Filmmakers and film experts prepare to gather in Dublin to honor and celebrate the legacy of John Ford, one of the world’s most respected and influential filmmakers.
The inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium takes place 7th – 10th June with a four day focus on film and filmmaking, inspired and informed by the timeless work of legendary Irish-American director John Ford.
Ford directed 137 films, worked on about 80 other projects, documentaries, and short films, and still holds the record for winning the most Oscars for his work as director.
His parents were born in the west of Ireland. Ford was the first recipient of the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and received the American Presidential Medal of Freedom for his important war documentaries during his World War II American Navy service.
His work continues to be much loved by audiences around the world, with favorites including big screen classics such as “The Searchers”, “The Grapes of Wrath”, “Fort Apache”, “Rio Grande”, “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon”, “Stagecoach”, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “How Green Was My Valley.”
Ford kept strong connections with Ireland, where he made a number of films, the most important of which was “The Quiet Man”, which was considered his most personal film.
Sixty years on from that iconic Irish film, the inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium will feature a diverse programme of events designed to entertain, inform, and educate symposium delegates and movie fans gathering in Dublin for this unique film event.
IFTA Chief Executive Áine Moriarty said, “Ford’s films have always connected with and continue to resonate with ordinary people around the world. He was a great storyteller but moreover he was a master-filmmaker who has influenced so many of cinema’s great filmmakers today. The Academy is proud that this annual Ford Film Symposium will now be held in Ireland each year, where film fans, Ford enthusiasts and filmmakers can gather to examine and learn from Ford’s work and legacy.”
Jimmy Deenihan, Ireland’s Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said, “What a perfect setting to study this legendary filmmaker's work in the land of his beloved ancestors at the John Ford Ireland Film Symposium…I anticipate a tremendous excitement within Ireland's film industry with the establishment of this initiative – and I look forward to welcoming film communities and the extensive Irish Diaspora across the globe who have been inspired by the incredible work of John Ford.”
For the full Symposium lineup and information about Season passes, visit the John Ford Ireland website www.johnfordireland.org.
Highlights of the 1st John Ford Ireland Film Symposium include:
- Opening night gala screening of Ford’s silent epic “The Iron Horse” at the National Concert Hall with music accompaniment from the RTE Concert Orchestra.
- A public interview and master class with Oscar nominated director Peter Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”) who knew Ford and made the remarkable documentary directed by John Ford, which includes rare interviews with Ford, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, and Clint Eastwood.
- Keynote address and Ford lecture by world-renowned biographer and film historian Joseph McBride (biographer for Ford, Spielberg, and Orson Welles, amongst others).
- The 60th anniversary screening of “The Quiet Man”, with special guests Dan Ford (grandson of John Ford), Hollywood royalty Maureen O’Hara, and Oscar nominated producer Redmond Morris (son of The Quiet Man producer Lord Killanin)
- Over a dozen public screenings, including a free outdoor screening of “The Searchers”, the 1956 classic John Wayne western, rare screenings of Ford classics “The Grapes of Wrath”, “Fort Apache”, “The Informer” and the recently discovered feature film “Upstream” (screening for the first time in Ireland).
- Ford panel discussions each day with leading international film experts including Charles Barr (University of East Anglia), Gaylyn Studlar (Washington University), Kevin Rockett (Trinity), Luke Gibbons (NUI Maynooth), and Waylon White Deer (Choctaw Nation), amongst others.
- Ford industry hub with Oscar nominated directors Jim Sheridan (Into the West) and John Boorman (“Deliverance”), BAFTA nominated Brian Kirk (“Boardwalk Empire”, “Game of Thrones”) and Emmy nominated Thaddeus O’Sullivan (“Into the Storm”), IFTA winning screenwriter Pat McCabe (“The Butcher Boy”), Colin Bateman (“Divorcing Jack”), and Paul Fraser (“Once Upon a Time in the Midlands”).
- Master class with Oscar winning editor Joel Cox (“Unforgiven”, “Mystic River”).
- 20th Anniversary screening of Clint Eastwood’s Oscar winning revisionist Western Unforgiven, facilitated by Empire Magazine’s Kim Newman reflecting on Eastwood’s work as the recipient of the inaugural John Ford Award.
- Music for the screen event with Golden Globe nominated composer and musician Kyle Eastwood (“Mystic River”, “Million Dollar Baby” and “Gran Torino”).
- The Abbey Players and John Ford – an exploration of Ford’s relationship with the actors of the Abbey Theatre.
- The John Ford Exhibition displaying rarely seen Ford papers and correspondence.
- Plus much, much more….
Here’s a documentary that encapsulates John Ford’s amazing career: