Testing her powers
Real world responsibilities confronted
The story of Dan Ireland, born on this day (May 11) in 1949, is a tale of three cities. It includes success in Los Angeles, where he is best remembered as a producer and director of offbeat independent films. During a decade in Seattle, he made his mark as a movie exhibitor and co-founder of that city’s influential annual film festival. Though born in Oregon, it all began for Ireland in Vancouver, where he grew up in the vibrant Kitsilano neighbourhood. There, he bonded with schoolmate (and later business partner) Darryl Macdonald over their love of movies. In his teens, Ireland worked as a theatre usher, an entry-level job that led to film booking. In the mid-1970s, he and Macdonald ran the Rembrandt, an independent inner-city cinema. They used that experience (and Ireland’s dual citizenship) to relocate to Seattle, where they restored the then-68-year-old Moore Theater as the Moore Egyptian. In May 1976, inspired by Vancouver’s Varsity Festival of International Films, they founded the Seattle International Film Festival. A decade later, Ireland became head of acquisitions for Hollywood indie distributor Vestron Pictures. Today, Reeling Back adds four Dan Ireland-produced Vestron titles to its archive (with links to each following the Afterword to this posting). During his first year with Vestron, Ireland received co-producer credit for BBC-TV director Bernard Rose’s first theatrical feature, the story of an ailing child’s journey into her own troubled imagination, 1988’s Paperhouse.
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