A champion of independent filmmaking and a devoted collaborator with some of the industry's more idiosyncratic talents (e.g., Alan Rudolph, John Sayles, Gus Van Sant Jr, Jonathan Demme), Ira Deutchman has marketed motion pictures for over two decades. Even as an undergrad at Northwestern University, the future producer was involved in the marketing for the Midwest premiere of John Cassavetes' "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974). Deutchman went on to jobs at United Artists Classics, Films Inc. and Cinema 5 Ltd. where he marketed a number of high-profile foreign films and American independent features.
As a founding partner and president of marketing and distribution for Cinecom Entertainment Group, Inc., Deutchman worked on such diverse projects as John Sayles' "The Brother From Another Planet" and Jonathan Demme's document of a Talking Heads concert, "Stop Making Sense" (both 1984) as well as Merchant-Ivory's "A Room With a View" (1986). He founded and served as president of The Deutchman Company where he provided marketing consulting services for such releases as "sex, lies, and videotape" (1989) for Miramax, "To Sleep with Anger" (1990) for the Samuel Goldwyn Company and "Metropolitan" (1990) for New Line Cinema. He may have had his greatest impact on the industry as founder and president of Fine Line Features where he acquired and released over 60 films, including Jane Campion's "An Angel at My Table" (1990), Gus Van Sant Jr's "My Own Private Idaho" (1991), Jim Jarmusch's "Night on Earth" (1991), Robert Altman's "The Player" (1992) and the award-winning documentary "Hoop Dreams" (1994).
Deutchman served as an executive producer on such diverse fare as Demme's record of a Spalding Gray performance piece, "Swimming to Cambodia" (1987), Paul Bartel's caustic social satire, "Scenes From the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills" (1989) and Matty Rich's precocious directorial bow, "Straight Out of Brooklyn" (1991). The latter project is typical of Deutchman's commitment to independent filmmaking. Rich had raised $77,000 from the African-American community in Brooklyn to produce his film, but not enough for post-production. Meeting Deutchman while editing a few scenes in the hopes of raising the necessary funds, Rich was then taken under Deutchman's wing, with Deutchman making introductions to Jonathan Demme and, eventually, American Playhouse, which provided the rest of Rich's needs. At Fine Line, he executive produced Alan Rudolph's upper-middlebrow biopic "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle" (1994) as well as the Jeremy Irons-starrer "Waterland" (1992). Deutchman left Fine Line in 1995 to go into independent development and production for film and TV, forming Redeemable Pictures. The first project on their slate was a romantic comedy helmed by a Deutchman favorite--Alan Rudolph, although the company's first release was the the quirky comedy "Kiss Me, Guido" (1997), about a young man working in a pizza parlor who dreams of movie stardom like his idols, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, and through a misunderstanding becomes the roommate of a gay man. In early 1997, Deutchman merged Reedmable with Peter Newman Productions, bringing on board producers Peter Newman and Greg Johnson.
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Began working in film marketing
Involved in the marketing for John Cassavetes' "A Woman Under the Influence" while still a college student (date approximate)
Was co-executive producer of "Swimming to Cambodia"
Executive produced "Straight Out of Brooklyn"
Joined forces with Alan Rudolph for the first time to executive produce "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle"
Left Fine Line; became president of Redeemable Features, a NYC-based production company for film and TV projects
Co-produced "Kiss Me, Guido"
Served as a producer on "54"
Announced formation of StudioNext, a digital production and Internet streaming technology firm