Jeremy Thomas (Producer)
Cinema has always been a part of Jeremy Thomas’ life. He was born in London into a filmmaking family with his father, Ralph, and uncle, Gerald, both directors. His childhood ambition was to work in cinema. As soon as he left school he went to work in various positions, ending up in the cutting rooms working on films such as The Harder They Come, Family Life and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and worked through the ranks to become a film editor for Ken Loach on A Misfortune.
After editing Philippe Mora’s Brother Can You Spare a Dime, he produced his first film Mad Dog Morgan in 1974 in Australia. He then returned to England to produce Jerzy Skolimowski’s The Shout, which won the Grand Prix de Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
Thomas’ films are all highly individual and his independence of spirit has paid off both artistically and commercially. His extensive output of over forty films includes three films directed by Nicolas Roeg: Bad Timing, Eureka and Insignificance, Julien Temple’s The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and The Hit, directed by Stephen Frears.
In 1986 Thomas produced Bernardo Bertolucci’s epic The Last Emperor, an independently financed project that was three years in the making. A commercial and critical triumph, the film swept the board at the 1987 Academy Awards, garnering an outstanding nine Oscars including ‘Best Picture’.
Thomas has since completed many films including Karel Reisz’s film of Arthur Miller’s screenplay Everybody Wins, Bertolucci’s film of Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky, Little Buddha and Stealing Beauty, David Cronenberg’s films of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and J.G. Ballard’s Crash. In 1997 Thomas directed All The Little Animals, starring John Hurt and Christian Bale, which was in Official Selection at Cannes. Other recent credits include Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast, Takeshi Kitano’s Brother, Khyentse Norbu’s The Cup, Phillip Noyce’s Rabbit-Proof Fence, David Mackenzie’s film of Alexander Trocchi’s Young Adam, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, Terry Gilliam’s Tideland, Wim Wenders’ Don’t Come Knocking, Richard Linklater’s Fast Food Nation and Gerald McMorrow’s Franklyn, starring Eva Green, Sam Riley and Ryan Phillippe.
Thomas was Chairman of the British Film Institute from August 1992 until December 1997 and has been the recipient of many awards throughout the world, including the Michael Balcon British Academy Achievement and the European Achievement in World Cinema, Prix Screen International, European Film Awards 2006. He has been President of the jury at Tokyo, San Sebastian, Berlin Film Festival and Cannes (Un Certain Regard) and has also served on the main jury at Cannes. He was made a Life Fellow of the British Film Institute in 2000 and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2009 New Years Honours List.