Jeff “The Dude” Dowd is a writer, producer, producer’s representative, and a nationally recognized authority on marketing, distribution and exhibition of movies. Jeff Dowd helped Robert Redford start the Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival.
Jeff is also an activist with a history of fighting against racism and ill-conceived wars, fighting for the environment and economic justice and being instrumental in political campaigns and grassroots organizations. He was part of the Seattle Liberation Front, or SLF, a radical anti-Vietnam War movement in the early 1970s. As a member of the “Seattle Seven”, he was jailed following a protest against the Vietnam War.
He is the basis for one of the Coen brother’s most popular characters, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski from The Big Lebowski.
Jeff Dowd was the marketing mind behind Blood Simple, The Blair Witch Project, The Black Stallion, Ghandi, War Games, Hoosiers, Desperately Seeking Susan, Chariots of Fire, Kissing Jessica Stein, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, and many other successful independent movies.
“Everybody knows somebody like the Dude — and so do the Coen brothers. They based the character ”The Dude” played by Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski on a movie producer and distributor named Jeff Dowd, a familiar figure at film festivals, who is tall, large, and shaggy and a boil with enthusiasm. Dowd is much more successful than Lebowski (he has played an important role in the Coens’ careers as indie filmmakers), but no less a creature of the moment. Both dudes depend on improvisation and inspiration…” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times