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Martin Scorsese to Receive John Ford Award From Ireland’s President

Variety logo Variety 2/24/2017 Leo Barraclough
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Martin Scorsese, whose upcoming mob movie “The Irishman” is the subject of a dispute regarding its international rights, will receive the John Ford Award from Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, at a special Irish Film and Television Academy event in Dublin on Saturday.

The ceremony will follow immediately after the director delivers a masterclass to IFTA members and other filmmakers. The masterclass will be moderated by director Brian Kirk (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Game of Thrones”), who is a member of the directors’ chapter of IFTA. Scorsese will offer insight into his work, technique and influences, accompanied by clips he has selected for the occasion.

In a statement, Scorsese said: “To me and to so many directors, John Ford is a towering figure and continues to be a profound inspiration. His films deftly convey his unique and acute sense of humanity; his deep understanding of people.

“When I first started watching his films, Ford’s force behind the camera was palpable. He was a visionary in the truest form and his films are enriched with artistic energy. I see his films often, studying them and each time I learn something new.

“To be honored by the Irish Film and Television Academy to receive an award created in celebration of John Ford’s artistry and prestige has great personal significance for me.” 

IFTA chief executive Aine Moriarty said: “The response from our industry has been extraordinary this week, which genuinely reflects the enormous respect Irish filmmakers have for Martin. He truly is an inspiration; we thank Martin for his support for the academy and our work, and for taking the time to share his great knowledge and expertise with our Irish filmmakers here in Dublin.”

The masterclass is run in association with Screen Training Ireland. The academy is also working with the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College, where Scorsese will speak with the Phil Society Members, and will be presented with the society’s Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage.

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