Benjamin Lopez (aka Benji López), didn’t come to filmmaking the conventional way. Growing up, his passion leaned more into the music side of art, so much so that at 15, he became the lead vocalist for the rock group Taba Co, and released two albums to great acclaim.
It wasn’t until his late 20’s, early 30’s, that the film bug bit him. The unexpected success of a homework assignment, a short film he directed years prior while attending Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, is what prompted the discovery and subsequent exploration of Lopez’s innate writing and directorial abilities. That short film is what inspired his directorial debut, Tainos (2005), an adventure-drama that is a social and historical exploration of a fictional lost Indian tribe that greatly contributed to Puerto Rico’s cultural foundation.
Lopez was born in East Chicago, Indiana, where he spent the first six years of his life until moving to Comerio, Puerto Rico, his father’s hometown, with his mother and brother. While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Media Production at the University, he gained practical experience as an audiovisual technician at the audiovisual rental company Stage Crew, Inc.
Lopez went on to amass a significant portfolio directing television commercials and music videos and in 2004, he launched the Puerto Rican based production company Innova Entertainment with his business partner Eduardo Correa. Soon after releasing Tainos, Lopez further showcased his directorial prowess and genre shifting ability by making the wildly successful trilogy, Mi Verano con Amanda, the first comedy franchise in Puerto Rico. The groundbreaking film earned three wins at the 2009 Rincon Film Festival including Best Local Movie, Best Actress and Best Director.
In 2013, he premiered his 4th full-feature film, ¿Quién Paga la Cuenta? The dramedy, set in Honduras, immediately became one of the Top 10 highest grossing films in Central America and still holds the record as the highest grossing local film in Honduras. Lopez’s films can be seen in popular streaming services such as Amazon, Flix Latino and TV Networks like Cinelatino and Viendomovies.
His latest, the romantic comedy Amor en 266 Millas, just completed post-production. It explores themes of divorce, starting anew and pursuing one’s passions. Lopez also directed his first English feature, Mixtape, a coming of age story geared towards teens. Both films are slated for release in the coming months. With a new slate of movies written and set to film in 2022, Lopez is setting the stage for a massive impact on the mainstream landscape. He’s looking forward to showcasing his work to new audiences far and wide, and is open to exploring new and exciting opportunities in the business.