Mike Downey is an author, film maker, and activist. As a non-fiction writer, Mike has published on a wide range of subjects and has garnered a vast archive of collected writings in publications from Vogue to Variety, from Screen to Stills to Cineaste, having co-founded the Moving Pictures media publishing group in the nineties. As a film maker he has worked with writers like James Ellroy, Gunter Grass, Colm Toibin, Lee Hall, David Grossmann and Vice founder Shane Smith, as well as eclectic range of directors including Agnieszka Holland, Volker Schloendorff, Peter Greenaway, Oliver Hirschbiegel, and Mohsen Makhmalbaf. As Chairman of the European Film Academy he is the co-founder of the International Coalition for Film Makers at Risk and for a decade was a Trustee of the White Ribbon Alliance. Former Thomas Ewing Visiting Professor of Film at Ohio University, in 2021 he became the Honorary President of the LUX Film Award, presented by the European Parliament, and in the same year he was he was awarded an O.B.E. in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to British Cinema. In 2022 the University of Warwick presented Mike with a Doctor of Literature degree, honoris causa (D.Litt.), for his contribution to World Cinema. ISTRIA GOLD marks his debut as a novelist.