of all that flows, commonly associated with the arts and culture. Andrew's cinematic forte is Asian arthouse cinema, so the name just stuck.


  • Are you trying to be the next Criterion Collection?

  • We're flattered every time that comparison is made, and we certainly look to Criterion as a role model in the preservation and spreading of film culture. We have our own identity, but you can blame them for the delicate care we've taken on each release's technical quality, bonus features, and artful packaging.


  • I'm an independent filmmaker. Is it cool to email you about my new feature?

  • Absolutely! In fact, our very first title was randomly handed to us by a filmmaker one night in 2006. Just keep in mind that we're a distribution label, not a production company. Be sure you've finished your film (and if possible, taken care of all your clearances) before getting in touch.


  • I don't see a theme between your releases. How do you decide which films to acquire?

  • Admittedly, our tastes are eclectic. We sometimes consider factors like festival exposure, critical acclaim and awards, but the truth is, Benten only releases films that both Andrew and Aaron will stand behind. You'd have to read our criticism regularly to predict what might get our two-man consensus.


  • Are you hiring?

  • We've had tons of requests like this, often from passionate cinephiles or college students looking for internships. At the moment, we have everything under control, but there might soon be a need to staff up as our company grows. If you pass along your resume, we'll keep it on file.


  • Who designed your amazing website?

  • That would be the equally amazing Robert Karimi of Sike9 Design: www.sike9.com


  • I was looking for your contact info, but missed it when I scrolled to the bottom too quickly.

  • No problem. Once again: For all general inquiries, including publicity, acquisitions, sales and support, please email us at news@bentenfilms.com. If you need to reach either Andrew or Aaron directly, you can do so via andrew@bentenfilms.com and aaron@bentenfilms.com.


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