The John Ford Ireland Film Symposium (7 – 10 June) will be a four-day celebration of film, examining and learning from the film-maker’s work and his many approaches, themes and influences.
Through a screen retrospective and series of discussion events it will also explore the many links between the man and the first John Ford Award recipient, Clint Eastwood.
John Ford is widely regarded as one of cinema’s most influential writers, directors and producers.
His real name was John Martin Feeney and his Irish-speaking parents came from the famous West of Ireland.
During his career he directed 137 films and made over 85 other projects including many documentaries and short films.
He holds the record for winning most Oscars, and has credits that include the classic feature films The Searchers, The Quiet Man, The Grapes of Wrath, The Iron Horse and Fort Apache among others.
Throughout his career the director frequently returned to the home of his parents for inspiration and it was in Ireland that Ford produced perhaps his most personal film, The Quiet Man, in 1952.
When he received the first John Ford Award Clint Eastwood said: “This is a great privilege for me because any kind of association with John Ford is most directors’ dream... His westerns had a great influence on me, as I think they had on everybody.”
In addition to the exploration of the Eastwood-Ford links, the symposium will feature public interviews, panel discussions and Q&A sessions, over a dozen public screenings, including an outdoor screening of The Searchers, and a gala screening with orchestral accompaniment at Dublin’s National Concert Hall.
A free exhibition featuring rare memorabilia from the Ford family collection and a Ford Film Trail following the footsteps of the man Ireland will also be on offer.
Other events at the symposium will include a Ford Masterclass and the Keynote ‘John Ford Lecture’.
The symposium is an initiative of the Irish Film and Television Academy in Ireland, the John Ford Estate in the United States and JOHN FORD Ireland.
Áine Moriarty, Chief Executive of Irish Film and Television Academy said “John Ford was a great Irish-American, a true representative of the Irish diaspora. Ford’s legacy epitomises the very essence and success of the American Dream; and reflects the powerful journey of one Irish-American who became one of the most important and influential filmmakers of all time.”