Ivan Reitman’s First Film “Orientation” (1968)




Last night, we sadly learned of the passing of Ivan Reitman, director of many beloved comedies–Meatballs (1979), Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), and beyond.

Born in Czechoslovakia in 1946–his mother an Auschwitz survivor and his father an underground resistance fighter–Reitman moved to Canada as a young child, where he eventually attended McMaster University. And there he “produced and directed Orientation [in 1968], the most successful student film ever made in Canada,” writes Macleans. “Produced at a cost of $1,800 while Reitman was president of the McMaster University Film Board, Orientation — the story of a freshman during his first week at university — was acquired by Twentieth CenturyFox of Canada as a “featurette” to accompany John And Mary in first-run engagements across the country.” “It earned $15,000 in rentals and continues to be in demand…” You can watch it above, or on McMaster’s website.

For anyone interested in hearing Reitman discuss his development as a filmmaker, we’d recommend listening to his 2014 interview with Marc Maron.

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