ZAGREB, 6 May 2022 – Numerous representatives of the Croatian film and cultural community gathered on Thursday evening for a reception organised by the British Embassy in Zagreb and the Zagreb Film Festival in honour of Mike Downey, a British-Irish producer who resides in Croatia who has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Mike Downey, who is the President of the European Film Academy, received his OBE from The Prince of Wales, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, this week at Windsor Castle was honoured last night at the British Ambassador’s Residence in the Croatian capital.
The gathering of actors, directors, producers, representatives of Croatia’s Ministry of Culture and Media and the City of Zagreb celebrated a long and great collaboration between British and Croatian cinematography, in a year when Britain and Croatia are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations and just a day before the start of the new, spring edition of the Zagreb Film Festival.
“The Queen introduces only exceptional people to the Order of the British Empire, those who have really invested and done something particularly good in their work and thus promoted British art, science, culture or humanitarian work” said British Ambassador Simon Thomas. “Mike Downey, who shares his talent equally in Britain and Croatia, is in a way a symbol of the strong connection and mutual respect between British and Croatian culture, film and people.”
In 2000, Downey founded the independent production company Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) in London. In his career, he has collaborated with writers James Ellroy and Günther Grass and directors such as Peter Greeneway, Agnieszka Holland and Rajko Grlić in – so far – 100 feature films he has worked on. Downey is the artistic advisor of the Zagreb Film Festival, co-founder of the Motovun Film Festival, and has collaborated with the Pula Film Festival.
Actors Zrinka Cvitešić, Rade Šerbedžija, Lana Barić, Ivana Roščić, directors Vinko Brešan, Nenad Puhovski, Antonio Nuić and representatives of the British Council, the Ministry of Culture and the City of Zagreb, the director of the Sarajevo Film Festival and many others that bind a commitment to film art joined the celebrations at the British Ambassador’s Residence last night.