Film and Music Entertainment
Mike Downey founded the UK-based independent production house Film and Music Entertainment as part of an IPO on the Frankfurt DAX with business partner Sam Taylor. Film & Music Entertainment films have been screened at Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Venice, San Sebastian and Toronto Film festivals.
The first 20 years of F&ME’s existence saw it entering into production 100-odd co-productions with a total budget of EUR 325 million involving 170 production companies from all over Europe. It now has a catalogue of rights in over 50 features including Academy Award Nominee and Venice Golden Lion winner Before the Rain, Academy Award Nominee Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s Venice opener The President, box office horror hit Deathwatch, Sundance South African hit Son of Man, Jason Biggs starrer Guy X and Dinard winner White Lightnin' as well as 2012 Berlinale Audience Award Winner Parada by Srdjan Dragojevic. In 2021 Mike’s partnership with Agnieszka Holland on Charlatan was a candidate for the US Academy Awards.
Launched in 2000 as part of a public offering on the Frankfurt Boerse’s Neuer Markt, F&ME was the subject of a management buy-out by its principals Sam Taylor and Mike Downey in 2003, and as an independent entity has kept to its annual production targets of producing 2 in-house films and between 4 and 6 co-productions a year in the £1.5 - £5 million budget range.
F&ME is the key and unique Anglo-Irish production house that collaborates with Europe in a creative and meaningful way with both European artists and financiers. In addition it is one of the UK’s leading and most innovative feature film production houses, it is known for its ability to put together complicated productions with serious authors from all over the world.
In 2015 Film and Music Entertainment launched Film and Music Entertainment (IRE) Ltd as a subsidiary based in Dublin, to date it has produced or co-produced twelve features.
F&ME was named the ‘number two production company in the UK’ by the BFI's Annual Statistical Yearbook 2012, it was number one in 2011, in its fourteenth year it has confirmed its position as a key player in the UK production arena, with more cross border European activity than any other production house in the UK. From 2014-2020 the company was never out of the top ten.
The closest comparison to the F&ME approach is what one would term World Music. F&ME operates in the sphere of World Cinema. In fact, daring cross-border activity within the company is its life blood, not just mainstream Europe but the likes of Georgia, Albania, Serbia as well as Latin America and Africa. This is where F&ME is at its most innovative: creating artistic and financial collaborations in countries and with artists that rarely crossover. F&ME stock in trade is FUSION in the international film funding and film making market.