John and Francis Ford. The image in the center is of the two brothers on location filming THE QUIET MAN in Ireland.
The Feeney Family on their front steps in Portland’s Munjoy Hill. Francis is second row center and Jack is third row right.
Maine Irish Heritage Center Presents John and Francis Ford Film Festival, Celebrating the Enduring Legacy of Maine’s Influential Irish American Brothers.
— Joseph McBride, author of Searching for John Ford; co-author of John Ford
PORTLAND, ME, UNITED STATES, July 28, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — The Maine Irish Heritage Center proudly presents the citywide John and Francis Ford Film Festival in partnership with the State Theatre, Portland Museum of Art, Portland Media Center, Portland Downtown, and Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta. Scheduled from Friday, August 18th, through Sunday, August 20th, the Ford Film Festival pays tribute to the remarkable impact of the Ford brothers on world cinema. Francis Ford, an early pioneer in silent films and serials, also mentored his brother John, who became the most Oscar-winning director in Academy Awards history. His record four “Best Director” awards still stands today.
In their hometown of Portland, Maine, the brothers were known as Frank and Jack “Bull” Feeney. Born to Irish Immigrants from Spiddal in County Galway, as young boys, they lived in St. Dominic’s parish in Portland’s West End, the heart of the Irish immigrant community, now home to the Maine Irish Heritage Center and the John and Francis Ford Collection.
The festival program offers many opportunities that appeal to devoted film enthusiasts and those seeking an enjoyable summer weekend activity. A highlight of the event will be the premieres of three recently restored silent films by Francis Ford, offering audiences a rare glimpse into these long-hidden cinematic treasures. Throughout the weekend, attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy John Ford classics, culminating in a free outdoor screening of THE QUIET MAN in Monument Square.
Renowned film scholars, experts, and Ford family members will deliver lectures and symposiums exploring the lives and works of the Ford brothers, providing invaluable insights into their cinematic contributions. Walking history tours across the city will also immerse guests in early twentieth-century Portland, offering a unique perspective on the city’s heritage and evolution.
Joseph McBride, renowned film historian, Ford biographer, and Ford Film Festival keynote speaker, said, “John Ford is widely considered America’s, and perhaps the world’s, greatest filmmaker, and he said he learned virtually everything from his brother Francis. These two Irish American sons of Portland proudly returned frequently to their hometown, and their work continues to do honor to their roots in both Portland and Ireland.” McBride, who is the author of Searching for John Ford (2001) and co-author (with Michael Wilmington) of John Ford (1974), added, “The John and Francis Ford Film Festival will be a happy and important occasion for people who love movies to gather and celebrate their work and heritage, while coming to a deeper understanding of how Portland made them who they were, and helped make John Ford into America’s national poet. Francis’s pioneering work has long been neglected but will be featured as well as Jack’s in some new rediscoveries and restorations.”
The John and Francis Ford Film Festival offers various ticket options, including individual event passes and all-access festival passes. For more details and ticket information, please visit fordfilmfestival.com. Join us for this extraordinary celebration as we honor the indelible legacy of the Ford brothers, their Irish American heritage, and their profound influence on Hollywood.
About Maine Irish Heritage Center
The Maine Irish Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving, sharing, and celebrating the rich heritage of the Irish in Maine. Located in the heart of Portland, it serves as a hub for cultural events, educational programs, and community engagement, ensuring the continuation of Irish traditions for generations to come. Learn more at maineirish.com.