Ben Berkowitz is an impact media producer. He began his career in film distribution at Sony Pictures Classics and Magnolia Pictures; having developed content to support the strategic planning of impact marketing campaigns for theatrical releases including Academy Award® Nominated A Royal Affair, and The Hunt, as well as the critically received, award winning documentary Blackfish. Recently, he was a producer on CNN Film’s Unseen Enemy, which premiered April 6, 2017. Currently, Ben and his brother Max run a social impact production company called, Not A Billionaire. Through strategic partnerships with some of the worlds leading organizations and distribution channels, they use filmmaking to further engage, influence, and make real positive impact.
A monumental scripted mini series. Retold in present time from one grandfather to his
granddaughter. This is the story about a man--born in Denmark, raised in Greenland, fought
the Nazis, and glorified in Hollywood; Peter Freuchen (of Jewish decent) was one of the
great adventurers of our time. Today, his story remains largely untold.
This is an ADVENTURE tale: A stocky, bearded man of six-foot-seven-inches, Freuchen
certainly had the look of a rugged explorer. His harrowing Greenland expeditions would
make him a celebrity in his home country and a legend in the exploring community. Some of
the challenges faced on his Arctic expeditions included snow blindness, polar bear
encounters, gangrene limbs, near starvation, and the death of several friends. He showed an
incredible tolerance for suffering since his birth when a completely silent baby Freuchen
caused his parents to think he must be mute. Freuchen was only twenty when he spent his
first winter in dark, frigid, unforgiving Greenland and he did so while manning a
meteorological observation post completely alone. No matter how daunting the challenge,
Freuchen rose to it with spirit. When Freuchen needed a sharp object to chip away at the
sheet of ice trapping him from head to toe, he made a sharp knife out of his frozen
excrement. Yes, it took more than a knife made of shit to rattle Peter Freuchen.
This is a WAR epic: Freuchen detested the Nazi party well before it stormed Europe.
Fruechen told his Nazi-supporting uncle that his political views were “nonsense.” When that
same uncle offered him an interview with Hitler, Freuchen declined. At the German red
carpet premiere of his lm Eskimo, Fruechen refused to be in a picture with a Nazi soldier
and bailed on the screening’s after party once he discovered Nazi’s would be in attendance.
Even before war broke out, Freuchen began harboring Jewish refugees on his island off the
coast. He took this on despite facing serious nancial problems at the time. When Denmark
finally threw its hands up and the Germans moved in, Freuchen really got to work. He risked
his life as a member of the resistance, allowing British soldiers to parachute down into his
backyard, storing rearms in his shed, and participating in several missions to slow down
the Nazis. A top target of the Nazi forces in Denmark, Freuchen was nally safe after a
dramatic prison escape and covert transport to Sweden.
This is a LOVE story: Stories of exploration and indigenous people tend to revolve around
greed and exploitation. However, Peter Freuchen’s interactions with the Eskimo population
in Greenland were full of respect and admiration. Despite the obvious difference between a
six-foot-seven-inch brute with a degree in philosophy from the University of Copenhagen
and an Eskimo, Freuchen’s kindness and work ethic were a perfect match for the Eskimo
way of life. Granted, the Eskimo dating scene initially proved dicult to navigate. Despite
being called ugly by his mother, Freuchen’s charm and kindness proved popular with women
all over the world. He would marry three times, fathering two children with his first wife, an
Eskimo named Navarana. Though he spoke fondly of the women in his life, he bookended
his memoir with reflections on his true love, Thule, Greenland, the land he would call home.