Local Hero

An exuberant fixture on the Downtown film and video scene for three decades, Raffe Azzouny— known to all as Rafic— died in his sleep, February 27, at the age of 57. Operating out of a cavernous walk-up loft at 11th Street and Broadway, Rafic founded the U-P Film Group Cinema (which, throughout the 1970s, patiently supported many elaborate Jack Smith productions), ran the underground O-P Cinema cum crash pad (the first venue for Nan Goldin's slide shows, as well as a showcase for numerous punk Super-8 features), hosted legendary Thanksgiving dinners, sold inexpensive raw stock, rented film equipment, and provided reasonable video-transfer services. Rafic was the dedicated proprietor of an important local business, but he was hardly in it for the money. There are very few independent film and video makers living in New York who did not directly benefit from his generosity. A memorial will be held this Friday, April 9, at 8 p.m., at Millennium, 66 East 4th Street.

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