His film The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro, may have controversially moved to Netflix earlier this week, but Martin Scorsese is being honored by another Irish man this weekend as the Emerald Isle’s President Michael D. Higgins presents the director with the prestigious John Ford Award from the Irish Film and Television Academy.
The Irish-American filmmaker will touch down in Dublin for a Masterclass on Saturday moderated by Northern Irish director Brian Kirk, where Scorsese will share insights into his key influences, especially that of The Grapes of Wrath helmer Ford. Afterwards, he’ll be presented the award from Higgins.
“To me and to so many directors, John Ford is a towering figure and continues to be a profound inspiration,” said Scorsese. “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 & Television Academy and to receive an award created in celebration of John Ford’s artistry and prestige has great personal significance for me.”
IFTA Chief Exec 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 is truly 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. IFTA is also working with the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College where Scorsese will speak with the Phil Society Members and he will be presented with the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage of the Society.