Olly Blackburn is an award-winning film director and screenwriter. He trained as an historian and after spending time as a journalist and copywriter found himself working in feature films, television and commercials.
His films include Donkey Punch (Warp Films) and Kristy (The Weinstein Company) and many shorts which have played at major festivals including Telluride, Sundance, Edinburgh, Austin and London. He’s known for cinematic breadth across his work from the cult notoriety of Donkey Punch (released in the US on Magnolia’s Six Shooter imprint with Let the Right One In)
Olly’s feature debut, the controversial thriller Donkey Punch premiered at the Sundance Film Festival – where a Salt Lake City audience member hyperventilated from shock – and has been shown in competition at festivals around the world including Edinburgh, Austin, Amsterdam and Sitges. It was heralded as “expertly made and painfully tense” by The Guardian and branded “the vilest film ever made” by The Mail’s Amanda Platell while in the same paper Baz Bamigboye called for more British films like it, writing that “director Olly Blackburn has a sure, confident touch”. Go figure. The film also has its own Trivial Pursuit question & no, it’s not the question you think it is.
His 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. Sight & Sound called it “beautifully shot” with a story set “within the context of contemporary online anomie and a broader debate about chance versus causality” and mega-fansite iHorror named it Best Horror Sleeper of 2014.
In TV drama Olly’s work ranges from tough contemporary thrillers like Amazon’s The Widow and StartUp, to the human drama of Jack Thorne’s Glue and period pieces like Victoria and Andrew Davies’ adapatation of Jane Austen’s Sanditon. He’s the only director on the planet who’s directed both an NC-17 cult classic and Jane Austen.
His spirit animal is the octopus.