Long Live Benjamin.
This is a film I created over the course of five years in collaboration with Editor/Director Biff Butler, Composer Alison Ables, my cousin Allen Hirsch, and a deceased capuchin monkey named Benjamin.
I had never picked up a video camera before, nor had I been plotting a film project of any kind. But when I was confronted with Benjamin's preserved body serving as an art model for my cousin, I rented a camera and began capturing what I could. Thankfully, Allen and his wife Belkis had a prodigious personal visual record of their life with Benjamin—tracing back to when they found him orphaned in the jungles of Venezuela. Furthermore, they were both extremely generous with their time, dutifully taking me through their stories of Benjamin. What I lacked in skill, I was able to make up for with the access I had to an incredible heartwarming story.
Long Live Benjamin won the 2018 News & Documentary Emmy for New Approaches in Documentaries: Arts, Culture, and Lifestyle.
Photography and artwork credits to
Allen Hirsch, Belkis Hirsch and Piero Ribelli.