Ira Deutchman Receives First Annual Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award

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Faculty member Ira Deutchman was awarded the first annual Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the distribution and exhibition of independent films. The award was created by Spotlight Cinema Networks, a national advertising company dedicated exclusively to Luxury and Art House theatres, in partnership with the Art House Convergence, an organization dedicated to increasing the quantity and quality of Art House cinemas in North America.
“Ira Deutchman is a legendary figure in the world of independent film distribution, marketing and production,” said Jerry Rakfeldt, the Chief Executive Officer of Spotlight Cinema Networks.  “His creativity, passion and business acumen have helped shape, nurture and expand the independent film industry. He’s had a remarkable career with an outstanding record of achievement and we’re thrilled he’s been chosen as the first recipient of the Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Duetchman has been making and distributing films since 1975. He was a founder of both Cinecom and later Fine Line Features, which released over 60 films. Among Fine Line Features’ influential releases were Gus van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho, Robert Altman’s The Player and Short Cuts, Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth, and the award-winning Hoop Dreams. As an Executive Producer, Duetchman’s credits include Matty Rich’s Straight Out of Brooklyn, Stephen Gyllenhaal’s Waterland, and Maggie Greenwald’s The Ballad of Little Jo.
“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award from Spotlight Cinema Networks and Art House Convergence,” said Deutchman. “My passion for independent cinema has been the driving force in my career and I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to devote my entire professional life to this passion. It means a great deal to me to be acknowledged in such a way by my peers in the community that I’m so proud to be part of.”
In addition to his work on over 150 films, Deutchman is a Professor in the film program, where he was the Chair from 2011-2015.
“Professor Deutchman is an inspirational teacher and mentor to generations of artists and passionate cinema professionals,” said Russ Collins, the Founding Director of Art House Convergence. “He understands and celebrates the vital role of the local Art House theater as a place to nurture film loving audiences.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented on January 17, 2017  at the Art House Convergence annual conference, which is the largest gathering of Art House cinema and festival professionals who come together from all corners of the globe.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.