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Deutchman Takes Over as Chair of Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 27, 2011 at 8:22AM

Ira Deutchman, ever since his early days as an indie film distributor, always gave good quote. He went on to do many things, including co-founding Emerging Pictures, but for 24 years he was a popular professor of professional practice at Columbia University's School of the Arts. That's one of the reasons he was so smart about things--he always had an overview. Now Dean Carol Becker is appointing Deutchman as the new chair of Columbia’s Film Program. Deutchman will succeed Jamal Joseph, who has stepped down as chair after five years.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Ira Deutchman, ever since his early days as an indie film distributor, always gave good quote. He went on to do many things, including co-founding Emerging Pictures, but for 24 years he was a popular professor of professional practice at Columbia University's School of the Arts. That's one of the reasons he was so smart about things--he always had an overview. Now Dean Carol Becker is appointing Deutchman as the new chair of Columbia’s Film Program. Deutchman will succeed Jamal Joseph, who has stepped down as chair after five years.

Deutchman founded the MFA program in Creative Producing in 2009 after having supervised the producing concentration since its beginnings. The new program doubled the enrollment of producers at Columbia and added the study of television and new media producing to the curriculum. More details and indieWIRE's 15th anniversary indie distribution panel, which Deutchman participated in, below.


The School of the Arts Film Program, founded by Professor Emeritus Milos Forman, consists of MFA programs in filmmaking with an emphasis on either Screenwriting/Directing or Creative Producing, and BA and MA programs in Film Studies. Program alumni include Kathryn Bigelow, Lisa Cholodenko, Greg Mottola, Albert Berger, Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini, Nicole Holofcener, Simon Kinberg and James Mangold.

Full-time faculty members include Ramin Bahrani, Andy Bienen, Hilary Brougher, Katherine Dieckmann, Bette Gordon, Annette Insdorf, Tom Kalin, Eric Mendelsohn, Richard Pena, and James Schamus. Adjunct faculty members include Richard Brick, Michael Hausman, Amy Robinson, and Lance Weller. Please visit arts.columbia.edu/film for more information.

About Ira Deutchman
Deutchman has been making, marketing and distributing films since 1975, having worked on over 150 films including some of the most successful independent films of all time. 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. Currently Deutchman is Managing Partner of Emerging Pictures, a New York-based digital exhibition company.

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.
 
Prior to Fine Line, as President of The Deutchman Company, he provided marketing consulting services for such films as Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape for Miramax, Charles Burnett’s To Sleep With Anger for The Samuel Goldwyn Company and Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan for New Line Cinema.
 
Previously, Deutchman was one of the founding partners and President of Marketing and Distribution for Cinecom Entertainment Group, the film distribution company known for such diverse releases as Merchant/Ivory’s A Room with a View, Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense, Gregory Nava’s El Norte and John Sayles’ The Brother From Another Planet.

About Columbia University School of the Arts
Columbia University School of the Arts awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Theater Arts, Visual Arts and Writing, and a Masters of Arts in Film Studies. The School is a thriving, diverse community of artists from around the world who have the talent, vision, and commitment to become exceptional artists. The faculty is comprised of acclaimed and internationally renowned artists, film and theater directors, writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, playwrights, producers, critics and scholars. Every year the School of the Arts presents exciting and innovative programs for the public including performances, exhibitions, screenings, symposia, a film festival, and numerous lectures, readings, panel discussions and talks with artists, writers, critics and scholars.


This article is related to: Independents, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.