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Benny & James

NY Premiere

Director: Logan Vaughn

United States, 2023, 15 min

Shooting Format:Digital

Festival Year:2024

Category:Narrative Short

Cast:Phillip James Brannon, Calvin Leon Smith

Crew:Writer: Logan Vaughn. Executive Producer: Laurie Bernhard. Producer: Ria Pavia. Producer: Mayon Denton. Producer: Robert E. Arnold. Producer: Logan Vaughn. Director of Photography: Robert E. Arnold. Post Production Supervisor: Julia Armine. Composer: Alexander Burke. Editor: Kristan Sprague. Sound Design: Brandyn Johnson. 1st AD: Paul Lindsay.


A man, unsettled by his imminent life-changing decision, suspects his terrifying dream and his husband's daunting parallel encounter might be a signal from God to cancel a long awaited arrival.


About the director

Logan Vaughn is a New York-based Director and Writer who blends her talents in both film and theatre to create intimate, magical and spiritually resonate theatrical experiences that explore radical ideas with the hope of exposing humanity’s deepest truths. Most recently, her short film, Benny & James, was awarded LGBTQ Film of the Year at the Los Angeles Indie Short Fest and Best SAG Indie at the 19th Annual Oscar-Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival. Benny & James premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival where it received the Jury Award for Best LGBTQ+ Short Film at The American Pavilion, and Logan was also awarded Best Director in the Cannes Short Film showcase, along with Best Cinematography and Best Cast. As a theater director, Logan has worked with The Public Theater, MCC Theater, Kansas City Rep Theater, South Coast Rep, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Geva Theatre, Playwrights' Center, The Playwrights Realm, Mosaic Theatre and National Black Theatre. She has helmed World Premieres at: Kansas City Rep, Village Theatre, Geva Theatre and Barrington Stage. Logan was a Director in Residence at Playwrights Horizon, a Sundance Institute Fellow, Goodman Theatre’s Joyce Arts Fellow and Director's Lab at Lincoln Center Fellow. Logan was nominated for Best Direction of a Play by the Outer Critics Circle (The Light, MCC Theater) and won Broadway World's 2019 Outstanding Play Production for the World Premiere of AMERICA V. 2.1: The Sad Demise and Eventual Extinction of the American Negro (Barrington Stage). Logan was the Associate Artistic Director of Ojai Playwrights Conference for four seasons and was the Associate Director of the First National Broadway Tour of Ain’t Too Proud- The Life and Times of the Temptations.

Website Filmography

Filmmaker's note

My work as a writer and director is a spiritual expression of the collective artistic experiences and influences that have made me the artist I am. I seek collaborations with other artists who share in the impulse to place the stories of the socially marginalized at the center and expose how the cultural mores and ideologies of a historically unseen or silenced community can transcend and be the face of humanity. Storytelling is where I find solace to share radical ideas, with the intimacy and courage required to explore subjects that expose not only humanity's truths but my own. My greatest mission is to create a theatrical experience that is intimate, spiritual and upholstered with magic.

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