Ben Balcom (b. 1986, Massachusetts) is a filmmaker currently living and working in Milwaukee, WI. He is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee and is the co-founder and co-programmer of Microlights Cinema. Since 2013, Microlights has hosted over 50 film and video artists from around the world. Combining elements of documentary, fictional narrative, and abstraction, Balcom’s films investigate the relationship between cinematic artifice and ordinary affects. He has explored melodrama, essay film, and, most recently, regional histories.
His films have been exhibited at venues and festivals such as the European Media Festival, Media City Film Festival, Anti-Matter Media Arts, Alchemy Film, Ann Arbor Film Festival and Slamdance. Balcom received his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and his bachelor’s degree in Film-Video Production from Hampshire College.
The books I mentioned in the interview are Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy and Douglas Kearney’s Sho.