Indie films icon Ira Deutchman tonight received the inaugural Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his service and accomplishments in a 40-years-plus career devoted to making, distributing and exhibiting independent films.
The award was created by Spotlight Cinema Networks in partnership with the Art House Convergence. Deutchman, founder of Cinecom and Fine Line Features, was chosen by the Provisional Board of the Art House Convergence, which promotes art house cinemas in North America. The group’s annual conference began today, capped by a dinner at the Zermatt Resort, where Deutchman received the award.
Movies with which Deutchman is inextricably associated include Gus van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho, Robert Altman’s The Player, Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense, Steve James’ Hoop Dreams and Sarah Kernochan’s All I Wanna Do. There are scores of others.
“Ira Deutchman is a legendary figure in the world of independent film distribution, marketing and production,” said Jerry Rakfeldt, CEO of Spotlight Cinema Networks. “He’s been involved with some of the most acclaimed independent films for two generations. Furthermore, 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.”
Said Russ Collins, Founding Director of Art House Convergence: “It is a great pleasure to honor Ira Deutchman. Besides making, marketing and distributing films, Professor Deutchman is an inspirational teacher and mentor to generations of artists and passionate cinema professionals. He understands and celebrates the vital role of the local art house theater as a place to nurture film loving audiences, as well as being a forum for new cinematic voices and great movies that, given the chance, can thrive just beyond the limitations of mainstream media markets.”
Said Deutchman: “I’m honored and humbled to receive this award from Spotlight Cinema Networks and Art House Convergence. 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.”