THE FOUNDERS

Walter Josten | Jeff Geoffray



WALTER JOSTEN
Producer, Chief Operating Officer

Walter Josten is one of a select group of producers in Hollywood who has been (and can be) involved in every aspect of filmmaking. Josten's immersion in the process gives him the necessary perspective to guide his ideas from the development of the script through the financing, production and post-production stages, into the marketing and distribution of a motion picture.

As a producer and a screenwriter, Josten has developed numerous projects. Since he started working with Blue Rider co-founder Jeff Geoffray in 1984, Walter has produced, financed and/or distributed 118 feature films (in all the major genres), TV movies and documentaries. Josten has also distributed films, both in the competitive U.S. theatrical market and internationally.

Josten and Geoffray’s first film together as producers was 1986's Witchboard, a financial and critical success. Josten has been executive producer and producer on a more than 38 films since he and Geoffray founded Blue Rider Pictures in 1991.

During the next seven years, Blue Rider continued developing, producing and domestically distributing movies. In 1998, Geoffray and Josten created Blue Rider International and began attending major world sales markets, including Cannes, MIFED and AFM, where they began distributing their films globally.

Also in 1998, Josten wrote the story and was executive producer for Silver Wolf, starring Roy Scheider. This Family Channel Premiere won the prestigious Star Boy Award at the 18th Oulu International Children’s Film Festival, in Oulu, Finland.

Walter is proud of his role as executive producer of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild,, a film that won critical acclaim. Based on one of Josten’s favorite boyhood books, Blue Rider’s film version of this classic tale has an enduring emotional appeal.

Walter Josten was executive producer of two Showtime Premieres. One of them, The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie—starring James Caan (Oscar nomination for The Godfather) and Gena Rowlands (Oscar noms for Gloria and A Woman Under the Influence)—won Josten a 2004 Emmy award, with co-producer Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook). Josten also exec produced the Showtime family drama Behind the Red Door, which starred Kiefer Sutherland and Kyra Sedgwick.

In the documentary Uncommon Kindness: The Father Damien Story, co-writer/co-director/co-producer Walter Josten tells the story of Father Damien, a Belgian priest who dedicated his life to the abandoned victims of leprosy in 19th century Molokai, Hawaii. Robin Williams narrates this moving historical drama, which won the prestigious Ciné Golden Eagle Award.

Josten was also executive producer of the comedy My 5 Wives—starring and co-written by Rodney Dangerfieldand of the family adventure comedy Kids World, starring Christopher Lloyd and Blake Foster.

Gena Rowlands in The Incredible Mrs. RitchieHis fondness for horses led Josten to his 1999 role as producer of the award-winning family adventure thriller Shergar, starring Mickey Rourke and Sir Ian Holm. This exciting true story tells of the politically motivated kidnapping of one of Britain's most famous racehorses.

In 2001, Blue Rider began its collaboration with Walden Media, a company headed by Cary Granat and owned by the visionary entrepreneur Phil Anschutz. Walden Media produced The Chronicles of Narnia, one of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history. Blue Rider served as Walden’s first and only production-services entity as the Anschutz firm evolved into a major force in the industry. While working for Walden, Walter co-executive-produced Around the World in 80 Days, starring Jackie Chan and featuring John Cleese, Sylvester Stallone, Owen Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Macy Gray. Josten also served as production executive on the critically acclaimed Walden Media/Disney hit Holes, starring Sigourney Weaver, John Voigt and Tim Blake Nelson. This inspiring desert drama was nominated for eight major American awards, winning the Las Vegas Film Critics' Sierra Award as Best Family Film of 2004.

Josten’s love of family films led to his founding of The Entertainment Experience, an acting and film school for kids that developed an experimental curriculum, which he and the Company explored with their partner Joey Travolta.

In 1998, Blue Rider entered the emerging field of Bridge Financing, and quickly the firm became the industry leader. The Company has bridge-financed more than 70 films, representing over $687 million worth of production.

Movies that Blue Rider has Bridge financed include: Asylum (which earned several honors, including a major 2005 British acting award for star Natasha Richardson); Thief Lord (starring Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave); O Jerusalem (Sir Ian Holm); The Flock (Richard Gere, Claire Danes); Slow Burn (Minnie Driver, James Spader); 2001: A Space Travesty (Leslie Nielsen); ABC's Eloise at The Plaza (Julie Andrews); Flawless (Michael Caine, Demi Moore); The Groomsmen (John Leguizamo, Brittany Murphy); Canes (Edward Furlong); The Tiger's Tale (Kim Cattrall, Brendan Gleeson); Rescue Dawn (Christian Bale); Back in the Day (Ving Rhames, Ja Rule ); Modigliani (Andy Garcia); Bar Starz (Charlie Murphy); Say Nothing (William Baldwin); Wake of Death (Jean-Claude Van Damme), Death Defying Acts (Catherine Zeta-Jones, Guy Pearce); Beautiful Ohio (William Hurt, Julianna Margulies); Outlander (Jim Caviezel, John Hurt); I Could Never Be Your Woman (Michelle Pfeiffer, Henry Winkler) and Then She Found Me (Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick).

More recently, Blue Rider has Bridge financed Surveillance (Julia Ormand, Bill Pullman), 100 Feet (Famke Janssen, Bobby Cannavale), The Take (John Leguizamo, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Perez), Give ‘em Hell Malone (Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames), Gospel Hill (Danny Glover, Giancarlo Esposito, Angela Bassett), Boot Camp (Mila Kunis), Not Forgotten (Paz Vega, Simon Baker), Deal (Burt Reynolds, Shannon Elizabeth), Knife Edge (Nathalie Press, Hugh Bonneville) and Who’s Your Caddy? (Big Boi).

In Milwaukee, Walter Josten was a high school football quarterback, baseball player, wrestler and track athlete. While at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee he majored in fine arts and won the Best Painting award at a gallery show for Wisconsin college artists.

After college, Josten moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he met his wife Pat. They were married in 1979. In Florida, he and enjoyed a career as an artistópainting in oils, watercolors and other media. Walter supported himself with his art, painting swimming pool and restaurant murals, commissioned portraits, as well as designing menus and logos for many area eateries. As an entrepreneur, he was also involved in the restaurant and fitness businesses.

Jostenís son Patrick was born in 1982, and the following year, the Jostens moved to Southern California. There Walter soon got into the independent movie businessódiscovering that his art and business backgrounds made him uniquely suited to the field.

In 2005, Walter and his son Patrick, a high school and college football quarterback who briefly played quarterback for the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League, teamed up to produce a biography of NFL superstar Randy Moss titled The Moss Method. The film aired on cable in 2006, and is currently available on DVD.

Today, Walter continues his athletic activities including running and snowboarding. He has completed four L.A. Marathons in recent years. He also continues to paint, and his favorite media are oils and watercolors.

“Within Blue Rider, my areas of focus involve finding new bridge loan opportunities, working with our investors and helping to finance viable motion picture projects, but I actually get involved in every aspect of the filmmaking process—from story idea to script through financing to overseeing production and theatrical distribution,” Josten explains. “One reason I enjoy my work so much is that it requires a rare mix of creative, financial and business skills. Every day I’m involved with the full range of creative professionals and switch from that to the intricacies presented by lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs and financiers.”

“Since we recently opened up a new array of financial services, we have been able to create novel solutions to the various challenges brought to us by an ever-more-complex market. When Pam Koffler of Killer Films came to us with a unique set of requirements for Then She Found Me, where Helen Hunt was attached not only to star but also direct her first feature, we were able to create and extend a hybrid of Bridge and Super Gap loans and enable the production to move forward.”

With his Midwest upbringing, Walter Josten understands what kind of films most Americans want to see. With each project he undertakes, he hopes to enrich people's lives and imaginations through the art of story telling.

Walter Josten's Internet Movie Database page

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