• Directors Panel
    Directors Panel
  • Directors
  • Panel Discussions
    Panel Discussions
  • Public Interviews
    Public Interviews
  • Dan Ford
    Dan Ford
  • In Conversations With
    In Conversations With
  • Screenings
  • Music Events
    Music Events
  • Special Guests
    Special Guests
  • Outdoor Events
    Outdoor Events
  • Marisa and Patrick Wayne
    Marisa and Patrick Wayne
  • John Ford Award
    John Ford Award
  • Masters of Craft
    Masters of Craft

2019 Festival - October 11th - 13th 2019

More Information Coming Soon!

The John Ford Ireland Film Symposium takes place every two years, and is focussed on contemporary filmmaking and filmmakers that have been inspired and informed by the timeless work and craft of legendary Irish-American director John Ford, one of the world’s most respected and influential filmmakers. This is a unique 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. The Symposium is a unique gathering of filmmakers, directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, editors, film fans and film historians discussing the craft and all things film.

John Ford Ireland Festival - Past Highlights


Martin Scorsese in Dublin for John Ford Award Presentation & Masterclass

John Ford Ireland welcomed Martin Scorsese, the legendary filmmaker, to Dublin in February 2017, where he held a Masterclass with Irish Academy Members and Industry. 

Martin also received the prestigious JOHN FORD AWARD from Ireland and the Irish Academy in tribute to the inspirational and world-renowned Irish-American Filmmaker John Ford. The Award was presented to Martin by the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins in front of a packed house of filmmakers. 



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.



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.



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.



The Symposium dedicated one day to commemorating & honouring the illustrious and courageous work of Ford in the US Navy during the Second World War, heading the Field Photographic Unit and winning two Oscars for his war films. This event, hosted by Ford’s grandson Dan Ford at Collins Barracks in the National Museum of Ireland included a Screening of John Ford’s Oscar Winning Documentary The Battle of Midway; Talks and Discussions surrounding John Ford’s work during WWII; a portrayal of typical WWII troops at the front lines; and Tours of the National Museum‘s Soldiers and Chiefs Exhibition.


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 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.


FORD Producers Hub in association with the Irish Film Board

Key industry figures from across both the UK and Ireland including David Collins (Once, Run & Jump), Laura Hastings Smith (Hunger, Macbeth), Andrew Reid (Head of Production at Northern Ireland Screen), James Flynn (Calvary, Love/Hate), Sue Bruce Smith (Head of Commercial and Brand Strategy at Film 4) and Alan Moloney (Albert Nobbs, Intermission) participated at this Ford Producer’s Panel, focusing on the challenges of making independent films in both the UK and Ireland, and getting them out to the wider international market.

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.


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”.


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.




Celebrate Ford's Golden Year 1939

The Symposium Opening Night celebrated the 75th anniversary of Ford’s Golden Year of 1939 at Dublin’s historic SAVOY Cinema with a Discussion and Presentation reflecting on this monumental time in Hollywood, followed by the Screening of the classic Western from that year, Stagecoach, starring the indomitable John Wayne.


In Conversation with Scott Eyman

Award winning author and journalist Scott Eyman was the subject of an In Conversation With...event at the Symposium to discuss his latest critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling book, John Wayne: The Life and Legend. Eyman who described John Ford as “America’s Tribal poet”, discussed Wayne’s collaboration and unique relationship with Ford at this event, followed by a Q&A with Tara Brady of The Irish Times.