The Short Version:
Chris recently produced the Zellner Brothers’ KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER, starring Rinko Kikuchi, which had its world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Amplify Releasing.
Previously, Chris produced John Bryant’s THE OVERBROOK BROTHERS, which premiered in competition at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival and was acquired by IFC Films. He also executive produced Paul Gordon’s award-winning THE HAPPY POET and served as a co-producer on Bryan Poyser’s LOVERS OF HATE, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Recently, Chris executive produced GOOD NIGHT and produced THANK YOU A LOT, both of which had their World Premieres at the SXSW Film Festival, in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Chris is a 2015 Independent Spirit Award Nominee for the Piaget Producers Award and he is a 2013 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow, as well as an alum of the IFP Narrative Filmmaker Labs.
The Long Version:
Chris Ohlson recently produced KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER, a film that had its World Premiere on January 20th, 2014, as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The film has gone on to screen at sold out venues at more than 40 festivals and markets around the world, including the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, SXSW, Karlovy Vary, San Francisco, Sydney, and many, many others. Along the way, Kumiko has received a slew of awards, including a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Musical Score at Sundance, a Best Director Award at the 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival, a Screenwriting Award at the 2014 Nantucket Film Festival, and Audience Awards at both the Las Palmas (Spain) Film Festival and Little Rock Film Festival. The film was acquired by Amplify Releasing and will be released in 2015. Scott Foundas of Variety said of KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER, “Our desire that life should be more like it is in the movies beats at the heart of “Kumiko the Treasure Hunter,” a wonderfully strange and beguiling adventure.” While Rodrigo Perez of The Playlist wrote, “A kind of peculiar, intelligent fairy tale, the Zellner brothers magical ‘Treasure Hunter’ leaves much to chew on... and much of this frosty and bracing expressionism will be a subjective experience. But either way, its ambiguity should dazzle and delight."
Ohlson also produced THANK YOU A LOT, the first film from writer/director, Matt Muir. The film premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival to strong reviews, and was released in June of 2014 by Gravitas Ventures. The Austin Chronicle wrote of the film, “Starring the inimitable James Hand and spot-on Blake DeLong, this is a story of regret, pride, and love that will stick with you long after the house lights have come back up.”
Ohlson’s first film as a producer, John Bryant’s THE OVERBROOK BROTHERS, screened in competition at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival. The film screened at numerous festivals around the world, before being distributed by IFC Films.
In 2010, Ohlson also served as a Co-Producer on Bryan Poyser’s LOVERS OF HATE, which World Premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. The film was called, “"The most exciting American indie I've seen in a while." by Karina Longworth of the LA Weekly and “Viciously amusing” by The New York Times. The film was nominated for The John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award.
He also Executive Produced the THE HAPPY POET, which screened at more than 50 domestic and international festivals, (including the 67th Venice Film Festival) and won critical praise from publications including Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times. The Village Voice said of the film, “A sweet, stealthy film about creating meaning in your life (and your work) in a relentlessly mercenary world. Off-handed and yet quite artfully observed, The Happy Poet's winsome deadpan offsets its skewering of class and sustainability issues, right through to a tricky ending that, like Bill himself, may not be what it seems.” THE HAPPY POET won numerous prizes at screenings around the world, including the Audience Awards at the Oldenburgh Int’l Film Festival, an American Independents Awards at The Philadelphia International Film Festival and a Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the Florida Film Festival.
Ohlson served as an Executive Producer on GOOD NIGHT, starring Adriene Mishler, Jonny Mars, Alex Karpovsky and Chris Doubek. GOOD NIGHT was called "LOVELY AND DEVASTATING." by Indiewire, and Film Threat said of the film, "The true strength of Good Night is the top-notch ensemble cast. Throw Alex Karpovsky, Todd Berger, Jason Newman and Chris Doubek into a room together and some sort of cinematic magic is going to happen; but there is also no doubt that it is the emotionally dynamic duo of Adriene Mishler and Jonny Mars who turn Good Night into something that is truly special. I might even say that Mishler and Mars clock in two of the greatest dramatic performances in the history of Austin filmmaking." GOOD NIGHT had its World Premiere on March 11th, 2013 at the SXSW Film Festival.
Other production credits include Mitch Schultz’s DMT: THE SPIRIT MOLECULE, Nanette Burstein’s AMERICAN TEEN, Kevin Triplett’s BLAZE FOLEY: DUCT TAPE MESSIAH, Mari Marchbanks’ FALL TO GRACE and Jacob Vaughn’s THE CASSIDY KIDS, as well as numerous commercials, music videos and independent web projects.
He is a Creative Producing Fellow of the Sundance Institute, and an alum of IFP’s Narrative Lab Program.