Runic Films is a production and entertainment company developing original properties for film, television, and the Web. Now located in Los Angeles, Runic was founded in 2001 by two brothers in New York, and now has content all over the world. Dedicated to upholding the rich traditions of mythic storytelling, Runic Films harnesses cutting-edge technology and visual effects to create amazing worlds for dramatic tales grounded in humanity.


Runic Films Staff

Ben Alpi

Director, Writer


An award-winning director and writer based in Los Angeles, Ben is currently on the festival circuit with his latest short film, Hashtag. The science fiction thriller won the top shorts prize “Best Short Film” at the Gen Con Film Festival and has been nominated for 5 other festival awards. Hashtag is screening on 3 continents at some of the most prestigious festivals including HollyShorts, LA Shorts, Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, FilmQuest, and Sci-Fi-London.

Set in a looming future where social media celebrities dominate our culture, Hashtag stars Gigi Edgley (Farscape, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge) as “X”, the world’s most famous online celebrity. The film confronts our society’s growing obsessions with fame, physical appearance, and instant gratification. The film also stars Juliet Landau (Bosch, Ed Wood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as the voice of A.I. assistant “Te’a” and Erryn Arkin (CSI, Home and Away) as the mysterious stranger.

Ben’s last short film, Cowboy Creed, was nominated for two festival awards and is now available to watch online. Kendall Wells stars as “Phineas”, a young cowboy who must stand against a criminal’s deadly vengeance to save his ladylove. Cowboy Creed also stars Jeet Kun Do Master Instructor John Carrigan, Tara Platt, and legendary Martial Artist and whip master Anthony De Longis. Dubbed an ambitious “mini epic” with a twist, the Western tale blends classic period action and adventure with Martial Arts choreographed by Carrigan. With dusty heroes, deadly villains, gallant horses, and period-accurate weaponry, the short was shot on film to create a complete vision of America’s Old West.

Ben began his film career as a visual effects artist and as a director/producer of industrial films. After its festival run and a limited theatrical release, his first narrative short film, the heartfelt drama Silver Lining, was signed into broadcast on PBS and Movieola, and into distribution with Ouat Media. Brought onto the award winning Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II, he became the series second unit director for episodes “Blood and Fire” Part 1 and Part 2, “Enemy: Starfleet”, and “The Child”. He also directed the second unit for the forth-coming feature-length documentary Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed. In 2010, Ben was co-executive producer on the family sci-fi adventure series eScape v1.0. Also a character actor on occasion, Ben starred as the “adorably incompetent” alien starship captain “Zerks” in the 2009 sci-fi comedy Web series Zerks Log.


Bob Alpi

Writer, Producer

As a published writer, Bob was drawn to work with in film because of the challenge of telling stories visually. He began his film career as post-production manager on the family-friendly sci-fi adventure series eScape v1.0. He has since gone on to produce for the Ben Alpi short films Cowboy Creed and Hashtag.

A veteran of the U.S. Army’s prestigious 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard) and the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, Bob has a passion for history and its stories. Beyond his research and writing, he currently works with groups such as PDXYAR, a living history and entertainment troupe, and Swashbuckler Productions, Portland, Oregon’s premiere organizers of themed entertainment. In his work with the latter, he has managed the web operations, digital content production and media relations for the Swashbuckler’s Ball since its inception. This annual event, now entering its 7th year, has grown to become the largest pirate gathering of the winter social calendar in Portland, while raising thousands of dollars for sponsored charities.

Bob is currently preparing to release the first of three novellas introducing a unique post-technological world that will be the setting for a series of forthcoming novels.


Jyotika Virmani


As many filmmakers do, Jyotika became a film producer after over 10 years in leadership positions outside the industry. As an oceanographer and atmospheric scientist she has led and managed multi-million dollar grants, co-organized international conferences, and held senior positions in various organizations. Jyotika is the producer of Ben Alpi’s latest short film, Hashtag. Hashtag, a science fiction short in the tradition of The Twilight Zone, stars Gigi Edgley, Erryn Arkin, and Juliet Landau, and was co-written by Kevin Rubio. Jyotika was also Executive Producer of Alpi’s Western “mini epic” short film, Cowboy Creed.

When she’s not producing for film, Jyotika is a Executive Director at the XPRIZE Foundation. She was a panelist on three science panels at Dragon Con 2014 (including a guest appearance on the live broadcast of The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Podcast) in Atlanta, Georgia and will return in 2016. She was also a judge and panelist for the BLUE Ocean Film Festival 2014 held in St. Petersburg, Florida.