Louisiana International Film Festival organizers mourning the loss of festival artistic director Dan Ireland say he “touched and inspired” local artists, audiences and fellow festival enthusiasts.
The New York Daily News reported that Ireland, a director whose films included “The Whole Wide World” and “Jolene,” died at his Los Angeles home on Thursday after recently suffering from flu-like symptoms.
Ireland, 57, had been scheduled to attend the recent fourth annual festival in Baton Rouge, held April 13-17. According to festival organizers, Ireland has been affiliated with the festival since it’s inaugural year.
“Dan had worked passionately to help build the non-profit film festival over the past four years,” the LIFF said in a released statement, adding that the festival team became concerned about his well being following his absence from opening night festivities.
“We were partners in a vision that was larger than both of us,” said Chesley Heymsfield, LIFF founder and executive director. “Dan was my creative collaborator and confidant. We had overcome enormous challenges together and had exciting plans for our shared future. His bright spirit and vision are irreplaceable.”
The festival honored Ireland with a closing night memorial celebrating his life and “bright spirit.”
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Actress Jessica Chastain and others in the entertainment industry paid tribute to Ireland on social media.
When Dan entered a room, the sun shined. His laughter boomed with love. He had the biggest heart. Love you Danny boy https://t.co/nZ874RENAe— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) April 16, 2016