Michael J. Werner

Guest Speaker

US-born Michael J. Werner is a Hong Kong-based veteran of the international film industry with more than 35 years of experience in international film sales, marketing, production and consulting, specializing in the Asia-Pacific region.

Werner started out at LA-based companies, including Manson, Cineplex, and subsequently he became the first head of Summit International. He later worked or consulted for Polygram, IBM, The Sunshine Group/CineAsia and 20th Century Fox International as the co-head of the Asia/Pacific Region. Later he joined Amsterdam-based Fortissimo Films and became a partner in 2000. Fortissimo Films specialized in independent Chinese, Asian, and global cinema and over the years. Werner worked with and represented films from numerous award-winning Chinese and Asian filmmakers and producers, including Wong Kar Wai, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Jiang Wen, and Tsui Hark amongst many others.

Werner, along with the late Wouter Barendrecht, received numerous awards for their contribution to world and specifically Asian cinema including those given by the Chicago Film Festival, the Bangkok Film Festival, CineAsia, the AFA/ Asian Film Awards, the Udine Film Festival and the Montreal International Film Festival.

More recently after the closure of Fortissimo Films in 2016, Werner became a producer and consultant based in Hong Kong. He was one of the producers of Suk Suk (2019), the award-winning and commercial success directed by HK director Ray Yeung. He was also a producer on Yeung’s most recent film, All Shall Be Well (2024) which just won the Teddy Award and the Audience Prize at the 74th Berlinale. He was also a producer on the award winning Sunny Side Of The Street (2023) and is a producer on a new film, The Vampire Of Sheung Shui which was a project in the just completed HAF. In recent years Werner was also a consultant on the Asia Pacific Market to the completion bond giant, Film Finances, the Sundance Institute, and the Netherlands Film Fund. He is currently developing two episodic series with HK producer Danny Hui of Odeon 360 and Hollywood producer Gianni Nunnari of Hollywood Gang, and he is serving as an International Strategic Consultant to Hong Kong’s Edko Films and 852 Films.

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