By Valerie Milano
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 3/10/23 – It’s been a great year so far for Indian producer Kaarthekeyen Santhanam, president and co-founder/ceo of Stonebench Films, having had his films–” White Ant,” and “10 Year” — at both the Sundance and Mammoth Film Festivals.
“Having these films recognized truly meant a lot to me personally; I feel lucky and honored,” Santhanam acknowledged to The Hollywood Times. “The two cornerstones of my career have been luck and hard work.”
“White Ant” was also recently accepted into the Glasgow Short Film Festival.
Santhanam actually started off his professional career as a banking and financial professional. “For 8 years, I worked in India and the UK with organizations like Cognizant, ANZ Bank, Santander Bank and Volkswagen Financial Services. 2012 became the most important year of our lives, when my childhood friend, Karthik Subbaraj, who is my wife’s brother, turned out to be a path-breaking director with his debut film, ‘Pizza.’
With a promising career opportunity, the duo decided to collaborate, and planned to do something “unconventional,” which launched the start of Stone Bench.
“We named it so, as during our school days, we often used to hang out at a stone bench. The name reminds us of our humble beginnings and helps us stay grounded in this industry,” Santhanam noted.
They also launched Bench Flix, an online platform for short film viewing and Bench Cast, a platform giving novice talent an opportunity to network, showcase and audition in upcoming film ventures.
“We have executed, produced and delivered 22 projects, out of which 10 have been theatrical films, three OTT (over-the-top) films, three web series, four anthologies and two short films. They have been of a varied range in terms of values starting at approximately $0.25 million and going up to $18 million.”
The company has been very busy with an upcoming unique sci fi/horror film they are producing. “Horror as a genre is the best way to enter Hollywood for us, as audiences love the genre,” Santhanam said. “We will be shooting in Tennessee this summer.”