Michael Downey is a documentary filmmaker from Alaska, based in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the 2022 recipient of Picture of the Year International’s Documentary Award of Excellence for his short documentary on the dying bird language in northern Turkey.
Downey's earlier work covered major political events in the MENA region, such as the civil wars in Libya and Syria, the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, the 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, as well as the conflict in Iraq. His most recent conflict work covered the Russian invasion of Ukraine for The New York Times, and then on an upcoming feature documentary on Ukraine.
After seeing the drastic changes in his home state of Alaska over the years Downey has shifted more of his work's focus towards that of climate change, looking at the effects it has on communities and the environment.