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Mike Downey reçoit le Prix Kristián pour l’ensemble d’une carrière à Febiofest


- Le producteur irlandais-britannique et président de l’Académie européenne du cinéma a reçu ce prix lors du gala d’ouverture du festival, des mains de Stephen Daldry

Mike Downey reçoit le Prix Kristián pour l’ensemble d’une carrière à Febiofest
Le producteur Mike Downey (© Damil Kalogjera)

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

Irish-British producer and European Film Academy (EFA) chairman Mike Downey has been presented with the Kristián Lifetime Achievement Award at Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest.

“In the difficult times which we are all experiencing,” says Downey, “I’m delighted that my career as a European producer and as chair of the European Film Academy is being recognised in this way, by the Prague International Film Festival. I have made half a dozen films in Prague, and have great memories of living in the city. We have two major international tsunamis of human rights abuses in both Myanmar and Afghanistan. So I would like to accept this award and dedicate it to those filmmakers who are still behind bars in Myanmar. The coup of February of this year has locked up hundreds of artists, and we all need to work tirelessly for their release. But equally, I also want to dedicate it to all those filmmakers in hiding in Afghanistan. Waiting under the most difficult and dangerous conditions, to find a way out of a place that just became hell for them after 20 years of relative freedom of thought and expression.”

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Downey, who has been a member of EFA since 2000 and a member of the board for nigh-on two decades, was also recently appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday 2021 Honours List. This honour is in recognition of his services to cinema.

Previous recipients of the award include Bruno Ganz, Peter Weir, Alan Rickman, Helmut Berger, Richard Lester, Peter Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Aznavour, Bille August, Arnaud Desplechin, Carlos Saura, Emir Kusturica, Daniel Olbrychski, Geraldine Chaplin, Otar Ioseliani, Wim Wenders, Olivier Assayas, Catherine Denueve, Roman Polanski, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Krzystof Zanussi, Kim Novak, Agnieszka Holland, Carmen Maura, Marco Bellochio, Peter Morgan, Giancarlo Giannini, Jerzy Stuhr, Jeremy Thomas, Sandrine Bonnaire, Leos Carax and Mike Leigh.

Downey was the founder, with producing partner Samantha Taylor, of Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) in 2000 as part of an IPO on the Frankfurt DAX after careers in publishing and theatre and has production credits on around 100 feature films, the lion’s share of which are multi-party European co-productions with partners the length and breadth of Europe. In 2016, Downey founded Film and Music Entertainment (IRE) to work in parallel with the UK entity. Its latest production, Charlatan [+lire aussi :
interview : Agnieszka Holland
fiche film
by Agnieszka Holland, was shortlisted for this year’s US Academy Awards.

His work as a filmmaker has seen projects developed with novelists James Ellroy, the late Günter Grass, and Thomas (Schindler’s List) Keneally; IDA writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz, ViceGroup founder and CEO Shane Smith, as well as directors like Volker Schlöndorff, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Lech Majewski, Peter Greenaway, Julien Temple, Paweł Pawlikowski, Andrzej Jakimowski, Rajko Grlić, Srđan Karanović, Juraj Jakubisko, Friðrik Þór Friðriksson and Stephen Daldry; and writers of the ilk of Lee Hall, Colm Tóibín and David Grossman.

Last year, Downey was part of the team that launched the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) at the Venice Film Festival. The ICFR aims to activate the film community’s collective response to filmmakers who face political persecution for their work. Downey is a founder and board member, and the European Film Academy, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam are the founding partners of the ICFR, with activities that include advocacy, support, monitoring and observation.

Downey is currently a member of the BAFTA Council having previously served two terms, and in 2008 he was a member of the BAFTA Film Committee and an active member of the Asia Pacific Screen Academy. In September 2020, it was announced that Downey would be the Honorary President of the 2020/2021 jury for the revamped LUX Prize, renamed LUX – the European Audience Film Award by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy (also known as LUX Audience Award). Previous retrospectives of his career have taken place in Zagreb (2009), Prague (2015) and Fort Lauderdale (2014).

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(Traduit de l'anglais)

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