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Oldenburg Honors Maverick Producer Ed Pressman with Retrospective


“Film seemed to be a way of changing the world”- Ed Pressman


This personal credo resonates through his body of work and pioneering creativity and passion for story telling that has enabled and launched the careers of cinemas most acclaimed directors and stars. On the 50th Anniversary of his first foray into filmmaking in 1967, and with nearly 90 films to his credit, Ed Pressman is an iconic and prolific force to whom modern cinema and so many of its greatest artists are indebted. Know globally for such films as “Wall Street” and “Reversal of Fortune”, which earned Michael Douglas and Jeremy Irons Oscars, Pressman is a rare pioneer who took personal risks to support and champion such unknown untested talents such as Terrance Malick, Brian de Palma, James Toback, Katherine Bigelow, Sam Raimi, and Oliver Stone – to a name a few; and with his support, all would go from obscurity to international acclaim.

Heir to an American Toy Company, the path of the Stanford Philosophy Major & London School of Economics Grad would change lanes after a chance meeting with a young American filmmaker with wild ideas, Paul Williams. Forming a collaboration that would last nearly a decade, their first films “Out of It” & “The Revolutionary” would mark the beginning of new horizons for the shy and bookish rule breaker drawn to vicarious creativity. Putting all on the line, he pioneered independent voices and visions of young filmmakers that may have otherwise remained silenced without his keen eye and seemingly fearless investment in the gifts they could offer. Pressman believed in what they had to share culturally and politically – for which there is no resale value. Perhaps they could inspire, or make a difference. And they did. In times when Studios and distribution deals dictated content for audience, he offered the rising stars of cinema a platform to be seen and heard.

Unlike the impresarios of other art forms, film producers are rarely honored for their art. Pressman’s filmography is a variety of high-profile, indie, and international projects, and his unique ability to spot unproven talents and launch the careers of world-class filmmakers is legendary. Childhood friend and longtime collaborator, James Toback, remarks on his ethos and desire to please and help others which hasn’t changed since early days when “as a kid he always had the best toys, and he’d share them”. As Abel Ferrera, with whom he collaborated on (3) films including 1992s ‘Bad Lieutenant,’ aptly states: “He’s there for us to be what we can be”.

On the occasion of his 50th year of filmmaking, the Oldenburg International Film Festival is honored to present within this Retrospective the following (8) films which touch upon his oeuvre:

“The Revolutionary” (1970) *German Premiere
Starring: Jon Voight, Seymour Cassel, Robert Duvall
Director: Paul Williams

“Badlands” (1973)
Starring: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek
Director: Terrence Mallick

“Phantom of the Paradise” (1974)
Starring: William Finley, Paul Williams
Director: Brian De Palma

“Despair” (1978)
Starring: Dirk Bogarde, Andrea Ferreol
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

“Talk Radio” (1988)
Starring: Eric Bogosian, Ellen Greene
Director: Oliver Stone

“Reversal of Fortune” (1990)
Starring: Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons
Director: Barbet Schroeder

“American Psycho” (2000)
Starring: Christian Bale, Jared Leto, Justin Theroux, Reese Witherspoon
Director: Mary Harron

“Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” (2009)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes
Director: Werner Herzog

Photos and more information about these films are available at