Award-winning filmmaker Ben Immanuel along with Westworld Executive Producer Richard J. Lewis has completed production of the feature film Have Hope Yo! starring Gabrielle Miller
Co-stars include Favour Onwuka, Giacomo Baessato, Jennifer Spence, Camille Sullivan, Elliott Ramsey, and Natalie Farrow
Writer/director Ben Immanuel (Down River, Ganjy) has joined forces with Executive Producer Richard J. Lewis (Westworld, Barney’s Version) to complete the feature film Have Hope Yo! (originally entitled Trigger Me), a dramedy chronicling the mental health effects of the pandemic. The film started shooting in October of 2020 and the final block of filming was completed this spring in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Executive Produced by Trigger Me Productions, Haven Films, and Raw Camera, the project tells the story of a therapist, Gabrielle Miller (Corner Gas, Starving for Salvation), and several of her clients, as they agree to take part in a documentary about how they have been impacted by the first wave of Covid. The story then jumps ahead to 2023, to examine how the pandemic has affected them, for better or worse, and where they now fit into our forever-changed world. The film also stars Jennifer Spence (Traces, Travelers), Giacomo Baessato (The Good Doctor), Favour Onwuka (Dying to Belong), Camille Sullivan (Hunter, Hunter), and up-and-comers Elliott Ramsey (UnREAL) and Natalie Farrow (Siren). Immanuel, also an accomplished multiple award-winning actor, plays the role of the documentarian.
Says Immanuel, “I have been living with this concept and these characters since March of 2020 when I began teaching online acting classes during our first lockdown. Hearing young people’s stories of how the pandemic as well as racial, gender, and social media issues have affected their mental health and worldview has been truly enlightening. Collaborating with these performers to create narratives inspired, in part, by their own lives, has been a privilege that I am confident will result in a compelling, revelatory, and entertaining ride.”
Says Lewis, “By collaborating with his actors through the writing process, Ben is able to bring a level of unadorned truth to the screen that is startlingly authentic. I was struck by how emotionally engaging Ben’s previous feature, Down River, was, and see Have Hope Yo! as an even more disarmingly truthful, poignant, and funny film.”
Have Hope Yo! is produced by Immanuel along with Kimi Alexander, Troy Mundle and Bernie Yao. Emma Djwa is Director of Photography, with Franco Pante as Executive Producer/Editor and Milton Ng onboard as First A.D.
Jack Ong, Gosha Wen, and Yipeng Ben Lu are Executive Producers, in partnership with Trigger Me Productions and Pieter Stathis of RAW Camera.
Additionally, Immanuel is celebrating his 20th Anniversary as founder, director, and instructor of Haven Acting Studio in Vancouver. A great many internationally accomplished actors from film, television, and theatre credit Immanuel with helping them break into the industry and compete at the highest level, with many of them returning to the studio to study with him between acting jobs. Says Tony Award-nominated actor Brian J. Smith (Essex County, The Matrix Resurrections) “Ben is a treasure – a rare combination of instinct, intelligence, and compassion.” Says Olivia Cheng (Warrior, See) “Ben gently lasers in to chip away at any resistance that holds you back from reaching your potential.” CSA and Critic Choice Award-winning actor Jacob Tremblay (Toxic Avenger, Good Boys, Room) says, “Ben has helped me feel more prepared and confident every time I step onto set. I look forward to continuing to learn from him in the future.”
Note: In 2021 Immanuel changed his name from Ben Ratner to Ben Immanuel (Immanuel is his middle name) to avoid being mistakenly associated with Brett Ratner to whom Immanuel has no relation or connection.
Ben Immanuel, Richard J. Lewis, and Gabrielle Miller are available for interviews upon request.
Please contact: Lesley Diana | firstname.lastname@example.org | 604-726-5575
- Ben Immanuel IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0711838/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
- Richard J. Lewis IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003557/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
- Gabrielle Miller IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0588364/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0