David Riker

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David Riker is an American screenwriter and film director. He is best known for his award-winning film The City (La Ciudad), a neo-realist film about the plight of Latin American immigrants living in New York City. Riker is also the writer and director of The Girl (2012), and the co-writer of the films Sleep Dealer (2008) and Dirty Wars (2013).

Born in Boston, Riker moved to Brussels, Belgium, at the age of five, where he attended a French-speaking school. In 1973 his family moved to London where he studied at The American School.[1]

Riker is a graduate of New York University's Graduate Film School where, in 1992, he made his first fictional film, The City (which became "The Puppeteer" story in the feature The City (La Ciudad) (1998)). The short received critical acclaim and, among other accolades, won the Gold Medal for Dramatic Film at the Student Academy Awards and the Student Film Award from the Directors Guild of America.




  • Sundance Film Festival: NHK Award, David Riker, for The Girl; 2010.
  • Sundance Film Festival: Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, David Riker, shared with Alex Rivera, for Sleep Dealer; 2008.
  • Sundance Film Festival: Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, David Riker, shared with Alex Rivera, for Sleep Dealer; 2008.
  • Student Academy Awards: DGA Student Film Award, for: La Ciudad, New York University; Gold Medal, Dramatic, for La Ciudad New York University; 1995. (Short student film, in 1998 became feature.)
  • San Sebastián International Film Festival: OCIC Award, David Riker. This is an additional special award; 1998.
  • Havana Film Festival: Coral, Best Work of a Non-Latin American Director on a Latin America Subject, David Riker; 1998.
  • Gotham Awards: Open Palm Award, David Riker; 1999.
  • Human Rights Watch International Film Festival: Nestor Almendros Award, David Riker; Tied with Regret to Inform; 1999.
  • XSW Film Festival: SXSW Competition Award, Narrative Feature, David Riker; 1999.
  • San Antonio CineFestival: Premio Mesquite Award, Best Feature Film, David Riker; 1999.
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival: Independent Voice Award, David Riker; 1999.
  • Taos Talking Picture Festival: Taos Land Grant Award, David Riker; 1999.


  • Tribeca Film Festival: Best Narrative Feature, David Riker, for "The Girl"; 2012
  • Independent Spirit Awards: Independent Spirit Award, Best First Feature - Under $500,000, David Riker (director/producer) and Paul S. Mezey (producer); 2000.


  1. ^ Zeitgeist Films biography of David Riker.

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