Olly Blackburn is an awardwinning film director and screenwriter with a career in feature films, television, commercials and music video.
He trained at Balliol College, Oxford and was set to pursue a career as a history professor. He also worked as a journalist and copywriter before winning a Fulbright Scholarship to study at NYU’s Graduate Department of Film and TV where he wrote and directed several short films that travelled to festivals including Telluride, ClermontFerrand and Palm Springs. His graduation film Swallowed was produced with a Martin Scorsese post production award and won Best Student Film at Karlovy Vary while Wonderful World also garnered awards including Best British Film at the Manchester Film Festival.
Olly’s feature film debut, the controversial thriller Donkey Punch premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was shown in competition at festivals around the world including Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Sitges. It was heralded as “expertly made and painfully tense” by The Guardian and called “the vilest film ever made” by The Mail’s Amanda Platell while in the same paper Baz Bamigboye wrote “director Olly Blackburn has a sure, confident touch” and in The Mail’s Sunday edition Jason Solomons called it “a stylish mix of Ibiza Uncovered, Lord of the Flies and Dead Calm”. Go figure. The movie is now subject of a Trivial Pursuit question. And no, it’s not the question you think it is.
As a screenwriter and script consultant, Olly’s worked in different genres with directors including Niels Arden Oplev (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), Fabrice du Welz and Erik Eger. His commercials work has won top awards in the UK and America including Gold Clios, Gold RX, D&AD Yellow Pencil, LIAs, BTAA Arrows and a Cannes Silver Bear. While his music video for Gomez 78 Stone Wobble got him a nomination as Promo News Best Newcomer Award.
Olly’s second feature film Kristy was produced by The Weinstein Company, Electric City Entertainment and David Kirschner/LA Sienega Films and premiered at the 2014 London Film Festival. He has recently directed several episodes of the critically acclaimed E4 crime drama Glue created by Jack Thorne.
Olly’s spirit animal is the octopus.