Thursday, February 8, 2018

My Friend Ben Makes Movies... Check Out Aksarben Creative's Latest Effort

“I’ve fallen in love with the concept of storytelling, and Aksarben Creative serves as an outlet for that.” — Ben Matukewicz, Aksarben Creative

I love the efforts of creative individuals. 

My wife and I have owned a marketing communications company for 22 years, and we appreciate entrepreneurial efforts within our community. 

My friend Ben Matukewicz is one of those creative individuals. Bridget and I first met Ben at a UNO Hockey-related event a couple years back. He came over to our table to tell us about a “jersey history” project he was working on, and he wanted to get our input on the site he was putting together. 

Ben is the President and Creative Director of Aksarben Creative. He co-founded the company with Tom Knoblauch. Tom and Ben’s creative efforts have been on display since 2013 (the company went by the name Fatherson Productions before they re-branded in 2017).

The Omaha-based business strives to tell “midwestern stories” with reasonable budgets. Aksarben Creative focuses on making independent feature films, short films, web series, music videos, podcasts, photography, and branding and graphic design (among other creative projects). 

Aksarben Creative’s latest effort is the short film titled “The Living Draft”:

I first became familiar with Ben’s company a few years back when they held screenings for the feature-length film “Adoptation” at Aksarben Cinema (a company Bridget and I do marketing work for): 

The team also held screenings at the theater in 2017 for their most recent feature-length effort, “Naomi Jones”:

“I’ve never been good at verbal communication, so I choose to tell stories through more visually-based mediums,” Ben says. “Tom Knoblauch and I share a common interest in filmmaking and founded the company on that, but we learned as we went that what we really loved was storytelling.”

Having spent my life as an entrepreneur, I understand how difficult it is to put yourself out there and learn as you go along. That’s why I admire people like Ben — willing to work hard and bootstrap passionate efforts. 

As I mentioned earlier, Aksarben Creative also focuses on creative pursuits in addition to filmmaking. 

“Tom enjoys hosting podcasts and talking with interesting people,” Ben says. “I enjoy graphic design and photography, so we decided to expand the company’s reach beyond filmmaking.”

(Knoblauch’s “Loomings” podcast —

The next feature film for the Aksarben Creative team is called “Green On Green,” and will be released in 2018 (the film is written and directed by Knoblauch). 

“It’s difficult to categorize this film under a specific genre because it doesn’t try to be any one thing," Ben says as he describes the movie. "At its core, ‘Green On Green’ is an adventure movie, mixed with comedy and drama. I can’t wait for people to see the performance of Rachel Dinan in the lead role.”

Matukewicz and Knoblauch are also gearing up for a new web series called “Craft.” It will be filmed over the next few months, and will follow Ben and Tom around Nebraska as they travel to different breweries sampling beer.

“These brewers put in a lot of effort to create beer they’re proud to serve,” Ben says. “We strive to create something we’re proud to show, and this project is about appreciating the craft. The parallels between the two industries are fascinating, and we’re incredibly excited to explore that through comedy in our upcoming project.” 

It sounds like Ben and Tom have a lot on their plate for 2018. I’m looking forward to seeing what the team brings viewers in the coming year.

You can learn more about Ben and the rest of the team at Aksarben Creative by visiting

P.S. -- I just noticed the small, hairless cat nestled under a blanket in this shot from the short film “The Living Draft”:

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