Honorary President of the LUX European Audience Film Award, Chairman of the European Film Academy
Mike Downey is an Irish film producer and activist who founded the Dublin and London-based independent production house Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) in 2000 as part of an IPO on the Frankfurt DAX and to date has production credits nigh on 100 feature films.
In his relatively short career as a film producer he has worked with the likes of Peter Greenaway, Agnieszka Holland, Julien Temple, Pawel Pawlikowski, Andrzej Jakimowski, Juraj Jakubisko, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Michel Franco and Stephen Daldry, as well as a multitude of other directors the length and breadth of Europe, South America, Africa and India.
His recent work as a film maker has seen projects developed with novelists of the legendary ilk of the great James Ellroy, the late Gunter Grass, and Thomas (Schindler’s List) Keneally; Colm Toibin, IDA scribe Rebecca Lenckiewicz, VICE Group founder and CEO Shane Smith, as well as such diverse directors as Volker Schloendorff, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and Julien Temple.
In addition to his multiple box office successes, Mike’s productions have received over 250 awards from most major film festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Sundance, San Sebastian, Tokyo, and many many more.
Mike has been a board member of the European Film Academy for almost 20 years and is just completing his first year as Chairman alongside president Wim Wenders - the six previous years he was deputy chairman. In 2006 he was voted on to the Council of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and in 2008 he was elected to the BAFTA Film Committee. Mike is also a trustee of the White Ribbon Alliance, a major global organisation aimed at reducing levels of mortality in childbirth in the developing world. He has served on over 20 international juries at film festivals worldwide including the Sarajevo Film festival, Festival do Rio de Janeiro, Cottbus International Film Festival, Warsaw IFF, Istanbul FF, Montreal IFF, Motovun FF, Sofia IFF, Transylvania IFF, Krakow IFF, and Zagreb IFF where in 2009 a retrospective of his work at Film and Music Entertainment was held. In 2014 he was named Producer of the Decade at the FLIFF, joining the two previous incumbents Ed Pressman and Robert Evans. A Tribute was also held to his work as a producer at the 2015 Prague Film Festival.
In 2020 his original alma mater, Warwick University announced he will be the recipient of a Doctorate honoris causa, D.Litt. for his life work and contribution to European theatre and cinema.
He divides his time between wherever he is shooting his latest movie and Notting Hill, Dublin and Istria.