RYAN PIERS WILLIAMS
Ryan Piers Williams is an American Filmmaker with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Born and raised in El Paso, TX, he started making films at the age of twelve and found a love for theatre while in high school. Williams went on to attend the University of Texas at Austin where he studied Radio, Television and Film and ultimately graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Upon graduation, Williams began working for Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney on several productions including Ocean’s 12, Ocean’s 13, Goodnight and Good Luck, and The Good German while continuing to develop his own projects.
In 2010, Williams premiered his first feature film, The Dry Land, which he wrote and directed, at the Sundance Film Festival in the Dramatic Competition. The Dry Land follows a U.S. soldier returning home from war as he struggles to reconcile his experiences abroad with the life and family he left in Texas. The film was was produced by Heather Rae (Frozen River) and stars Ryan O’nan, Golden Globe winner America Ferrera, Academy Award winner Melissa Leo, Wilmer Valderrama, Jason Ritter and Diego Klattenhoff. With support from the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Army, Williams created an outreach program that took the film on an educational tour to Army bases around the country to educate soldiers and communities on the effects of PTSD. Additionally, Williams traveled to Iraq with the USO to visit soldiers fighting the war. The Dry Land won several awards including the Grand Jury Prize at the Dallas International Film Festival, the Best International Feature Award at the 64th Edinburgh International Film Festival, a Voice Award, and was released theatrically and digitally.
Following the success of The Dry Land, in 2012 Williams produced the feature film Kilimanjaro, a comedy about a man who decides to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro after the end of his latest relationship. Written and directed by Walter Strafford, Kilimanjaro stars Brian Geraghty, Alexia Rasmussen, Abigail Spencer, Chris Marquette and Jim Gaffigan. Kilimanjaro premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and was released later that year.
Most recently, Williams wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the lead role in his second feature film, X/Y, alongside America Ferrera, Melonie Diaz, Jon Paul Phillips, Common, Amber Tamblyn and Dree Hemingway. X/Y, a drama that looks at the complicated love lives and interactions of a group of friends in New York, premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and will be theatrically and digitally released in March 2015.
Williams is currently writing his next feature film, Staring at the Sun. Staring at the Sun was awarded the 2015 San Francisco Film Society / KRF Filmmaking grant for screenwriting. In addition, Williams is in development for a television show he created entitled, Social Creatures, for ABC Family - newly named Freeform.
While defining himself as a filmmaker, Williams expands upon the themes commonly found in his films through the use of various mediums including paint, photography and video. His art provides him with an opportunity to express and interact with his audience in alternative ways with canvas, polaroids and moving images. Williams uses his artwork to examine both the serene and caustic sides of human nature, which is expressed in his Monsters & Landscapes series — his first solo art show, which debuted in New York City on January 9, 2015. Williams’ second solo art show, Schismatix, will debut in Los Angeles on November 7, 2015 at the George Billis Gallery. Schismatix explores Williams’ multitude of internal schisms outwardly expressed on canvas.
In addition to filmmaking and painting, Williams spends much of his free time cycling, through which he raises money for charities such as the National MS Society and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, supporting wounded veterans.