Soul Man

Ben Whitaker, Jr., an aging and mostly washed up singer-songwriter from the 60s/70s era of big soul music, navigates loneliness, failed relationships, and a botched career in modern day Memphis, TN.

  • Kyle Taubken
    Patrick, The Butcher, The Neighborhood
  • Kyle Taubken
    Patrick, The Butcher, The Neighborhood
  • Andrew Trent Fleming
    Director Of Photography
    Travelling Soldier, Muddy Water
  • Kyle Taubken
    Patrick, The Butcher, The Neighborhood
  • Curtis C. Jackson
    Key Cast
    “Ben Whitaker, Jr.”
    Patrick, We Go On, The X-Files, Shameless
  • Pat Prentiss
    Key Cast
    Wayward Son, The Last Earth Girl, Signing Day
  • Willis Green
    Key Cast
  • Wyndie Oliver
    Key Cast
  • Kenon Walker
    Key Cast
    “Young Ben”
    The Stix, 100 Lives
  • Everett Anderson
    Key Cast
    “Young Miles”
    The Stix, Hongo, The Preacher
  • Jon Bryant Crawford
    Key Cast
    “Smoker In Alley”
  • Curtis C. Jackson
    Associate Producer
  • Noah Glenn
    Boom Operator/Location Sound Mixer
  • David Moates
    Boom Operator/Location Sound Mixer
    Patrick, The Butcher
  • Peyton Pilgrim
    Assitant Camera
  • O'Shay Foreman
    Assitant Camera
  • Justin Harrison
  • Film Type:
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 2K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Memphis Film Prize
    Memphis, TN
    United States
    August 2, 2019
    World Premiere
    Top Ten Finalist
  • Macon Film Festival
    Macon, GA
    United States
    August 16, 2019
    Georgia Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Lake County Film Festival
    Grayslake, IL
    United States
    September 6, 2019
    Illinois Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Knoxville Film Festival
    Knoxville, TN
    United States
    September 14, 2019
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Kyle Taubken

Kyle Taubken is a writer/director from Memphis, TN who grew up nearby in a small town in northern Mississippi. Inspired, in part, by the personal films of the New Hollywood movement and the low budget independent films of the early 90s, Kyle made his first short film at age 20. After completing his graduate work at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2014, where his thesis film (THE NEIGHBORHOOD) won four graduate film awards, including Best Graduate Director and Best Graduate Film, Kyle returned to Memphis where he continues to make films and work as a freelance videographer and editor. Kyle’s films have screened in competition at festivals including the Portland Film Festival, Indie Memphis, and the Macon Film Festival, among others. Kyle is currently developing his first feature, and SOUL MAN is his 18th short film.

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Director Statement

SOUL MAN is a story inspired by the many men and women who were part of the soul music boom in Memphis during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Many of these artists, often underappreciated legends, have long since returned to normal, practically anonymous lives here in Memphis. You might find them playing as a backup musician on Beale Street one night and working the register at the local grocery store the next. I have met and spent time with a handful of these incredible folks and am always touched by their grit, humility, and warmth. This short is a fictionalized attempt to represent many of their stories as they exist today. In the film, the main character, Ben, has spent decades shutting the music out of his life after the demise of his once successful singing/songwriting partnership. Dogged by memories of the glory days and the unprocessed trauma of the fallout with his childhood best friend and former partner, Ben wants nothing to do with his legendary past. Try as he might, however, Ben can’t quite get away from the music or the memories, and he’ll have to face them both sooner or later. Among other things, this is a film about the loss of friendship, the consequences of selfishness and impulsivity, and the resiliency of the human soul. This short is a prologue, of sorts, to the feature I am currently developing around this same character. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it moves you in some way. - Kyle T.