James Staniforth Ricketson (born 1949) is an Australian film director who, in June 2017, was arrested while flying a drone at a Cambodia National Rescue Party rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and charged with espionage, a charge he denies. He was held in Prey Sar prison and his trial began in a Phnom Penh court on 16 August 2018, with character testimony from Australian film director Peter Weir. On 31 August he was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison. It was announced on 21 September 2018 that Cambodian authorities had pardoned Ricketson for the offense.
Ricketson studied at the Australian Film and Television School and has made a number of features and documentaries.
In 1973 Ricketson filmed and helped to organize Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the two north pylons of Sydney Harbour Bridge. A short film of the walk was released on DVD with Man On Wire, the Academy Award-winning documentary on Petit's World Trade Center Twin Towers walk.
Ricketson has directed three feature films, Third Person Plural (1978), Candy Regentag (1989), Blackfellas (1994). His documentaries include Reflections (1973), Roslyn and Blagica Everyone Needs a Friend (1979), Born in Soweto (1994), Sleeping with Cambodia (1997), Backpacking Australia (2001), and Viva (2004).
In 1981 he became one of the founding members of the Australian Directors Guild. In the same year, he directed one of the four episodes of the award-winning Australian mini-series Women of the Sun. In July 2012 it was announced he was suing Screen Australia.
In 2014 Ricketson was fined six million Cambodian riel (A$1,500) and given a suspended two-year prison sentence by a Phnom Penh court for threatening to broadcast accusations that a local branch of the Brisbane-based Citipointe Church sold children. https://www.cambodianchildrensfund.org/fact-sheet-1/