March 24, 1953 |
Cherry Point, North Carolina
|Occupation||Independent Producer, Distributor, Marketer & Exhibitor|
Ira Deutchman is best known as a producer, distributor and marketer of independent films, but in 2000, he moved into film exhibition as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Emerging Pictures—a New York-based digital exhibition company, which was sold in January, 2015 to Vancouver-based 20 Year Media He also served as Chair of the Film Program at Columbia University School of the Arts from 2011 to 2015, 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 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, 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. In 2015, he donated his personal archives to the University of Michigan's Screen Arts Mavericks and Makers Collection. 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"  and a documentary about art film maverick Donald Rugoff, which is in production. 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.
As Co-founder of Emerging Pictures, Deutchman was an early promoter of digital film exhibition. In 2010, he launched "Movie Tweeviews," 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, the Producers Guild of America, and the Motion Picture Association. 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, 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. He has twice been a keynote speaker at the Sundance Arthouse Convergence, a conference of mission-driven art house theaters held every January in Midway Utah.
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
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 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, 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; Fine Line Features; and Redeemable Features.
At Cinecom Pictures (1982–1988), where Deutchman was co-founder and president, Deutchman released films including "A Room With a View," "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, distributing such critically acclaimed films as "Hoop Dreams," " The Player," "Short Cuts," "Night on Earth," "My Own Private Idaho" "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle."
Deutchman left Fine Line in 1995, to co-found independent film production company, Redeemable Features, 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."
Director's name in brackets after film title.
Director's name in brackets after film title.
Included in the long list of films marketed and distributed by Deutchman:
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 and served until 2015.
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 also the director/editor/producer of the documentary film "11-4-08", about Obama's presidential election. Ira's daughter, Emily Deutchman, is an artist and furniture-maker, 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, 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.