Brant Rotnem was born and raised in Weston, Massachusetts. His love for performance began at the age of 9, after being cast in his school's gold rush play as the narrating bison. He studied under director and playwright John Minigan, and won the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Scholarship Award before attending UC Berkeley’s Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies program. At Berkeley, he trained with Lura Dolas and Chris Herold, and was awarded the Eisner Prize for Excellence in Acting. He also studied Environmental Science and Policy, and has worked as an environmental consultant and in green tech.
Environmental and LGBTQ+ themes are central to his work as a writer and filmmaker.
His professional career began in San Francisco, starring in several crime re-enactment series including I (Almost) Got Away With It; Murder Book; My Crazy Ex, and Tabloid with Jerry Springer. He also starred as Chris Kessmore in the Lumos Films feature "The After". While living in San Francisco, he performed at the New Conservatory Theater Center, Brava Theatre, Exit Theatre, and CalShakes. His theater career continued in Los Angeles with productions at the Santa Monica Playhouse, Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, Stella Adler Theater, Circle X Theatre Co., and Shakespeare By The Sea.
In 2015, he was cast opposite SAG-Award Winner Clea Duvall in the feature film Heaven's Floor, which screened at Cinequest and the Newport Beach Film Festival.
In 2016 and 2017, he worked on two films with Blind Hummingbird Productions, Silicon Beach and Surfer's Paradise, in Los Angeles and Prague. Silicon Beach debuted at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
From 2016 to 2018, Rotnem originated the role of German priest Martin Luther in the hip hop musical Legacy: A Musical Indictment by playwright November Christine. The production won “Best of Fest” at the New York Musicals Festival, and Rotnem went on to star in an off-Broadway production at the HERE Arts Center.
In 2019, he was cast in the 4th Season of Neflix’s 13 Reasons Why, and worked opposite Jeremy Glazer in the multiple award-winning short film On the Ride.
In 2020 and 2021, Rotnem wrote, produced, and directed two seasons of the LGBTQ+ micro-series Hidden Canyons, a viral hit with over 7 million views. The first fully-produced series on Tiktok, Hidden Canyons has been lauded for its innovative use of social media, sharp narrative and comedy, insightful lens on LGBTQ+ issues, and tight one-minute format. The series has been covered in Deadline, The Advocate, Film Daily, Digital Spy, The Homophilia Podcast, OUTLoud Culture, and OutFront Magazine. The show received multiple awards including the Outfest Episodic Audience Award.
In 2021, Rotnem directed "AQI 302", a short narrative film about friends mourning a personal loss in an altered climate landscape. The film was written and shot in 24 hours, and debuted at the Portland International Film Festival. "AQI 302" has won multiple awards at environmental film festivals.
In 2022, he starred in horror feature "Extramundane" from Full Sail Media as Trevor Wilkinson, a property manager investigating a series of disturbing events within his building.
He has spoken of the impact his environmental policy background has had on his writing and filmmaking, saying that narrative media can play an important role in shifting perspectives. He has called for increased discussion of climate in narrative film and TV, noting that documentaries may reach limited audiences. He is an advocate within the LGBTQ+ community, and has spoken of his commitment to using his work to elevate diverse and underrepresented voices within the community.
2010 - present
2010 - present