Born in Jerusalem in 1954, he studied at the National Film School in Beaconsfield, England. His graduation film was a political thriller based on true events entitled "On a Clear Day You Can See Damascus". He was a guest of the International Forum section of the Berlinale in 1992 with "Cup Final". "Die syrische Braut" ("The Syrian Bride", 2004), which tells the story of an Arab-Israeli woman who is deeply grieved by the prospect of having to leave her Israeli hometown for an arranged marriage to a Syrian, turned out to be an international success.
Riklis' next films also worked as comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The award-winning "Lemon Tree" shows the legal battle of a Palestinian woman who protests against the destruction of her lemon plantation by the IDF, which deems her trees to be a security risk. And in the tragicomedy "Die Reise des Personalmanagers" ("The Human Resources Manager", 2010), a Jewish baker has to transport the body of a deceased foreign employee to her homeland.
For "Playoff" (2011), Riklis focused on the story of legendary basketball coach Max Stoller, who turned from national hero to traitor in Israel's public opinion when he decided to coach the desolate German team for the Olympics.
Riklis next made "Zaytoun" (2012), in which a young Palestinian and an Israeli fighter pilot eventually become friends during the Lebanon war of 1982. The film won the Best Feature Award at Jüdische Filmfestival Berlin.
His following film, "Mein Herz tanzt" ("Dancing Arabs", IL/DE/FR 2014), which premiered at the Locarno IFF, related the romance between a young Arab man and a Jewish woman and was nominated for four Ophir Awards. The same year, Riklis contributed to the Israeli omnibus film "Love Letter to Cinema".
In 2017, Riklis completed the intimate thriller"Aus nächster Distanz" ("Shelter", DE/FR/IL), in which a female Mossad operative and a Lebanese woman who worked as an informer for Israeli intelligence have to stay together in a safe house in Hamburg.