Ira Deutchman

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Ira Deutchman
Ira Deutchman.jpg
Born (1953-03-24) March 24, 1953 (age 67)
OccupationIndependent Producer, Distributor, Marketer & Exhibitor
Years active1975-present

Ira Deutchman is best known as a producer, distributor and marketer of independent films,[1][2][3][4] but in 2000, he moved into film exhibition as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Emerging Pictures[5]—a New York-based digital exhibition company, which was sold in January, 2015 to Vancouver-based 20 Year Media[6] He also served as Chair of the Film Program at Columbia University School of the Arts from 2011 to 2015,[7][8] where he has been a Professor of Professional Practice for more than 25 years. Deutchman is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was one of the original creative advisors to the Sundance Institute[9] and formerly served on the Board of Advisors for the Sundance Film Festival. He has also served as a Board member and former Board chair for the Independent Feature Project,[10] the Board of Advisors for the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, the Williamstown Film Festival, IFP/West, and the Collective for Living Cinema, and was a member of the Board for Kartemquin Films.[11] In 2015, he donated his personal archives to the University of Michigan's Screen Arts Mavericks and Makers Collection.[12] Deutchman continues to produce films while consulting on the marketing and distribution of independent films, and teaching producing students in the MFA Film Program at Columbia University's School of the Arts. Current projects include a film adaptation of Barbara Ehrenreich's best-selling book "Nickel and Dimed," a theatrical adaptation of Joan Micklin Silver's 1976 independent film "Hester Street" [13] and a documentary about art film maverick Donald Rugoff, which had its World Premiere at.the 2019 DOC NYC Festival in New York[14]. He consults for Luce Cinecitta on the marketing of Italian cinema in the United States. Deutchman was awarded the first annual Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Sundance Art House Convergence.[15]

Digital Media and Independent Films[edit]

As Co-founder of Emerging Pictures,[16] Deutchman was an early promoter of digital film exhibition. In 2010, he launched "Movie Tweeviews,"[17] a curated, crowd-sourced 140-word film-review Twitter site that includes critics (e.g. Caryn James, Thelma Adams, Joe Leydon), curators, distributors, fans and filmmakers. Deutchman is a frequent speaker on the subject of digital film exhibition and marketing at U.S. and international conferences, including those hosted by Power to the Pixel,[18] the Producers Guild of America,[19] and the Motion Picture Association.[20] He is also a regular speaker and moderator each year at U.S. and international film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, Guadalajara Film Festival,[21] Traverse City Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, IFP Independent Film Week, San Francisco International Film Festival and the São Paulo International Film Festival.[22] He has twice been a keynote speaker at the Art House Convergence annual conference,[23][24] a conference of mission-driven art house theaters held every January in Midway Utah.

Presentations, Books, Articles[edit]

Interviews, Keynote Speeches

Articles/chapters by Ira Deutchman: In addition to his blog and active Twitter life, Deutchman has written articles for numerous professional publications and books on the subject of independent film and marketing, including

  • 2011: Indiewire: How to recreate the repertory cinema for the digital age[26]
  • 1992: The Movie Business Book, Chapter VIII: "Independent Distribution and Marketing"[27]
  • 1996: Moving Pictures, "So What's So Great About New York?"
  • 1988: Variety, "In This Period of Product Glut, Indies Have Ace Up Their Sleeve"
  • 1988: Daily Variety, "What it all Boils Down to is Showbiz"
  • 1988: The Business of Film, "The Next 20 years: Ira Deutchman - USA Marketing/Distribution"
  • 1986: The Film Journal, "State of the Art House"

Early career[edit]

While still in college at Northwestern University, Deutchman organized and marketed the Midwest premiere of John Cassavetes' "A Woman Under the Influence." Shortly after graduation in 1975, Deutchman began his professional career, working under Don Rugoff[28][29] at Cinema 5 Ltd., where he began in non-theatrical sales, moving into advertising before being named Director of Acquisitions. While there, he worked on such seminal films as "Scenes from a Marriage", "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", "Swept Away", "Harlan County USA; and "Pumping Iron."

Deutchman was one of the original founding team of United Artists Classics,[30][31] where he worked as Director of Advertising and Publicity for such classic films as "Lili Marleen" (Rainer Werner Fassbinder), "Diva" (Jean-Jacques Beineix), "The Last Metro" (François Truffaut), "Lola" (Rainer Werner Fassbinder), and "Cutter's Way" (Ivan Passer), as well as the re-release of "New York, New York" (Martin Scorsese) and "The Last Waltz" (Martin Scorsese). From United Artists Classics he moved on to become one of the founding partners for a number of distribution companies that helped define the independent film business, including Cinecom Pictures;[32] Fine Line Features;[33] and Redeemable Features.[34]

At Cinecom Pictures (1982–1988),[35] where Deutchman was co-founder and president, Deutchman released films including "A Room With a View,"[36] "Swimming to Cambodia," "El Norte," "The Brother from Another Planet" and "Stop Making Sense." For a short time after Cinecom, Deutchman went off on his own as a producers' rep and marketing consultant, working on such groundbreaking films as "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" (winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival), "Metropolitan" and "To Sleep with Anger."

While working as a consultant on Whit Stillman's "Metropolitan" for New Line Cinema, Deutchman was recruited to create a new specialized division of the company, which became Fine Line Features. Fine Line had an extraordinary five-year run from 1990-1995 under founder and president Ira Deutchman,[37][38] distributing such critically acclaimed films as "Hoop Dreams,"[39] " The Player,"[40] "Short Cuts," "Night on Earth,"[41] "My Own Private Idaho" "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle."[42]

Deutchman left Fine Line in 1995, to co-found independent film production company, Redeemable Features,[43] with partners Peter Newman and Greg Johnson. Films included Tony Vitale's "Kiss Me, Guido," Sarah Kernochan's "All I Wanna Do," Adam Davidson's "Way Past Cool" and Tanya Wexler's "Ball in the House."

Filmography as producer/director[edit]

  • 2019 Searching for Mr. Rugoff

Filmography as producer[edit]

Director's name in brackets after film title.

Filmography as Executive Producer[edit]

Director's name in brackets after film title.

Other Producer Credits: Associate Producer of John Sayles’ Matewan (1987) and Honeydripper (2007); Consulting Producer on the CBS sitcom Some of My Best Friends (2001).

Marketing & Distribution[edit]

Included in the long list of films marketed and distributed by Deutchman:

Academic career[edit]

Deutchman began teaching at Columbia University in 1987 as an Adjunct Professor in the MFA Film Program of the School of the Arts. His first course in Marketing and Distribution of Feature Films has been taught continuously since, and is now called The Business of Motion Pictures. He became a full-time Associate Professor in 2000, and was promoted to full Professor in 2009. He was named Chair of the Film Program in July 2011[44] and served until 2015.

Personal life and education[edit]

Deutchman was born in Cherry Point, NC, on a marine base, where he lived for a brief time before his family moved for another short stint in the Bronx. But he claims Chicago as his home town, the place where he discovered his passion for film and the Chicago Cubs. He spent his formative years on the south side, graduating from the Myra Bradwell School. Then, in his early teen years, his family moved briefly to Highland Park, a northern suburb of Chicago, before heading east once again to New Jersey, where he graduated from Paramus High School. But the Cubs beckoned, and Ira made a quick return to the Chicago area, where he graduated as a film major from Northwestern University. Deutchman is married and has two children. His son, Jeff Deutchman, is also in the film business; in 2013, after seven years at IFC Films, he moved to Paramount Pictures as Director of Acquisitions (Home Entertainment Division) and then in 2014 to Alchemy, where he served as VP of Acquisitions until 2016.; he is currently Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Production for Neon[45]; he is also the director/editor/producer of the documentary film "11-4-08",[46] about Obama's presidential election. Ira's daughter, Emily Deutchman, is an artist and furniture-maker,[47] and his wife, Beth Krieger, is communications director at a New York City independent school.


In 2015, Deutchman donated his extensive personal archives to the University of Michigan Screen Arts Mavericks and Makers Collection,[12] which also includes the archives of Orson Welles, Robert Altman, John Sayles, Alan Rudolph and Nancy Savoca. Deutchman's collection includes over 40 years of documentation and artifacts of the independent film business from his time at Cinema 5 until the present.


  1. ^ Dawes, Amy (19 May 1990). "A fine time for Fine Line". Moving Pictures: 17.
  2. ^ Brown, Colin (January 17, 1997). "Executive Suite: Ira Deutchman". Screen International.
  3. ^ "The Big Shakeout". The Off-Hollywood Report. January 1989.
  4. ^ Lehman, Susan (July 1992). "Independent's Day". Harper's Bazaar: 96–98.
  5. ^ Deutchman, Ira. "Ira Deutchman - Emerging Pictures". Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  6. ^ Thompson, Anne. "20 Year Media Acquires Emerging Pictures (EXCLUSIVE)". Thompson on Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  7. ^ Appelo, Tim (July 27, 2011). "Ira Deutchman New Chair of Columbia's Film School". Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ Cox, Gordon (27 July 2011). "Deutchman upped at Columbia U". Variety. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Sundance Institute". film institute. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  10. ^ Kaufman, Anthony (October 26, 2006). "Awards Watch: A Crisis for Independent Film?". IndieWire.
  11. ^ "Kartemquin Films". film company. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Film producer, marketer Ira Deutchman donates archive to U-M Library Mavericks & Makers collection | University of Michigan News". Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  13. ^ "'Hester Street' to Be Adapted for the Stage".
  14. ^ "Searching for Mr. Rugoff at DOC NYC". DOC NYC.
  15. ^ "Ira Deutchman Gets First Spotlight Cinema Laurels For Lifetime Of Indie Service".
  16. ^ "Emerging Pictures". film company website. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  17. ^ Appelo, Tim (December 28, 2010). "Top 10 Movie Tweeviews: Ira Deutchman's Latest Great Idea". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  18. ^ "POV on Digital Cinema". video-keynote speech. Technology Today.
  19. ^ "Independent Filmmaking in the Digital World". video interview. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  20. ^ Coonan, Clifford (November 9, 2011). "MPA partners with China Intl. Copyright Expo". Variety. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  21. ^ "Festival de Cine Global Dominicano". film festival website. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  22. ^ "Awards Watch: A Crisis for Independent Films?". IndieWire. October 6, 2006. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  23. ^ "Keynote from the Sundance Art House Convergence". Ira Deutchman. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  24. ^ "Kicking off Art House Convergence 2014". Ira Deutchman. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  25. ^ Green, Jane. "Ira Deutchman on Honeydripper and Indie Film Marketing".
  26. ^ Deutchman, Ira (June 3, 2011). "How to Recreate the Repertory Cinema for the Digital Age". Indiewire. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  27. ^ Squire, James (1992). The Movie Business Book. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 320–327.
  28. ^ Lewis, Jon (1998). The New American Cinema. Duke University Press. p. 68.
  29. ^ Rosefelt, Reid. "Donald Rugoff: In Memory of a Wild Genius". blog. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  30. ^ Davis, Kathy (Winter 1980). "Handle with Care". American Film.
  31. ^ Siskel, Gene (May 16, 1982). "Hello, sweet art: Small films big success in Chicago". Chicago Tribune.
  32. ^ Pierson, John (1997). Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of American Independent Cinema (1st pbk. ed.). New York: Miramax Books/Hyperion. p. 40. ISBN 0-7868-8222-0.
  33. ^ Lukk, Tiiu (1997). Movie Marketing: Opening the Picture and Giving it Legs. Beverly Hills, CA: Silman-James Press. p. 70. ISBN 1-879505-38-X.
  34. ^ Roman, Monica (September 21, 1998). "Indie Financing Faces Hurdles". Variety.
  35. ^ Enrico, Dottie (March 23, 1987). "Small Distributor Makes Big-Screen Splash". Adweek.
  36. ^ Harmetz, Aljean (July 5, 1986). "Merchant and Ivory Strike Gold". New York Times.
  37. ^ Kelleher, Ed (1992). "New Line Cinema's Fine Line Plans Expansive 1992 Slate". The Film Journal (Winter): 38, 91.
  38. ^ Eller, Claudia (October 24, 1991). "Fine Line Features Enters Coprod'n Area Via 2 Pix". Variety.
  39. ^ Lukk, Tiiu (1997). Movie Marketing. Silman-James Press. pp. 71–111. ISBN 1-879505-38-X.
  40. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (February 18, 1992). "Hollywood Captivated by an Altman Film About How Awful It Is". New York Times.
  41. ^ Eller, Claudia (November 11, 1991). "Fine Line draws in pix by Jarman, Jarmusch; co-prods in the works". Variety.
  42. ^ Young, Deborah (May 17, 1993). "Hyperactive Altman Hypes Trio of Films". Variety.
  43. ^ Galloway, Stephen (May 26, 1995). "Deutchman Redeemed". Hollywood Reporter.
  44. ^ "Ira Deutchman Appointed Chair of Film Program". Official Press Release. Columbia University.
  45. ^ "Jeff Deutchman, SVP Acquisitions & Production, Neon". Variety.
  46. ^ "11-4-08". film. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  47. ^ "Emily Renee Art".

External links[edit]