Director, Co-Writer, Producer
Ben Bowman directed and co-wrote KNUCKLEHEAD. Released by RLJ Entertainment in the U.S. and Canada in the fall of 2016, KNUCKLEHEAD has received critical praise and won awards at film festivals across the North America, including the VH1 Audience Award (ABFF, 2015).
In television, Bowman has directed specials and worked on series for Comedy Central, VH1, ESPN and NBC. Bowman is a graduate of the NYU/Tisch Graduate Film Program, where he has also taught. He studied directing under Spike Lee. Originally from Minnesota, Bowman is a recipient of The Minnesota Independent Film Fund, awarded by the IFP and the McKnight Foundation. He got his start in entertainment in Minnesota as an assistant editor, working on music videos for Prince at Paisley Park Studios.
Bryan Abrams is a journalist and screenwriter. For the last two years he has been the editorial director for The Credits, an online film magazine that covers the filmmaking process through long form interviews with cast and crew. Some of the publications he has written for include Esquire, Details, and Playboy Magazine. Along with co-writing Knucklehead, Bryan has written the short film Tokens and is currently at work writing a TV series.
In addition to acting in studio feature films and for the small screen in TV series like "The Wire," "24: Live Another Day," "the Good Wife," "Nurse Jackie," and "The Following," Akinnagbe has also starred in and/or produced several independent feature films. He produced "Newlyweeds" which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is distributed by Phase 4/eOne. He starred in and served as Executive Producer on "Home_," which is in distribution on all VOD platforms. And now, "Knucklehead," which he both produced and stars in.
Jonathan Gray is a leading independent entertainment attorney and managing partner at Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Roches LLP.
Starting his career as a trial lawyer in 1990, Jonathan moved to entertainment law with the founding of his first firm. He has served as production counsel to a substantial slate of the most well recognized and awarded independent feature films and television series in distribution. As a representative, he advocates for pre-eminent artists, producers and companies in the field.
A dedicated advocate for the independent entertainment community, he regularly serves on independent media organization panels, festival juries and has taught at NYU and Columbia University.
As a producer and executive producer, Jonathan champions a select roster of daring independent films from filmmakers with original voices, like KNUCKLEHEAD and, with BN Films, CAPTIVE (Paramount) starring Selma‘s David Oyelowo and Kate Mara from House of Cards.
A native of Brooklyn, Debra Azemar is a Writer, Director, and Producer. She began her role as Executive Producer in the early nineties with the lauded production of Ina Norris’s “Nobody Loves a Black Little Girl When She Becomes a Woman.” After several years of sold out shows at New York’s Symphony Space Theater, she went onto produce other stage plays, comedy shows, and events.
In 2001, she found her passion for writing. As she began her writing career, her main focus was to develop and build high quality content. In 2007, she expanded her writing talents with the development of a children’s brand entitled Fanny Fun Facts. The brand emphasizes positive identity growth along with teaching fun facts about multi-cultures. In 2007, she produced a soundtrack for Fanny Fun Facts, and became a voting member of the Recording Academy.
In 2011, her screenplay, By My Boot Straps was selected as a finalist at the Urbanworld Film Festival. As quality content with an original voice and point of view is the cornerstone of her brand, in 2013 she joined the producing team for the film Knucklehead.
Katie is a NYC based filmmaker and member of the Motion Picture Editor's Guild. She has cut numerous independent features and shorts that have screened in festivals around the world. Her most recent editorial project, HITS, directed by David Cross, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Katie's post production film and TV work includes: Knucklehead, The Americans, Crossbones, Royal Pains, I Don't Know How She Does It, Hannah has a Hophase, Absence of Love, Peace After Marriage and Homecoming.
Director of Photography
Sohn Soopum is a film director, writer and cinematographer, and holds master’s degrees from the American Film Institute, in cinematography, and from New York University, in directing.
Soopum’s short films include ISLAND TO ISLAND, winner of a 2002 Student Academy Award, and FISH IN THE SEA IS NOT THIRSTY, an official selection for the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
His directorial/screenwriting feature debut, MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME (aka FETISH, 2008), premiered as a Gala Presentation film at the 2008 Busan International Film Festival, and more recently was selected by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York as part of the ContemporAsian season in 2010.