Ben Masters is a remarkable individual who wears many hats – filmmaker, conservationist, and storyteller. With an unwavering passion for the natural world and a talent for capturing its beauty on film, Masters has become an influential figure in both the film industry and the field of environmental conservation.
Masters’ journey to becoming a filmmaker began during his time at Texas A&M University. It was there that he discovered his love for storytelling through film while studying wildlife biology. This intersection of science and art became the foundation of his career, as he saw filmmaking as a powerful tool to educate and inspire others about the importance of conservation.
One of Masters’ most notable projects is the award-winning documentary “Unbranded,” which he directed and produced in 2015. The film follows four friends who embark on an epic 3,000-mile journey across the American West on horseback, aiming to raise awareness about wild mustangs and public lands conservation. “Unbranded” received critical acclaim for its stunning cinematography and compelling narrative, drawing attention to the threats faced by these majestic animals.
In addition to his work behind the camera, Masters actively engages in on-the-ground conservation efforts. He co-founded The Mustang Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving wild mustangs through education and adoption programs. Through this organization, Masters has tirelessly advocated for better land management practices to ensure the long-term survival of these iconic animals that symbolize freedom and resilience.
Masters’ commitment to storytelling extends beyond his filmmaking endeavors. In 2020, he released another thought-provoking documentary titled “The River and The Wall.” This captivating film explores the challenges faced by both humans and wildlife along the U.S.-Mexico border due to border security policies. By shedding light on this complex issue through personal stories and breathtaking visuals captured during an immersive 1,200-mile journey, Masters reveals the interconnectedness of nature and the importance of preservation.
Through his work, Masters strives to bridge the gap between scientific research, environmental advocacy, and public understanding. He believes that by telling compelling stories about nature and wildlife, he can ignite a sense of wonder and inspire individuals to take action in protecting our planet’s fragile ecosystems.
Masters’ conservation efforts have not gone unnoticed. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including the prestigious Austin Film Festival Documentary Feature Audience Award for “Unbranded” and the Special Jury Recognition for Cinematography at South By Southwest Film Festival for “The River and The Wall.” These accolades are a testament to his ability to capture not only the beauty of nature but also its vulnerability through stunning visuals that leave a lasting impact on audiences.
As Ben Masters continues his journey as a filmmaker, conservationist, and storyteller, there is no doubt that he will continue to create thought-provoking films that highlight the importance of preserving our natural world. His dedication to educating others about environmental issues through innovative storytelling approaches is an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers and conservationists alike. With each project he undertakes, Masters reinforces the idea that film has the power to change hearts and minds, ultimately leading us towards a more sustainable future.