What if the old expression “Money doesn’t grow on trees” was false & cash did materialize out of thin air?
A down on his luck artist, Ben Solano, has his day go from bad to worse… Kicked out of his home, fired from his job, art backpack stolen, mugged, and finally beaten up, only to be comforted by a homeless man– this street-bum gives Ben a pair of magic jeans which produce a $100 dollar bill every hour, on the hour, as long as Ben does not take them off. Our LA story unfolds with Ben slowly discovering that his jeans magically make money and yet detour him down the road to face his past. From the local drug dealers to a mysterious beautiful woman associated with the Cartel… nefarious elements continue to interrupt Ben’s journey to help his Dad’s medical condition. With the pacing of a traditional thriller, Benjamin Troubles is a double-crossing ride for a down-on-his-luck 20-something who’s only desire is to find a way out of his magic cash-machine & discover that giving up what you want is exactly what you need.
Manu made his debut in the movies in the film Senseless, which starred David Spade and Marlon Wayans. Other film work includes a starring role in Whatever It Takes (Phoenix Pictures), plus supporting roles in Go (Sony), Orange County (Paramount), Pearl Harbor, and Eyeball Eddie. Most recently Manu starred in the last season of One Tree Hill, as well as in Unbelievable with William Shatner, including George Takai, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Whoopie Goldberg, Bob Picardo and 20 something more Star Trek alumni in the $1.5 million space Sci-fi comedy.
He just finished the Sci-fi pilot Star Trek Renegades resurrecting his character from Voyager with Sean Young, Eddie Furlong, and others; additionally starring in Fortress with Chris Owen, and Bug Hall as well as Driving by Braille with Ryan Eggold and Tammin Sursock. The film Abstraction opposite Eric Roberts is on the festival circuit, and he’s currently off to to shoot a modern day Western called Hideaway. Manu recently signed with Danny Trejo’s agent over at AEF Gloria HinoJosa.
A native of Miami, Fl and of Dominican/Puerto Rican descent, actress Mishel made her film debut in Benjamin Troubles. She co-stars as the lovely Nova. Her following movie an absurdist dark comedy, Eat Spirit Eat (directed by James Bird) was released June 2013 and is currently screening at indie film festivals around the country. In it she plays Ana Banana, a former orphan who reunites with her childhood friends in a wild scheme to find one of their fathers, yet what they find is something even better. It has been awarded Best Ensemble Cast (Orlando Film Festival) and Best Comedy Feature (World Cinema Festival Hamptons).
In 2013 Mishel, appeared in a music video for the artist, Noosa directed by Jessie Hill. She is scheduled to begin shooting her next indie film, There Is a New World Somewhere (starring Agnes Bruckner and Maurice Compte and directed by Li Lu).
Phillip Andre Botello
Studied at the Juilliard School of Drama. He won best supporting actor for his work in the film 38:50 at the Los Angeles Reel film festival; he was the only unknown actor to win. He recently wrapped the feature film Silver Skies opposite George Hamilton (directed by Rosemary Rodriguez), Bikini Model Academy opposite Gary Busey (directed by Straw Wiesman). Atilla is currently screening in festivals across the country and can also be seen in Tag opposite Chris Mintz Plasee, which is coming to theaters soon.
Began his career at the age of 14 at the High School for the Performing Arts in New York City. Ephron graduated with a BFA in theater from SUNY College of Purchase, NY in 1987. He has dedicated his time ever since to his career as actor, producer location manager and filmmaker. He has worked on film projects for Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Dreamworks, Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures and a number of other independent film companies.
Ephron also produced the independent feature Intent, distributed by Columbia/Tristar and aired on HBO. Kai produced and starred in Flesh Suitcase, distributed by Kushner-Locke and released on the Sundance Channel. He has worked as Location Manager on 25 movies and has 24 years of experience as a film and stage actor. Ephron has appeared as an actor in over 15 films. Mr. Ephron is currently working in development on multiple projects for 2014.
Aside from touring all over the world with Cirque du Soleil, Ross’s last feature, Sundance dark horse – 2009, “Downloading Nancy” starring Maria Bello and Jason Patric is available on Netflix, Amazon, etc… Aside from “Benjamin Troubles” – 2014. Lee has several other projects in development. He is represented by Matt Galsor & Greenberg Glusker. Ross is also developing a Meditation platform while creating content & new media for Human Factors International.
Hailing from a professional background both in entertainment and retail. Don got his opportunity to become part of the motion picture industry as an independent contractor with DreamWorks Pictures; this led to purchasing a red one camera package for rental. He’s worked in different capacities on short films, commercials, and features (I Love You EP). As he delved deeper into the business Don discovered that he loved producing. He calls it making things happen.
Mark Schumacher was born on August 5, 1959 in Seattle, Washington, USA as Mark Dietrich Schumacher. He was a cinematographer and actor, known for Blind on Blind(2011), I Love You (2014) and Benjamin Troubles (2012). He died on April 4, 2013 in the USA. This film is dedicated to the memory of Mark and all his great work & love of film.
LJ Aryeetey was born in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. He grew up in London, England. He earned his Masters Degree in Film from Leeds Metropolitan University in England. He then earned a Diploma in VFX from Video Symphony in Burbank, California. LJ has been working as a Writer/Director/Editor for more than 20 years. He began his work in television with Channel 4 and BBC Television in England. He directed his first major movie Rituals of Fire shot on locations in England and Ghana.
LJ moved to the USA in Jan 2000 and produced two documentary programs for PBS station in Philadelphia. Before LJ came on board with Benjamin Troubles, he was working for Deluxe, a Major 3D Stereoscopic House. He was involved in films like Captain America, Hansel and Gretel, and Titanic 3D version. LJ is currently working as the Editor, VFX and Post Production’s Supervisor as well as Co-Executive Producer of Benjamin Troubles.
Sasha Yelaun began his producing career began when he worked under the wings of Lewis Chesler, a Canadian Executive Producer for TV most well-known for his Hitchhiker series on HBO, and Marty Katz, the former VP of Disney. Mr. Yelaun began producing, casting, and location scouting for his own films. The first film he produced “Grace”, he was able to close down a gate at LAX airport free of charge, and his second-film “A Relative Stranger” went on to win four awards and receive three nominations from film festivals worldwide.
The feature version took of, with publicity in Variety Magazine and Hollywood Reporter. He produced several music videos for bands such as “Shytown,” who perform regularly at venues such as the House of Blues on Sunset, Universal Studios and “The Tender Box” –who created the theme song for the animated series of the “Spectacular Spiderman.” The release of the video “Crashing Down” was featured in Filter Magazine. His latest feat was line-producing his first feature film Benjamin Troubles, a feature film from produced screenwriter Lee H. Ross, whose Downloading Nancy was nominated for an award for Maria Bello and Kai Ephron. Sasha was involved in locking down deferred agreements for thirty-seven locations, wrangling and hiring nearly fifty crew members on a deferred deal basis and setting up vendor/production deals for the film. Mr. Yelaun has multiple projects in development including a crime comedy/buddy picture called L.A Minute, and is one of the producers on Bereave, featuring Malcolm McDowell and Jane Seymour, filming now.