1st John Ford Ireland Opens in Dublin

The 1st John Ford Ireland Film Symposium begins Thursday 7 June, with the Irish Premiere of John Ford’s 1924 silent movie masterpiece THE IRON HORSE at the National Concert Hall, with award winning US composer/conductor Christopher Caliendo, performing his score for The Iron Horse live with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

(pictured: Dan Ford, Minister Jimmy Deenihan, Peter Bogdanovich and IFTA Chief Executive Áine Moriarty)

The 1st John Ford Ireland Film Symposium runs in venues across Dublin from 7-10 June and features a diverse programme of screenings, public interviews, musical events and movie masterclasses, inspired and informed by one of the giants of Hollywood cinema - the Irish-American director John Ford (The Quiet Man, The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was my Valley).
A new and exciting international film platform for Ireland, the Film Symposium provides a unique opportunity for Irish audiences to savour the multi-award winning films of master movie-maker John Ford, enjoy classic and contemporary cinema together on the big screen, and hear leading contemporary filmmakers discuss how “Pappy” has influenced and inspired their own creativity and illustrious careers.

John Ford Ireland is an initiative of the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) in association with the John Ford Estate in the US, with the support of Ireland’s Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Speaking ahead of opening night at the Irish premiere of Ford’s The Iron Horse, 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 help us celebrate Ford’s work and legacy.”

Among the guests of honor at tonight’s Opening event, Minister Jimmy Deenihan said: “Ford’s passion for Ireland and Irish subject matter was evident throughout all his work. Ford always emphasised his Irishness and paid numerous visits to the land of his parentage throughout his life. He was a true representative of the Irish Diaspora and can be considered one of Ireland’s greatest emigrant sons.”

Dan Ford, Grandson of John Ford, said “I would like to thank the Irish Film & Television Academy on behalf of my grandfather and the entire Ford family for initiating this event. I know he would be extremely proud of the Academy and where the Irish film industry is today because for many years he was an active participant in trying to establish an Irish film industry and made a point of using an Irish talent pool in so many of his films. This weekend in Dublin will be a memorable one for our family and I look forward to it!”

Special guests participating in events during the four-day John Ford Ireland Film Symposium include award winning filmmakers Peter Bogdanovich, Stephen Frears, Jim Sheridan, John Boorman, Neil Jordan, Thaddeus O’Sullivan and Brian Kirk; screenwriters  Pat McCabe, Ian Power, Colin Bateman, Eoghan Harris; Oscar winning editor Joel Cox; composers Christopher Caliendo, Kyle Eastwood and David Holmes; plus Irish broadcasters and film-writers Dave Fanning, Michael Doherty, Sean Rocks, Paul Byrne and Empire Magazine’s Kim Newman.

About The Iron Horse & Ford

“An astonishing achievement” The New York Times

“Spellbinding” Total Film Magazine

In 1924 a promising Irish American director made the epic film that would solidify his reputation. John Ford’s 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 captures the grandeur and scale of the endeavour from Indian raids to the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit. Yet throughout Ford finds time to recognise those Irish immigrants who were a crucial component of this massive feat. This epic undertaking for John Ford was produced over three years, filmed in just eight weeks, with 5,000 cast, crew and extras.
Events at the John Ford Ireland Film Symposium

Thursday 7th June
The Iron Horse - Irish Premiere with Chrisopher Caliendo & the RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Friday 8th June
9am - Joseph McBride - Opening Lecture
11am - Directed by John Ford
2pm - Ford Film Hub - Directors: Jim Sheridan, John Boorman, Thaddeus O’Sullivan & Brian Kirk
5pm - Irish Premiere of Ford’s lost classic Upstream, with Charles Barr introduction
7.30pm - Peter Bogdanovich Public Interview
10pm - The Searchers Outdoor Screening

Saturday 9th June
11am - Hell On Wheels - Irish First Look Preview
12noon - In Conversation With Stephen Frears
2pm - Ford Film Hub - Writers: Pat McCabe, Colin Bateman, Eoghan Harris, Ian Power
4pm - Fort Apache
4pm - Music for the Screen: Christopher Caliendo, Kyle Eastwood, David Holmes & Dave Fanning
4pm - John Ford and the Abbey Players
6.45pm - Unforgiven 20th Anniversary Screening with Joel Cox, Kyle Eastwood & Kim Newman
9.30pm - Kyle Eastwood Band performance

Sunday 10th June
2pm - The Informer (in partnership with the IFI)
4.20pm - Irish Premiere of John Ford: Dreaming the Quiet Man with Sé Merry Doyle, Dan Ford & Peter Bogdanovich
6.45pm - 60th Anniversary Screening of The Quiet Man (in partnership with the IFI)

More on the Sympoisum Lineup here