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The Annual John Ford Ireland Film Symposium (6 - 8 June 2014, Dublin)

"I try to watch a John Ford film before I start every movie, simply because he inspires me... he’s like a classic painter"
Steven Spielberg

John Ford Ireland is a unique annual Ford gathering, exploring and honouring the work and powerful legacy of one of the most influential filmmakers of all time – the legendary John Ford.  An Irish-American, Ford is considered among Ireland’s greatest emigrant sons, responsible for creating some of the most enduring films in cinematic history. Those films continue to inspire and influence young filmmakers across the globe, and resonate with audiences of all ages throughout the world.


The first two years John Ford Ireland has welcomed a wide range of renowned luminaries as well as young creative talent and veteran Filmmakers including Clint Eastwood, Peter Bogdanovich, Bertrand Tavernier, John Boorman, Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan, Stephen Frears, Joel Cox and Sean Bobbitt; members of Ford’s family and company (including Dan Ford and Patrick Wayne); and Ford experts, academics and authors, including Joseph McBride, Glenn Frankel and Gaylyn Studlar among many more. This is a unique four day event of vibrant discussion, fresh understanding and learning from Ford’s mastering of the artform, with special Screenings, Discussions, Masterclasses, Lectures, workshops, Music and Song.


Looking Back at the Symposium Highlights

Bertrand Tavernier - Public Interview with The Irish Times' Tara Brady

The Symposium welcomed leading French director Bertrand Tavernier who actively participated in many of the Symposium events over the four days, and was himself the focus of a public interview which was facilitated by Tara Brady of The Irish Times, who insightfully discussed key elements of the French Master’s life’s work and career for the attending audience, referencing the French new wave movement, Cahiers du Cinema along with his love and admiration for John Ford and his influence from the outset.


Waynes Public Interview

Miriam O’Callaghan’s interview on Friday evening in the Savoy Cinema with John Wayne’s son Patrick and daughter Marisa Wayne proved to be a most popular event for film fans with the queue stretched down O’Connell Street in the sunshine. The interview was an enlightening and nostalgic discussion about their father’s and Patrick’s experiences in collaborating with John Ford. This preceded a screening of ‘The Searchers’ re-mastered, in which Patrick himself appeared as a young Yankee cadet - eliciting cheers and rounds of applause from the audience.


Peter Bogdanovich Public Interview

Celebrated writer/director Peter Bogdanovich's appearance at the John Ford Ireland Symposium proved one of the true highlights of the weekend as the great director regaled a packed audience with stories of his encounters with Ford during their friendship.



Ford Directors Panel


Ford's influence on modern day filmmaking was among the topics discussed by some Irish-based leading Irish filmmakers.

Directors John Boorman, Jim Sheridan, Thaddeus O'Sullivan and Brian Kirk discussed and debated their appreciation for Ford's craft whilst swapping anecdotes on stories of the great director, as well as touching on their own work, as they each selected and analyzed scenes from Ford's work.


 Sean Bobbitt - Cinematographer Masterclass

Award-winning Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt gave a riveting and insightful Masterclass for over three hours at the Symposium to a sold-out audience of budding industry professionals & students. Bobbitt spoke in detail about his relationship with director Steve McQueen on his three films (‘Hunger’, ‘Shame’ and ‘Twelve Years A Slave’) and pointed out that he felt it was “the greatest time to be a cinematographer, both with the opportunities and tools available”.


‘The Iron Horse’ with Live Orchestral Accompaniment - (Irish Premiere)


Led by US composer Christopher Caliendo, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra lent their hand to a spectacular film and musical event to mark the opening night of the John Ford Ireland Film Symposium with the Irish Premiere of John Ford's masterpiece The Iron Horse. John Ford's 1924 epic The Iron Horse charts a major touchstone in US history - the building of the first transcontinental railroad that would join Eastern and Western Coasts of America.



Ford & Lincoln Keynote Lecture

Joseph McBride, renowned film historian, biographer, screenwriter and professor, delivered a keynote academic paper on the figure of Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s work, “John Ford, His Old Friend Abraham Lincoln, and the Better Angels of Our Nature.” Joseph McBride is President of the John Ford Ireland Committee, and the author of Searching for John Ford, the celebrated Ford biography that Martin Scorsese described as a “treasure” and the New York Times Book Review considers “Definitive... The most comprehensive book to date on the filmmaker”.


In Conversation With... Director Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, The Queen, The Hi-Lo Country and Dangerous Liaisons) was the focus of an In Conversation With...event at the inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium in 2012.


Stephen Frears' rich and varied career was the focus of the conversation as an audience of fans and filmmakers gathered to hear the two-time Oscar-nominated director offer an insight to his winning approach to filmmaking.





Joel Cox Editing Masterclass

The John Ford Ireland Film Symposium presented an Editing Masterclass with  Academy award-winning editor Joel Cox (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River) who gave an insight into his own career and expertise and how his collaboration with director Clint Eastwood has worked over 30 years.




Film Fans, Filmmakers and film experts prepare to gather in Dublin to honour and celebrate the legacy of John Ford, one of the world’s most respected and influential filmmakers

"This Symposium is great for Ireland and I think that it will help set Ford as an Irish director, as opposed to solely a great American director. I think that it’s an important event in bringing Ford home."
Jim Sheridan

Following on from the brilliant success of last year, the 2nd John Ford Ireland - Film Symposium takes place 6 – 9th June with a four day focus on Contemporary filmmaking, inspired and informed by the timeless work of legendary Irish-American director John Ford.  Film fans from far and wide can enjoy four days of Screenings, Lively debates & Discussions, incisive lectures, public interviews with filmmakers, anecdotal stories, music nights and plenty more.



Highlights of the 2nd John Ford Ireland Film Symposium include:

  • Gala Screening & Public Interview with Patrick and Ethan Wayne, sons of ‘The Duke’ hosted by Miriam O’Callaghan.  John Wayne’s two sons, who are travelling from US to take part in the Symposium, will talk about their father’s collaboration and unique relationship with John Ford.


  • Dan Ford, John Ford’s grandson (Producer & author of the book ‘Pappy’) will discuss Ford the man behind the iconic image and share insight for film fans and filmmakers alike.


  • Bertrand Tavernier, renowned French Master and Director of over 25 feature films, participates in a Public Interview discussing his own superb body of work and how Ford has influenced French filmmaking through the years.


  • Joseph McBride (renowned film historian and biographer of Ford, Frank Capra, and Steven Spielberg) gives the
    Keynote Lecture about Ford's portrayals of Lincoln.


  • Pulitzer prize-winning and best-selling author Glenn Frankel (former Washington Post Correspondent and Current Head of the School of Journalism at University of Texas) will give first-hand insight into his new book ‘The Searchers – the Making of an American Legend’


  • The Ford Film Hub and School has a range of Masterclasses & Discussion Panels over the four days with leading International and Irish film experts with people such as Oscar nominated directors including TavernierSheridan and Jordan along with BAFTA nominated Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane; Brideshead Revisited) and BAFTA Winning John Crowley (Boy A, Intermission), Andrew Eaton (a); Mary McGuckian (Man On A Train);  Tanya Seghatchian (former head Film Fund UK Film Council); John Woodward (former head British Film Institute); Sean Bobbitt (Cinematographer, Hunger, Byzantium, The Place Beyond the Pines); Mark O’Rowe, (writer, Intermission, Howie the Rookie etc) , Eugene O’Brien (writer, Pure Mule, Eden) and Terry McMahon (writer/director, Charlie Casanova), Roddy Doyle (The Commitments) Eoghan Harris (screen writer Sharpe);  Philippe Carcassonne (Coco Before Chanel, The Illusionist) IFTA Rising Star Director/writer Gerard Barrett (Pilgrim Hill);  Actors Stephen Rea, Adrian Dunbar among many more.


"I try to watch a John Ford film before I start every movie, simply because he inspires me...he’s like a classic painter"
Steven Spielberg


  • Ford Academic Panel Discussions each day with leading International film experts including Lea Jacobs (University of Wisconsin, USA), Glenn Frankel (University of Austin, Texas), Kevin Rockett (Trinity College), Luke Gibbons (NUI Maynooth), Charles Barr (University of East Anglia), Tony Tracy (NUI Galway), Martin McCloone (University of Ulster) and Joseph McBride (San Francisco State University).


  • Over a dozen Public Screenings; including a Free Outdoor Screening of The Quiet Man at Meeting House Square, with special guests Dan Ford (grandson of John Ford), John Wayne’s Sons Patrick & Ethan Wayne and Oscar nominated producer Redmond Morris (son of The Quiet Man producer Lord Killanin).  Other screenings include such classics as the  The Searchers; She wore a Yellow Ribbon; How Green Was My Valley; Young Cassidy; Young Mr Lincoln; and many rare Ford classics, footage, Documentaries and Shorts Screening for the first time in Ireland.


  • Plus much, much more….