Emmy Award winning documentary film maker and cinematographer

Oliver Wilkins is an independent Emmy award winning British filmmaker. He has produced an extensive portfolio of documentary films worldwide, focused on identity, human rights, marginalisation and inequality. He has designed and produced collaborative film projects with remote communities in such diverse locations as Yemen, Palestine, Colombia and Iceland.

The real dawn of digital video came in 1999 when the arrival of small cameras and laptop editing enabled a revolutionary new type of  lightweight and highly mobile production. At the time, Oliver was lucky enough to find himself working as a TV journalist in Cairo, Egypt. Launching as an independent self-shooting director, he quickly established himself as the go to director for organisations and broadcasters looking to produce material on sensitive and challenging subject matter across the Middle East and Africa. In 2002 he produced the first Arabic language film on HIV/AIDS with UNDP and in 2003 made a documentary with the International Organisation of Migration on child smuggling between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Oliver has repeatedly demonstrated the transformative power of collaborative film making projects amongst diverse and remote communities. In 2004 he collaborated with UNICEF to make an innovative animated documentary with children in rural Egypt, ‘Rebellion of the Canes‘ won the ICDB award at the International Emmys the following year. Oliver went on to bring together multiple donors to create Sotna – Egypt’s first TV News show presented entirely by young people. Sixteen young people were trained as journalists and eight episodes were produced in remote locations across Upper Egypt. Oliver has worked extensively with young people in the Middle East and the UK, he designed  filmmaking workshops with Durham University Students, producing a permanent film installation on the world heritage site.  He worked with a rural Welsh school to produce a documentary, music video and red carpet event to successfully campaign against the threat of closure.

In recent years, Oliver has focused on working with marginalised communities. In 2013, he was commissioned by UNDP to develop a project aimed at influencing policy makers as they designed the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). He produced three films under the name Pressure Point exploring grass roots activism amongst forgotten communities, trapped at the intersection of inequality. In Colombia he worked with indigenous groups caught in the cross fire of civil war. In India he focused on Dalit girls fighting for their rights and in Palestine he made a film with cultural resistance group the Freedom Theatre.

Oliver is currently developing a project aimed at protecting heritage sites in the Middle East.  A pilot project in Southern Egypt will use participatory filmmaking to strengthen young peoples relationship with archaeological sites. The project is a collaboration with the British Museum and Cambridge University.

With a background studying fine Art at Central St Martins in London, Oliver maintains a passion for aesthetics. As a cinematographer he has collaborated with Egyptian and British directors to shoot short films, music videos and commercials. In 2015 his first fiction short, the french language L’Eternal Insatisfait took grand jury prize at SF48. In 2017 he collaborated with London’s Wigmore Hall on Folk Up North, to produce projections for a concert of traditional Scottish music by the Donald Grant quartet.

Oliver remains an innovative creative, using personal projects to explore storytelling techniques and personal interests in humans relationships with nature and landscape. Rabbit Hole, his portrait of a Californian taxidermist, played in film festivals globally and Hidden a documentary on folk belief in Yemen premiered at the prestigious Sheffield Doc Fest.