Benjamin Cowley

Benjamin Cowley

CEO | Gravel Road Distribution Group

Benjamin started his career in television commercials, working his way up in the freelance world from runner to line producing for some of South Africa’s most prolific commercials production companies. In 2007 he made the move into feature film development and production where he partnered with US-Based cult filmmaker Albert Pyun having co-produced a number of independent genre films.

In 2012 he founded Gravel Road Distribution Group, a boutique all-rights sales and distribution outfit based in Cape Town, South Africa and took on the leadership role of CEO. Having started with a handful of titles and clients, he has grown the business to acquiring and releasing over 75 titles per year, including the Oscar® winning Parasite and most recently Studio Ghibli’s The Boy and the Heron (Best Animation 2023 Oscars®). His client base spans the continent of Africa, from regional broadcasters to major broadcasters such as Multichoice, and global streaming platforms including Netflix and Amazon.

His passion for classic cinema, led him to establish Retro Afrika Bioscope in 2013, a film preservation initiative through which lost and forgotten African classics are located, acquired, digitally restored, and re-released for modern audiences around the world. To date, over 250 titles have been acquired, of which 52 have been digitally restored.

All Sessions by Benjamin Cowley