Arts & Entertainment Industry Forum: Alex Glustrom & Ben Johnson

Documentary filmmakers Alex Glustrom and alum Ben Johnson discuss Big Charity with Jim Gabour (10/19/2015).

About Alex Glustrom

A native of urban Atlanta, Alexander Glustrom graduated from Tulane University in 2010, where he studied marketing and digital media. While an undergraduate, he founded TUCAN, a student volunteer organization to bring Tulane students to tutor and interact with New Orleans' youth.

Since graduating, Alex has developed a passion for documentary and artistic filmmaking, and has created videos that have been featured in international film festivals. Footage from his projects has been showcased on major networks including HBO, PBS, A&E, and Fusion. His biggest work to date is the award-winning documentary film, Big Charity, which he shot, directed, edited, and produced. Big Charity, which documents the post-Katrina shuttering of Charity Hospital, won both the Jury Award and the Audience Award at the 2014 New Orleans Film Festival, and was honored as Documentary of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment For The Humanities. The documentary was named the 5th Best Film Made in Louisiana in 2014 and the 4th Best "Katrina Film" by NOLA.com.

Alex still continues to work with the youth of New Orleans, and has created a number of fundraising videos that have raised thousands of dollars for New Orleans youth programs. He served as the director of The Boys & Girls Club of the Iberville public housing development, co-founded and runs a photo workshop at The Youth Empowerment Project, and regularly teaches art and film classes to New Orleans youth.

About Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson served an executive producer, composer, and music supervisor for the upcoming feature-length documentary Big Charity: The Death of America’s Oldest Hospital. A harrowing look at post-Katrina politics and reconstruction, Big Charity follows the story of New Orlean’s beloved Charity Hospital during Katrina and the controversial decision to shutter it afterwards. The documentary, which has only been screened in its unfinished state, has already generated buzz and won awards, including 2015 Documentary of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and both Jury and Audience Awards at the New Orleans Film Festival in 2014.

Prior to producing Big Charity, Ben worked on the set of HBO’s Treme during its third season as a music contracts assistant, booking all music performers needed on the show and working with artists and producers on set to ensure production stayed on schedule. He has also worked as substitute-DJ on New Orleans’ 91.5 WTUL, a progressive music radio station with a focus on local artists.