Yipeng Ben Lu is an award-winning television drama and commercial producer, writer and director with over a dozen national awards for his creative work serving brands such as Mercedes Benz Canada, The Salvation Army, and Vancouver Aquarium. Other brands he’s worked on include Nike/Jordan, Air Canada, HSBC, BMW Canada, Audi Canada, ICBC, Vancity, Coast Capital Savings, PGX, Nissan Reishi and all three levels of governments, just to name a few. Born and raised in Southern China, Ben speaks native Cantonese and Mandarin. He left for the UK in his late teens to study and work for a number of years before moving to Canada. He studied economics in London (UK) and film at York (Toronto) and Simon Fraser (Vancouver) in Canada. While at York, he was fortunate to study under the late Robin Wood, a towering figure in Hitchcock as an academia and film critic.
Ben started his film and TV career as a trainee producer under the auspice of CMPA (previously known as CFTPA), during which he worked as a line producer on a number of film and television projects from China such as Jade Buddha (China), Goodbye Vancouver (China), Eve and the Fire Horse (Canada) before venturing into TV commercials. For over a decade he has been working with a couple prolific Canadian producers to develop projects as well as financing with an Asia focus. His connections in Asia also enabled him to collaborate with a number of cross-border producers, network executives and productions on a frequent basis.
Between 2002 – 2004, Ben helped curate film submissions for the London (UK) Chinese Film Festival as well as the London Barbican Centre’s Shanghai Festival. For 2011-2013, he ran the Vancouver chapter of film financing seminars operated by the San Francisco-based IIFF and helped launch its UK chapter. Given Ben’s linguistic and cultural fluency, he has been asked to consult on many screen plays between Chinese and English. Some of the recent Canadian ones include Eve and the Fire Horse (2005, Dir. Julia Kwan), Waking the Green Tigers (2013, Dir. Gary Marcuse), Marco Polo mini-series. Recently, he also adapted a Chinese folklore and turned it into an illustrated interactive iBook with English narration and sound design available on iTunes.
Ben’s latest producer credit includes an unprecedented prime-time drama that has English and Chinese as performing languages, a mini-series titled BLOOD & WATER (Season 1, 2015) first aired during the holiday seasons in 2015, winning wide critical acclaims. John Doyle from The Globe and Mail called it a “brilliantly messy drama”, and The National from CBC touted it as “barrier-breaking.” And recently the Academy for Canadian Cinema and Television has nominated BLOOD & WATER (Season 1) as the Best Dramatic Series for 2015-16. For his community work, Ben sits on the board of a non-profit performance group called Pangaea Art, and as Special Advisor for Chimo Community Services, a Richmond-based social service charity dedicated to supporting the residents of Richmond in needs. He has also provided pro-bono creative work for Seva International as well as a number of local charities and non-profit groups.