TRIBECA/CANNES – BAFTA Award-winning Producer Oliver Ridge “I want to champion art and great artists from different cultures throughout my career”

We caught up with the award winning Producer Oliver Ridge to talk about his career and his upcoming feature selections at Cannes and Tribeca. After winning the BAFTA newcomer award, British producer Oliver Ridge has gone from strength to strength, in simultaneous months two of his feature films have been selected for the world’s most prestigious and biggest film festivals. THE CORNER OFFICE will open Tribeca film Festival and JOYLAND will premiere in competition at Cannes Film Festival.

JOYLAND is set to be the first Pakistani made film to be in official selection at Cannes. The film directed by Saim Sadiq shares a story of a sexual revolution that sees a traditional Pakistani family upended when their youngest son joins an erotic dance troupe and falls for its ambitious, transexual starlet.

THE CORNER OFFICE is directed by Academy Award winner Joachim Back. This puzzling, intriguing, and stylized office satire will keep you riveted, questioning until the very end. The film stars Golden Globe and Emmy award winner Jon Hamm alongside Christopher Heyerdahl (Little Marvin’s anthology series THEM), Sarah Gadon (Most Dangerous Game) and Danny Pudi (Mythic Quest). This film is an adaptation of Jonas Karlsson’s existential novel THE ROOM, about an office outsider finding a mysterious place of refuge. 


Why did you decide to train as an actor at the prestigious Drama Centre before becoming a producer?

I wanted to understand filmmaking from the actor’s perspective. My goal was always to tell stories, but the dream is to tell my stories. Understanding the creative process from all sides I believe will help me put the best product on screen. Knowing how to communicate and rehearse with actors is too often overlooked in indie films. 

Knowing how to communicate and rehearse with actors is too often overlooked in indie films. 

Congratulations on having features in both Tribeca and Cannes, what does this success mean to you?

I Facetimed my parents but couldn’t speak. At first, they were worried I had bad news! It sounds cliche but it means the world to me. I started my career at much smaller festivals. We once showed a film at a pizza parlor in competition and now I’m on the world’s biggest stages. Red carpets. Celebrities. I still hope there’s pizza though.  

How did you get into production?

I started how most start interning at the very bottom of the ladder. I would stand in the cold and tell the crew where to park their cars or take the coffee orders. Slowly I progressed up and found myself in the AD department. I worked on everything – big films, small films, commercials and tv shows. From there I left to go to film school and when I graduated, I set out to make my first film. 

I would stand in the cold and tell the crew where to park their cars or take the coffee orders.

Your films have a broad range from an LGBT film in Joyland to THE CORNER OFFICE staring A-Lister Jon Hamm, is it important to you to produce projects with diverse themes?

It’s all I want to do now. When the pandemic started it pressed pause on the whole world, I remember being on set and being shut down by the unions in March; 2019. But the one upside of the pause for me was it allowed me to look at my career as a whole and when I thought about it. The projects that were more diverse or artistic or that had an important message, those were the projects that gave me the most creative satisfaction and those were the projects that were performing the best. I want to champion art and great artists from all different cultures and languages throughout my career. 

I want to champion art and great artists from all different cultures as well as languages throughout my career. 


Can you tell us more about your upcoming directorial debut SYNTHETIC?

It’s all been building to this, my directorial debut. It is a science-fiction love story about a reclusive man falling in love with a runaway female android. We have just started our casting process and secured our first funding, I can’t wait. 

 JOYLAND will premiere at Cannes this month and CORNER OFFICE will premiere at Tribeca on June 9th, it will also screen on June 10th and June 15th.

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