Maine Irish Heritage Center

Ford Film Fest to celebrate with screening in Damariscotta

Celebrating the Enduring Legacy of Maine's Influential Irish American Brothers on World Cinema.
Wed, 08/16/2023 - 11:00am

    In their hometown of Portland, Maine, the brothers were known as Frank and Jack “Bull” Feeney.  Born to Irish Immigrants from Spiddal in Galway, they were members of St. Dominic’s in Portland's West End, the heart of the Irish immigrant community in Portland; now home to the Maine Irish Heritage Center and the John and Francis Ford Collection. The festival promises an array of opportunities that will appeal to both 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 and experts as well as Ford family members will deliver lectures and symposiums exploring the lives and works of the Ford brothers, providing invaluable insights into their cinematic contributions. Additionally, walking history tours across the city will immerse guests in the Portland of the Ford’s time, 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 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 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