Dr. Michael C. Connolly, a professor of History and Political Science at Saint Joseph’s College, will present on three different aspects of John Ford’s life and filmography during a state-wide film festival in February.

by SJC Press Room

(Standish, Maine) – The Maine Film Center is bringing together various independent cinemas and educational organizations to celebrate what would have been the 125th birthday of John Ford, one of America’s most acclaimed filmmakers.

Ford grew up in Portland, Maine, the son of Irish immigrants when “no Irish need apply” was a prevalent New England sentiment. The experiences of his immigrant roots permeates the characters, music, sensibilities, and sentiments of his films.

Dr. Connolly is the co-editor of John Ford in Focus, a book of essays about Ford’s personal life and how it intersected with his filmmaking. The winner of four Academy Awards for Best Director (for which he holds the record), Ford directed over 140 films covering a diverse array of subjects and categories. While he was said to introduce himself with, “My name is John Ford; I make westerns,” none of his four directing Oscars (or two other Oscars for documentaries) were in the genre for which he became most famous.

In 2016 Dr. Connolly received the Claddagh Award from the Maine Irish Heritage Center, which recognizes a person who has devoted his life to serving the Maine Irish community and who has advanced awareness of and pride in Irish heritage.

In addition to his appearances during the February celebration, Dr. Connolly will be interviewed live by Jennifer Rooks on Maine Calling (Maine Public) on Tuesday,  January 29 at 1 PM and will appear on the “207” program of WCSH6 on Thursday, January 31 at 7 PM.

About The Film Festival

During John Ford | 125 Years, several of the director’s films will be screened across Maine and accompanied by a discussion specific to the film. On February 1, Dr. Connolly will be speaking at the Maine Historical Society in Portland for the kickoff event “Meet John Ford.” This multimedia introduction will go over John Ford’s early life in Portland, leading into his journey towards Hollywood. On February 6, Dr. Connolly will be present for a discussion prior to a screening of The Quiet Man at the Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta. The third discussion will take place on February 8 at the Colonial Theater in Belfast, with Dr. Connolly introducing and discussing the film, How Green Was My Valley, Ford’s Best Picture winner.

The film festival screenings and educational panels run from February 1-10, and the complete schedule of events and locations can be found at www.ford125.com. More information on the celebration can be found in this article from The Free Press.