Los Angeles born Michael J. Werner is a long-time veteran of the movie sales business, with nearly 30 years experience in international film sales and consulting, specialising in the Asia-Pacific region. He joined Fortissimo Film Sales as an external consultant in 1995 and in 2000 became a partner in the company.
Werner had a prior focus on big commercial films handling such titles as Die Hard 3, Talk Radio and Evita. As a media consultant his clients included 20th Century Fox International, IBM, Polygram and The Sunshine Group/CineAsia.
As Fortissimo has ventured more into the world of film financing and production, Werner has served as Executive Producer or Co-Producer on a number of high profile independent films including SHORTBUS, P.S., THE NIGHT LISTENER, MYSTERIOUS SKIN, TOKYO SONATA, INVISIBLE WAVES, SPRINGTIME IN A SMALL TOWN and DISGRACE.
With Fortissimo Co-Chair Wouter Barendrecht, in 2005 Werner was awarded a Silver Hugo for his contribution to world cinema by the Chicago Film Festival and in 2006 they were jointly awarded a Golden Kinnaree for their contribution to Asian cinema by the Bangkok Film Festival.
He has lived in Hong Kong since 1995. In 2006 he became member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Executive Branch).