John Ford's Silent 'The Iron Horse' to Open Ireland Symposium

Peter Bogdanovich - 2011

Backed by the Irish Film & TV Academy, the inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium takes place in Dublin in June.

LONDON – The line up for the inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium, an event to celebrate the life and work of the iconic director, includes an opening night gala screening of Ford’s silent epic The Iron Horse.

What is hoped becomes an annual shindig is set up by the Irish Film And Television Academy, the John Ford Estate and the Irish government and the first event, scheduled June 7 through 10 in Dublin will play host to a series of screenings and special events.

Organizers also said they have rostered a public interview and masterclass with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show) who knew Ford and made a documentary Directed by John Ford, which includes rare interviews with Ford, Henry Fonda, James Stewart and Clint Eastwood.

The is also a 60th anniversary screening of The Quiet Man, with special guests Dan Ford (grandson of John Ford), Maureen O’Hara and producer Redmond Morris, the son of The Quiet Man producer Lord Killanin expected to attend.

The first outing for the celebration has programmed over a dozen public screenings including a free outdoor screening of The Searchers, the 1956 classic John Wayne western and rare screenings of Ford classics The Grapes of Wrath, Fort Apache, The Informer and the recently discovered feature film Upstream which will screen for the first time in Ireland.

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.”