Columbia University's School of the Arts Film Program Chair and Professor Ira Deutchman enjoyed connecting with Turkey’s up-and-coming film scene when he visited Istanbul March 19-22, 2014. The program was designed collaboratively by Columbia Global Centers | Turkey (Istanbul), Koç University in Istanbul, and School of the Arts film graduates.
First, on March 20, Professor Deutchman delivered a lecture to an audience of 70 students at Koç University titled "The Medium is the Message.”
"Ira Deutchman’s speech in Koç Uni was mind-blowing!," @meldasener Tweeted, "perhaps especially for a law school student with a passion for cinema."
On March 21, Professor Deutchman came together with 30 young filmmakers for a one-day workshop on “The Art of Pitching,” in which he offered one-to-one coaching for 16 film projects currently in the works. Projects ranged from film noir to psychological thriller to the more ubiquitous art film genre.
Finally, on March 22, a two-hour public discussion on new distribution models gave Professor Deutchman the opportunity to converse with a wider audience of about 70 people. The event brought together leading figures from the film sector in Turkey, including Imre Tezel of Başka Sinema, Emre Akpınar of Kurmaca Film, Lara Büyükcivelek of Digitürk, and Yamaç Okur of the Screenwriters Guild. Together they discussed trends and strategies in the marketing of independent films, focusing on the importance of new forms of curation. The entire discussion was recorded and can be watched below.
While in town, Professor Deutchman also met with the director of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts film program and with the director of the !F Istanbul Independent Film Festival to discuss possibilities for future collaborations. Several School of the Arts professors have been involved in !F events in the past, including last year’s Sundance Lab with SoA Professor and Director Katherine Dieckmann and the closing panel of !F in February which featured SoA Professor and Producer Michael Hausman.
Ira Deutchman has been making, marketing and distributing films since 1975. He was one of the founders of Cinecom and later created Fine Line Features—two companies that were created from scratch and in their respective times, helped define the independent film business. Among the over 60 films he acquired and released at Fine Line were Jane Campion’s An Angel at My Table, Gus van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho, Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth, Robert Altman’s The Player and Short Cuts, Roman Polanski’s Bitter Moon and Death and the Maiden, Alan Rudolph’s Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Mike Leigh’s Naked, and the award-winning Hoop Dreams, until recently the highest grossing non-music documentary in history.