Louisiana fest taps Dowd, Ireland

Duo named co-artistic directors of the mentorship program

Jeff Dowd and Dan Ireland have been tapped as co-artistic directors of the mentorship program at the inaugural Louisiana International Film Festival.

The festival, to be held April 18-21 in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, has also issued a call for entries with the first submission deadline Jan. 7.

Dowd was the basis for the Dude, played by Jeff Bridges, in “The Big Lebowski.” He was a producer of “Ferngully: The Last Rainforest” and “Zebrahead” and helped introduce “specialized” marketing to the film industry with such films as “The Black Stallion,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Gandhi,” “War Games” and “Hoosiers.”

Dowd also helped Robert Redford start The Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival.

Ireland has written, produced or directed two dozen films including John Huston’s last film “The Dead.” His “Mrs. Palfrey at The Claremont” won audience awards at the Palm Springs and Newport Film Festivals.

The festival also tapped Alan V. Abrahams as music program director.

His productions have included Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Taj Mahal, Les McCann and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Clinton H. Wallace has been named strategic partnerships coordinator. He is lead producer on the feature drama “Blue Dream” directed by Gregory Hatanaka and starring Walter Koenig, James Duval and Dominique Swain.

Shanna Forrestall (“The Last Exorcism,” “Olympus Has Fallen”) will serve as Louisiana Liaison to provide a bridge between local and out of state talent.

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