Now settled in L.A., Benzfilm brings its Chicago story feature, “Polish Bar,” back home to film

After the success of their first film “Straightman,” the “two Bens,” Ben Berkowitz and Ben Redgrave, used their leverage and co-produced the documentaries “Rockets Redglare” and “Nice Bombs.” The latter begins a theatrical run this summer.

Relocation to Los Angeles was all but inevitable, but they haven’t severed their ties here by any means.

Benzfilm will lens its “Polish Bar” in Chicago this fall.

The two collaborated on the original screenplay and Berkowitz will direct the film; a drama about Reuben, a young middle-class Jew, who is trying to prove himself as a Hip Hop DJ while working for Polish gangsters at the local strip club.

Family, greed and faith should make it a darkly humorous, provocative journey.

Many of the project details are TBA but casting is currently underway in L.A. They’re aiming for a mid-summer pre-production finish with an announcement in the trades shortly thereafter.

ReelChicago caught up with Berkowitz recently and talked to him about the new movie and what lies ahead for Benzfilm.

REELCHICAGO: What were your reasons for moving Benzfilm to L.A.?

BEN BERKOWITZ: We are working with L.A. producers on “Polish Bar” and future scripts. For us it was time to be out here full time and have more time with our collaborators and producers in person.

We love Chicago but there is little actual film industry there, and it is increasingly difficult to be located there and get our films developed and made.

All of the Chicagoans I know who work in film or TV eventually have had to move out here.

RC: What kind of a Chicago presence do you maintain?

BB: We are committed to always having Chicago roots and shooting and working in Chicago because there is so much talent and resources there and still many friends and family.