MICHAEL RILEY CEO/COMPANY DIRECTOR

Born in Nottingham, England, Michael directed and produced a number of short films and TV dramas before settling into feature film production. He established Sterling Pictures in 1995.

 

His fiction work includes over twenty-five feature films, many of which have won prizes at international film festivals. He was one of the youngest ever producers of a major BBC drama serial (the epic family saga “IN A LAND OF PLENTY”, nominated for a RTS award and Top Ten Fiction at the Koln Conference). His film for artist Zarina Bhimji was nominated for the Turner Prize, his documentary "CHINA'S WILD WEST" premiered at Sundance Film Festival and he won Best Film at the Milan International Film Festival for “VAMPIRE DIARY”. His controversial and highly acclaimed “THE SEASONING HOUSE” won the Critics’ Award at Fantasporto and Best Film at Mile High in Colorado. His most recent films include the WW2 action/drama “CHOSEN” starring Harvey Keitel, the critically-acclaimed sailing drama/biopic “CROWHURST” for StudioCanal (Executive Produced by Nicolas Roeg) and the recently completed period horror/thriller “HERETIKS” (world premier FrightFest 2018). He is currently in post-production on black comedy "SIDESHOW" and noir/drama "THE BALLAD OF BILLY McCRAE".

 

He sits on numerous film festival juries, is a voting member of BAFTA and The European Film Academy, and is an alumni of the MEDIA II Film Business School in Ronda. He works from both Bristol and London.

SIDESHOW

2020

 

Producer: Michael Riley

Black comedy / Feature film

Currently in post production.

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THE BALLAD OF BILLY McCRAE

2020

Producer: Michael Riley

Thriller / Feature film

Currently in post production.

CROWHURST

2018

Producer: Michael Riley

Drama biopic / Feature film

"Tremendously moving. Salinger is absolutely superb" Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"Glorious. A timely, tragic myth"

Anton Bitel, Sight & Sound

"A devastating portrait of a fractured mind" Owen Williams, Empire 

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THE CONVENT

2018

Producer: Michael Riley

Period horror / Feature film

"Gripping, eerie and permeated with dread" Kim Newman

"Vicious physical horror reminiscent of The Evil Dead" Matthew Hammond, Movie Ramblings

CHOSEN

2017

 

Producer: Michael Riley

WW2 drama / Feature film

"Delightfully refreshing. I love this kind of story" Headgeek, Aint-It-Cool

"Satisfying and accomplished. Effectively portrays the brutality heaped upon the Hungarian Jews" I. MIlton The Upcoming

Chosen
Soulmate

SOULMATE

2014

Executive Producer: Michael Riley

Supernatural horror / Feature film

"Dark, gothic, hauntingly romantic and, in a word, fantastic" Melissa Zaroski, The Examiner

"Refreshing and intelligent. Excels with a remarkable sense of timing and atmosphere"

Chelsey Burdon, Zombie Hamster

SCAR TISSUE

2013

Producer: Michael Riley

Genetics thriller / Feature film

"Gripping. Genuinely an unexpected and welcomed surprise" Dominic Cuthbert, Starburst

"A dark, edgy, risk-taking endeavour delivering a couple of hundred volts to the genre" Dave Wain, Zombie Hamster

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THE SEASONING HOUSE

2012

Producer: Michael Riley

Balkans-set thriller / Feature film

"A masterpiece of bleak and savage storytelling" Ian White, Movieramblings

"A superb piece of art. A tragic tale of love, loss and death, this is one film you won't forget in a hurry." Damon Rickard, Screenjabber

HARD BOILED SWEETS

2012

 

Producer: Michael Riley

Crime thriller / Feature film

"The best British crime film in years. The stylish realisation of a sharp, darkly-humorous script" Britgeek, Aint-It-Cool

"Enjoyable. Entertaining. The witty writing never dips" Sophie Kaufman, Eye For Film

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The Thompsons

THE THOMPSONS

2012

 

Executive Producer: Michael Riley

Horror thriller / Feature film

"Handled extremely well; fast and fun, there is no pretence here for anything other than a bloody ride" Naila Scargill, Exquisite Terror

"Spectacular. A sequel that surpasses its source material in every way" Horror Honeys

ZERO

2011

 

Producer: Michael Riley

Satirical drama / Feature film

A seriously weird, controversial and visually inventive modern day fable featuring director Ken Russell and Executive Produced by Nicolas Roeg.

Zero
Deviation

DEVIATION

2011

 

Co-producer: Michael Riley

Drama thriller / Feature film

"An atmospheric and claustrophobic thriller, dealing with all sorts of fears" Cine7

"Interesting and atmospheric" Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

THE GOOD TIMES ARE KILLING ME

2009

UK Producer: Michael Riley

Drama thriller / TV movie

A successful lawyer finds herself in rehab where she befriends a couple of oddballs who help her crack an important case.

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FRENCH FILM

2009

 

Co-producer: Michael Riley

Romantic comedy / Feature film

"A sweet film. Will leave you with a warm glow inside" Coco Banjo, Blueprint Review

The homage to wry French movies is nicely done. The four leads are very good, all believable and personable, and Cantona makes one smile" Stuart O'Connor, Screenjabber

CHINA'S WILD WEST

2009

Producer: Michael Riley

Short documentary

“Visually compelling” One World Int. FF

“Austerely beautiful” True/False Int. FF

 

"Mesmerizing" Full Frame Int. FF

China's Wild West
Outlanders

OUTLANDERS

2007

Producer: Michael Riley

Drama thriller / Feature film

“A compelling social realist drama that excels” Ben Hopkins, Clash Magazine

“Speaks volumes about the iniquitous treatment of illegal foreign workers in Britain” 

Trevor Johnston, Sight and Sound

“A thoughtful thriller with a strong social conscience” Allan Hunter, Daily Express

WAITING

2007

Producer: Michael Riley

Turner Prize / Art installation film

"Full of atmosphere and formal beauty" 

Richard Dorment. The Telegraph

 

"Visually Gripping" 

Mark Hudson, The Mail On Sunday

Waiting
The Man Who Would Be Queen

THE MAN WHO WOULD BE QUEEN

2007

Co-producer: Michael Riley

Romantic comedy / Feature film

“Confidently directed and featuring the talents of some of the best UK actors around this smart British comedy will deliver more than a few guilty pleasures” Raindance FF

SUGARHOUSE

2007

Producer: Michael Riley

Drama thriller / Feature film

“A funny, furious, frightening film with magnetic performances” 

Jason Solomons, The Observer

 

“Intense and unflinching. Fast-paced and menacing, be sure to catch it” 

Angie Errigo, News Of The World

Sugarhouse

VAMPIRE DIARY

2005

Producer: Michael Riley

Experimental horror / Feature film

"Terrific. Loads of attitude. An artful epic" 

Rich Cline, Shadows On The Wall

"Stunning. Devilishly feral” 

Tirad Derak, Philadelphia Inquirer

“Moving, thought-provoking and gruesome” MJ Simpson

Vampire Diary

IN A LAND OF PLENTY

2001

Series Producer: Michael Riley

Family saga / TV drama serial

“One of the most acclaimed television series of all time” David Chater, The Sunday Times

“A breathtaking work of art” Jaci Stephen. The Mail on Sunday

"A remarkable production. Not, under any circumstances, to be missed" 

Paul Hoggart, The Times

In A Land Of Plenty

RESPECT

1998

Line Producer: Michael Riley

Love story / Feature film

A love story set during a hot summer in London’s Portobello district.

Respect
A Girl and a Gun

A GIRL AND A GUN

2006

Producer: Michael Riley

Crime thriller / Short film

“A crazy action thriller” 

BT Vision Download Store

“Excellent, yet explicit. Sexy and violent” 

i-Tunes Store Review

Lava

LAVA

2001

Producer: Michael Riley

Black comedy / Feature film

“Hilarious, unique and uncompromising” 

Ryan Gilbey, The Independent

“Superb. Daring, dangerous, darkly hilarious” Nick Briggs, Film Review

“An extraordinary movie, determinedly original” Derek Malcolm, Midweek

Out of Depth

OUT OF DEPTH

2000

 

Associate Producer: Michael Riley

Crime thriller / Feature film

“Touching, impressive, shocking.  Truly a tragic tale”Liz Beardsworth, Empire

 

“Inevitably a classic. Remember where you were when you clapped eyes on it” 

Bill Borrows, Maxim

Loop

LOOP

1997

 

Producer: Michael Riley

Romantic comedy / Feature film

“Witty and unpredictable, executed with style and confidence” Raindance FF

“Heartening... luminously photographed, rich and instinctive, a rare and mysterious excursion into Britain's unvisited corners"

Jonathan Coe, The New Statesman

HARD MEN

1996

 

Line Producer: Michael Riley

Crime thriller / Feature film

“Impressive. Stylistic. Mixes black comedy, off-the-wall fantasy elements and 

striking photography” Derek Elley, Variety

“Compelling and disgustingly funny” 

Film Review

Hard Men
Boston Kickout

BOSTON KICKOUT

1995

Line Producer: Michael Riley

Rites of passage drama / Feature film

“Resonates with painful truthfulness throughout” Screen International

 

“An electrifying British debut. Hard-nosed, cocky, vibrant and full of lip” Jake Hamilton, Empire

Mother's Day

MOTHER'S DAY

1992

 

Producer/Director: Michael Riley

Drama / TV drama

"Influenced by Alan Bennett's 'Talking Heads', an elderly lady reflects on the changing relationships with her two sons"  

Leeds International FF

FANTASPORTO

2013

CRITICS AWARD

THE SEASONING HOUSE

Producer: Michael Riley

Director: Paul Hyett

GIBARA IFF

2008

GRAND PRIZE

OUTLANDERS

Producer: Michael Riley

Director: Dominic Lees

MILAN IFF

2008

VAMPIRE DIARY

Producer: Michael Riley

Directors: Phil O'Shea/Mark James

BEST FILM

CINEBRAGA

2013

BEST FILM

THE SEASONING HOUSE

Producer: Michael Riley

Director: Paul Hyett

CINEPOBRE IFF

2008

BEST FILM

OUTLANDERS

Producer: Michael Riley

Director: Dominic Lees

KOLN CONFERENCE

2001

TOP 10 FICTION

IN A LAND OF PLENTY

Series Producer: Michael Riley

Directors: Dave Moore/Hettie Macdonald

MILE HIGH

HORROR FF

2013

CRITICS PRIZE

THE SEASONING HOUSE

Producer: Michael Riley

Director: Paul Hyett

CINEBRAGA

2007

BEST FILM

OUTLANDERS

Producer: Michael Riley

Director: Dominic Lees

SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

2001

IN COMPETITION

CHINA'S WILD WEST

Producer: Michael Riley

Director: Urszula Pontikos

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