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Searching for Mr. Rugoff
Directed by Ira Deutchman • 2019 • United States
Starring Donald S. Rugoff, Elyce Bonnell, Peter Broderick
This illuminating, unexpected slice of forgotten film history tells the story of Donald Rugoff, who was the crazy genius behind Cinema 5, the groundbreaking midcentury theater chain and film-distribution company. Rugoff was a difficult (some would say impossible) person but was also the man who brought international art films to mainstream attention with outrageous marketing schemes and pure bluster. Rugoff’s impact on cinema culture in the United States is inestimable, and his influence on the art-film business is undeniable. Yet, mysteriously, Rugoff is now virtually forgotten. SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF tells the story of this fascinating, elusive personality through the eyes of his former employee Ira Deutchman, who sets out to find the truth about the man who had such a major impact on his life, and to understand how such an important figure could have disappeared so completely.
SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF is accompanied by The Cinema 5 Story, a series of films distributed by the legendary Cinema 5.