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Ben Barenholtz is an independent film exhibitor, distributor, and producer.
In the late 1960s, he opened the Elgin Cinema in New York City, which became a prominent arthouse theatre. He relaunched the films of Buster Keaton and D. W. Griffith, as well as a variety of independent films by new American directors. The works of Stan Brakhage, Jack Smith, Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger, Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol, Jonathan Demme, and Martin Scorsese were played at the theatre.
Barenholtz created the concept of the "midnight movie". He screened Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo, John Waters' "Pink Flamingoes", and Perry Henzell's "The Harder They Come" each for months at a time, seven days a week.
In the 1970s, Barenholtz formed the distribution company, Libra Films, which went on to re-release a variety of foreign films from notable and young directors, as well as new films including David Lynch's first feature, "Eraserhead".
After years as a distributor, Barenholtz began producing. He supported the Coen brothers directorial debut through several titles such as, Blood Simple, Barton Fink (Awarded at the Academy Awards and Cannes Film Festival's Golden Palm & Cannes Film Festival's Best Director award), and Miller's crossing (San Sebastián International Film's Best Director award). He also became involved with filmmakers such as George A. Romero and Darren Aronofsky ("Requiem for a Dream").
Barenholtz recently directed his first feature, Music Inn, a documentary about the famed jazz venue. Barenholtz produced Jamie Greenberg’s comedy, Stags. He is in post-production on Family Games and Wakaliwood and in preproduction on Crossings and Douglas Brown.
Barenhotz is known for his "eye" for talents, movies, and directors through an inspiring and creative lifework. In 2010, he received the industry Toast by the Hamptons International Film Festival.
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