British producer Mike Downey, co-founder of London-based outfit Film and Music Ent. (F&ME), will be honored as Producer of the Decade at the 29th Fort Lauderdale Intl. Film Festival.
A cross-border producer, aiming at nurturing new talent, often focusing on social-issues film, Mike Downey has produced north of 40 titles since launched F&ME in 2000 alongside partner Sam Taylor.
F&ME’s production or co-production credits include internationally prize-winning pics such as Andrzej Jakimowski’s teacher drama “Imagine,” winner of the 2012 Audience Award at the Warsaw Festival, Srdjan Dragojevic’s comedy “Parade,” a Panorama Audience Award Film at Berlin in 2012, and Goran Rusinovic’s 2008 emmigrant drama “Buick Riviera,” awarded by the Sarajevo Film Festival.
Currently, F&ME has just concluded in Cape Town the production of Berlin-Golden Bear winner Mark Dornford-May’s Africa-set opera “Breathe-Umphefumio,” and has neared completing post-production on documentary “Streetkids United II — The Girls From Rio,” the sequel to the 2011 Berlinale entry.
A Jury member of Premiere Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Intl. Film Festival’s centerpiece, which wrapped Oct. 8, Downey worked in the ’80s as a theater director in Europe and was publisher of Moving Pictures Intl. in the ’90s. He has also played as film (“Deathwatch”) and TV (“A Legend to Ride”) actor.
“Over the year’s, Fort Lauderdale Intl. Festival has bestowed many awards to producers. Among those honorees were Ed Pressman and Robert Evans to name a couple of the well known names,” says Gregory Von Hausch, FLIFF president and CEO.
“Mike Downey may not have the stateside name recognition of those and other producers, but when looking over his filmography, which is truly outstanding, I thought, what the hell, let’s celebrate a greater body of work than just a year,” he added.
Running Nov. 7-23, the Fort Lauderdale Intl. Film Festival will also pay tribute to actors-filmmakers, such as George Hamilton, Jason Alexander, Daniel Baldwin and Clara Mamet.