Deaf Crocodile was founded by two experienced arthouse veterans, Dennis Bartok and Craig Rogers, with nearly 30 years’ experience in specialized exhibition, programming, distribution and restoration services. Together, they bring an eclectic and passionate sensibility to their slate of films, collaborating with a network of like-minded curators and filmmakers from around the world.
Craig Rogers has over 20 years of film experience. A decade-plus working in post production at IMAX instilled his passion for image quality.
That experience and love of cinema history lead to film restoration where he was the lead restoration artist at Cinelicious/Cinelicous Pics. His love for the work and attention to detail led to rave reviews for the restorations of Death Valley Days (over 400 episodes), Belladonna of Sadness (1973), Private Property (1960), and Funeral Parade of Roses (1969).
Subsequently, he co-founded Arbelos Films in 2017, continuing his critically acclaimed restoration efforts with Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie (1973), The Juniper Tree (1993), and the monumental restoration of Bela Tarr’s 7+ hour masterpiece, Satantango (1994).
He is now the co-founder (with partner Dennis Bartok) of Deaf Crocodile Films where his passion for cinema continues.
Dennis Bartok is a filmmaker, distributor, art-house exhibitor and author. For nearly thirty years he was involved in programming and management for the nonprofit film organization American Cinematheque, which operates the historic Egyptian and Aero Theatres in Los Angeles. In 2014 he co-founded the art-house distribution company Cinelicious Pics which released Gangs of Wasseypur and Dark Night along with 4K restorations of Belladonna of Sadness, Funeral Parade of Roses and Agnes Varda’s Jane B. Par Agnes V. and Kung Fu Master. Subsequently he co-founded the distribution + restoration company Arbelos Films in 2017, which restored Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie and Bela Tarr’s Satantango.
He recently directed & wrote the supernatural thriller Nails starring Shauna Macdonald for Fantastic Films in Ireland, which streamed on Netflix from 2018 – 2020. He also produced & wrote the Lionsgate anthology film Trapped Ashes (2008) with segments directed by Joe Dante, Ken Russell and Monte Hellman. He recently published his first non-fiction book, A Thousand Cuts: the Bizarre Underground World of Collectors and Dealers Who Saved the Movies, hailed as one of the “Best Film Books of 2016” in the Huffington Post.
Tyler Fagerstrom has been working as a feature and commercial colorist in Hollywood for the better part of a decade. His focus has always been to seek ways to push the creative envelope– both by bringing uniquely fitted and beautiful color to every project, and in continually finding ways of adapting new techniques and tools to make the entire post-production workflow – from acquisition and dailies, to DI and delivery – a seamless and elegant experience.
ABOUT THAT NAME
“Deaf Crocodile” comes from a old movie biz story involving Victor Mature that was told to co-founder Dennis Bartok years ago by the great British actor Terence Stamp.
We wanted a name that was fun, but also had ties to old Hollywood. This fit the bill perfectly.
Here’s a version of the story as published in a Kansas newspaper in the summer of 1963.
Victor Mature has no “anything-for-arts-sake” illusions about his craft. He tends more to the “survival-comes-first” practical school.
While he was filming in Africa with Janet Leigh, a double was hired for his dangerous scenes in the jungle. Then the director suggested that Mature be shown leading Miss Leigh from a canoe in a jungle stream.
“We’ve brought you all the way to Africa”, said the director, “This, at least will give us a closeup of you with a genuine African background.” …Mature mentioned the presence of crocodiles in the jungle streams. The director sent for the British technical advisor – an expert on the jungle – who said he had the solution: “Crocodiles are afraid of noise. If you clap your hands, a crocodile will flee in fright. Tonight I’ll fire my elephant gun at 30-minute intervals, and I give you my word there won’t be a crocodile around from here to Cairo.”
All night long the elephant gun was fired every half hour. Nobody in the cast or crew could sleep. In the morning Mature was asked to step into the canoe. He refused, and said his double should do it.
“But the firing of that elephant gun all night long,” the director pleaded, “chased every crocodile away.”
“Oh yeah?” Mature replied, “How do you know there wasn’t a deaf crocodile around?”