Two mismatched entrepreneurs – egghead innovator Mike Lazaridis and cut-throat businessman Jim Balsillie – joined forces in an endeavour that was to become a worldwide hit in little more than a decade. The device that one of them invented and the other sold was the BlackBerry, an addictive mobile phone that changed the way the world worked, played and communicated. But just as BlackBerry was rising to new peaks, it also started losing its way through the fog of Smartphone wars, management indecision and outside distractions, eventually leading to the breakdown of one of the most successful ventures in the history of the tech and business worlds.
In his earlier works (The Dirties, Operation Avalanche), Matt Johnson has proven how irresistible an urge it is for cineastes equipped with a camera to capture on film that which seems incredible, or even impossible. His are the stories of seemingly unremarkable individuals who are tempted to achieve something that nobody else has. Coupled with his own brand of savage humour, Johnson amazes us with this story of two Canadian guys who, in between movie nights, invented the tool that, for better or worse, changed our way of doing pretty much everything.
by Matt Johnson
with Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson, Cary Elwes, Saul Rubinek, Michael Ironside, Rich Sommer, Sungwon Cho, Michelle Giroux, Mark Critch
Canada 2023 English 121’ Colour World premiere


  • Jay Baruchel (Mike Lazaridis)
  • Glenn Howerton (Jim Balsillie)
  • Matt Johnson (Doug)
  • Cary Elwes (Yankowski)
  • Saul Rubinek (Woodman)
  • Michael Ironside (Purdy)
  • Rich Sommer (Paul)
  • Sungwon Cho (Ritchie)
  • Michelle Giroux (Dara)
  • Mark Critch (Bettman)


Director Matt Johnson
Screenplay Matt Johnson, Matthew Miller
Cinematography Jared Raab
Editing Curt Lobb
Music Jay McCarrol
Sound Design Matt Chan
Sound Nathan Street
Production Design Adam Belanger
Costumes Hanna Puley
Make-Up Ashley Vieira
Assistant Director Matt Greyson
Casting Pam Dixon, Sara Kay, Jenny Lewis
Production Manager Becky Yeboah
Line Producer Kristy Neville
Producers Niv Fichman, Matthew Miller, Fraser Ash, Kevin Krikst
Executive Producers Noah Segal, Adrian Love, Nate Bolotin, Maxime Cottray, Nick Spicer, Aram Tertzakian, Jay McCarrol, Robert Upchurch

Matt Johnson

The director was born in Toronto, Canada. BlackBerry is his third feature film following The Dirties and Operation Avalanche. He is also the co-creator of the cult comedy series Nirvanna the Band the Show. He has appeared as an actor in films including Anne at 13,000 ft which screened in the 2020 Berlinale Forum. He lectures in the film department of York University alongside his producing partner Matthew Miller.


2013 The Dirties 2016 Operation Avalanche · Nirvanna the Band the Show; series 2023 BlackBerry

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023