Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

Searching for Mr. Rugoff


Year: 2019
Country: USA
Run Time: 94 minutes

Searching for Mr. Rugoff
Searching for Mr. Rugoff

SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF uncovers the heretofore untold legacy of one of the titans of arthouse cinema, the legendary Mr. Don Rugoff. Through his innovative New York-based company, Cinema 5, Rugoff was a vanguard when it came to the distribution and exhibition of arthouse and foreign film titles during the 60s and 70s. Having been instrumental in introducing American audiences to iconoclastic auteurs such as Lina Wertmüller, Costa-Gavras, and Robert Downey, Rugoff was a major cinema influencer whose unorthodox promotional techniques and luxury screening venues made him a tastemaker of the likes that had previously never before been seen. He reminded audiences that film-going was an event and reinvigorated an entire generation’s appreciation toward arthouse film. In studying this prickly and controversial figure, the film collects in-depth interviews with former employees, close friends, and cinema historians, who offer first-hand accounts of the revolutionary man behind the brand. A must-see documentary for any film lover, this portrait asserts Rugoff’s rightful place among the pantheon of all-time great cinema pioneers. — R.J.T.

Listen to the SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF episode of CIFF Speaks here.

CIFF44 Screenings

Cedar Lee Theatre 1

Saturday, April 04, 2020 at 6:30 PM ET

Tower City Cinemas

Sunday, April 05, 2020 at 3:10 PM ET

Accessibility (?): No closed captions, audio description, English subtitles

Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition


Ira Deutchman

Ira Deutchman

Peter Gilbert

Brian Gersten

Print Source
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