Private Project

The Operator

The Operator follows Michael, a client contact associate as he starts another dull day of business as usual. Connecting long distance intergalactic calls from a remote satellite (not as exciting as it sounds); a bleary eyed and coffee fuelled Michael receives a distress call. No one ever receives a distress call. They barely touch on distress calls during the induction day.

  • Matt Riley
  • Matt Riley
  • Becky Adams
  • Paul Mills
  • Graham Dickson
    Key Cast
  • Amy De Bhrún
    Key Cast
  • Alice Fraser
    Key Cast
  • Hugh Dennis
    Key Cast
  • Celya AB
    Key Cast
    "Caller 1"
  • Pierre Novellie
    Key Cast
    "Caller 2"
  • Stuart Laws
    Key Cast
    "Caller 3"
  • Tom Mitchell
    Production Design and Construction
  • Duncan McDonald
    Editor and Sound Design
  • Andy Russell
  • Iona Beresford
    Costume Design
  • Hayley Jennings
    3rd Assistant Director
  • Gavin Jones
    Production Assistant
  • Pete Carrier
  • Rhiannon Pallister
  • Oliver Pearson
    1st AC
  • Richard Perry
    2nd AC
  • Benedict Bannister
    Motion Control Operator
  • Paul Fairey
    Sound Recording
  • George Ham
    Art Department Assistants
  • Alka Kurian
    Art Department Assistants
  • Rachel Pickering
    Art Department Assistants
  • Georgia Neill
    Art Department Assistants
  • Louise Smith
    Still Photography
  • Tim Clark
    Graphic Design
  • Dan Beddoe
  • Oliver Pearson
    Visual Effects
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 26, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Cheongju International Short Film Festival
    Cheongju, South Korea
    Korea, Republic of
    August 22, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival
    August 28, 2022
    Winner - Best Actor - Short
  • 4:3 International Short Film Festival
    September 17, 2022
    European Premiere
    Winner - International Competition - Main Prize
  • Brooklyn SciFi Film Fest
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    October 8, 2022
    North American Premiere
    Honourable Mention - Best Live Action
  • ElectricDreams International Film Festival
    October 11, 2022
    Italian Premiere
    Jury Special Mention - Direction & Lead Actor
  • Lowestoft Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 22, 2022
    Winner - Best British Short Film (Best Cinematography)
  • Uppsala Short Film Festival
    October 26, 2022
    Official Selection
  • British Short Film Awards
    United Kingdom
    December 14, 2022
    Winner - Best Sci-Fi
  • Norwich Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 13, 2022
    Nominated - Best British Short Film
  • Other Worlds Film Festival
    Austin, Texas
    United States
    December 2, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Leuven International Short Film Festival
    December 7, 2022
    Official Selection - European Competition
  • Nevermore Film Festival
    Durham, NC
    United States
    February 25, 2023
    Winner - Best International Short - Audience Award
  • 4661 Film Fest
    March 4, 2023
    Winner - Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Music, Best VFX
Director Biography - Matt Riley

Matt Riley is a Director of Photography based in Bristol in the South West of the UK. The Operator is the first film he's written and directed.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The Operator is an allegory for my own experience of learning about the true extent of the climate crisis, and how helpless and ill equipped a person can feel. It explores the notion of "Climate Grief" as the world heads towards a series of climate and ecological tipping points.
As my day job is that of a DP the technical side of the story telling was very important to me, camera movement and lighting cues are integral to the narrative and the way the story unfolds for an audience.
The film was made with Screen Northants, a social enterprise group using film to help young people in Northamptonshire, UK. We created a lot of educational material around the production of the film. Blogs, Q&As and online production meetings. We also live streamed the pre-light and shoot itself. This allowed Screen Northants to continue their outreach remotely during the pandemic in 2021.