Searching for Mr. Rugoff

Searching for Mr. Rugoff

Directed by Ira Deutchman
The story of Donald Rugoff, a wildly influential but forgotten movie mogul of the 1960s/70s.



The feature documentary "Searching for Mr. Rugoff", directed by Ira Deutchman, is the story of Donald Rugoff. Rugoff was a difficult (some would say impossible) person but was also the man who kicked art films into the mainstream 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—from the studio classics divisions to the independent film movement to the rise of the Weinsteins—is undeniable. Yet, mysteriously, Rugoff has become a virtually forgotten figure. The story is told through the eyes of 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.

Running time
94 minutes


  • Brian Gersten ... Editor, Associate Producer
  • Ira Deutchman ... Director/Producer

Production Details

Distribution Details

Release year
DOC NYC, Cleveland International Film Fest, Palm Springs International Film Fest, Mill Valley Film Fest



Browse documentary films on The D-Word