THE FOUNDER

Walter Josten



WALTER JOSTEN
Founder and President

Blue Rider founder Walter Josten has been producing motion pictures and television projects since 1984, films that reflect his unique artistic vision and dedication to entertaining a world audience. The budgets of Walter’s films have ranged from a few million dollars to over a hundred million dollars, and the films have been released in every medium, in virtually every corner of the world. Some of Blue Rider’s major claims to fame are its major involvement in Around The World In 80 Days, Holes, Jim Cameron’s Ghosts of the Abyss, Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn, romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman,  Rodney Dangerfield comedy My 5 Wives, sci-fi actioner Outlander, intelligent drama Beautiful Ohio, gripping drama Asylum, biopic Modigliani, sports actioner A Warrior’s Heart, gripping drama Slow Burn, escape thriller Boot Camp. sexy thriller Survival Island, uplifting documentary: Uncommon Kindnesss: The Father Damien Story and cult genre classics such as Witchboard, Night of the Demons, Pinocchio’s Revenge and Leprechaun 4: In Space. The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie, starring James Caan and Gena Rowlands, garnered Josten a 2004 Emmy award.

Walter Josten and Blue Rider have produced, distributed, and/or financed over 120 films in all major genres since 1984, featuring such stars as Robin Williams, Keanu Reeves, Josh Brolin, Jon Voight, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Demi Moore, Sigourney Weaver and Bette Midler, plus TV movies and documentaries. Josten has also distributed films, both in the competitive U.S. theatrical market and internationally. In 2017, in Puerto Rico, Walter Josten and Blue Rider were producing Replicas, with Keanu Reeves, Driven with Jason Sudeikis and Speed Kills with John Travolta.

Josten’s first film as producer was 1986's Witchboard, a financial and critical success. Josten has been executive producer and producer on a more than 60 films since he founded Blue Rider Pictures in 1991.

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

His 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.

Gena Rowlands in The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie

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 60 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 Daines); 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, Steve Zahn); 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 artist—painting 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.

Josten’s son, Patrick, was born in 1982. The following year, the Jostens moved to Southern California, where Walter was quickly introduced to the independent movie business. He soon discovered that his art and his 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 in the Canadian Football League and on several US Arena football teams, 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, snowboarding and throwing footballs. He has completed four L.A. Marathons in recent years. He also continues to paint portraits, landscapes, birds, and animals, and his favorite media are oils and watercolors.

“Within Blue Rider, my areas of focus involve finding new opportunities to finance, produce, and distribute 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,” Blue Rider CEO Josten remarked. “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.”

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

©2017 Blue Rider Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved