Acclaimed writer, director, and producer Tiller Russell creates character-led films that defy genre and display an incisive understanding of the criminal mind and the worlds that surround them.
Having established himself as one of the top documentary filmmakers, his four-part doc series, Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer, premiered on Netflix in 2021 to critical acclaim. The Chicago Sun-Times gave the series a glowing review, stating it “Join[s] the ranks of the very best true crime shows in recent memory… We are very early in the 2021 viewing season, but it’s difficult to imagine any project in this genre having a more profound impact. This is great television.”
Silk Road, the larger-than-life thriller that Tiller wrote and directed about the illegal Dark Net website and its 29-year-old kingpin creator Ross Ulbrich, was acquired by Lionsgate in late 2020 for theatrical and VOD distribution. The film is based on the Rolling Stone article “Dead End On Silk Road” and stars Jason Clark, Nick Robinson, Paul Walter Hauser, and Alexandra Shipp.
Tiller’s previous documentary series, The Last Narc, details the infamous 1985 cartel murder of DEA agent ‘Kiki’ Camarena and is now streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime. Additional directorial credits include Operation Odessa, which premiered at SXSW in 2018. It tells the true story of a Russian mobster, a Miami playboy, and a Cuban spy who teamed up in the early ’90s to sell a Soviet submarine to the Cali Cartel. The film currently holds a 100% fresh Critics Score and a 90% fresh Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Before this, Tiller directed The Seven Five, an engrossing documentary that delves into rampant police corruption in New York’s 75th precinct during the 1990s. Sony Pictures and Annapurna purchased the remake rights in a bidding war and the film currently holds an 83% and 84% Critics and Audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
As Tiller continues to develop new projects in the documentary and feature spheres, his eye for exploring riveting stories and his ability to emotionally connect with his onscreen protagonists are both seen and felt with extraordinary power.