The 30th Anniversary Cinemagic Festival has unveiled over 30 days of unmissable opportunities for young audiences in Belfast and across Northern Ireland. The 2019 Cinemagic Belfast Festival line-up includes Oscar-nominated Irish actress Saoirse Ronan and legendary actress Hayley Mills.


Festival goers will have the chance to participate in an extensive Film Education programme, industry masterclasses, a ‘Talking Pictures’ strand with screenings and filmmaker Q&As, the Cinemagic Young Filmmaker Weekend and Film Jury panels for young film critics.


The programme features over 100 public films and events, 30 industry workshops and masterclasses and 75 film education workshops. In the run-up to the festival Cinemagic welcomes acclaimed actor Tchéky Karyo, BBC’s BAPTISTE, to present two films at Queen’s Film Theatre, including the first film ever screened at Cinemagic, 30 years ago, VINCENT AND ME (21 Sept).


The Gala Opening will be marked with a special Northern Ireland preview of much-anticipated animation ABOMINABLE from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks on 6th October. This leads the way for a fantastic array of films including documentaries, shorts, and animations celebrating world cinema (1st October-3rd November). To download the 2019 Festival programme click here.


Additional special screenings including a Northern Ireland preview of the latest Aardman Animations feature SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON (+ Q&A with co-directors Will Becher & Richard Phelan) on 12th October.


The film programme will officially close with an 80th anniversary screening of cinematic classic THE WIZARD OF OZ in Belfast Cathedral, on 30th October. This is screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO.

Multi-award-winning Irish actress and Cinemagic patron Saoirse Ronan will host a Q&A for students following a screening of LADY BIRD and she will lead an evening panel event, ‘Conversations in Comedy’ in Odeon Cinemas (3rd October) on the role of ‘Women in Comedy’; other panel members include DERRY GIRLS’ Saoirse Monica Jackson and Eileen O’Higgins (MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, BROOKLYN).

Hayley Mills (THE PARENT TRAP, POLYANNA, WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND) will present a screening of WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND in Queen’s Film Theatre on 20th October and Actor Dai Bradley, a.k.a. KES’ Billy Casper, will present a 50thAnniversary screening of Ken Loach’s acclaimed coming of age drama KES (13th October).

Oscar nominated Armagh cinematographer Seamus McGarvey will introduce the mega-hit musical THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (26th October) and the UK’s leading film critic Mark Kermode returns for his annual Cinemagic Film Night and will present his 2019 pick KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE (26th October). Three Film Podcasts will feature at the Festival for the first time – the Empire Film Podcast Live! (the audio arm of the world’s biggest movie magazine) on 17th October, the CinePunked Podcast will present Roald Dahl’s THE WITCHES on 23rd October and the ‘Girls on Film’ Live Podcast – the all-female film review podcast hosted by top film journalist Anna Smith.

The Talking Pictures strand brings Q&A insights from visiting Directors and Writers and includes screenings of A GOOD WOMAN IS HARD TO FIND, starring Sarah Bolger (5th Oct) and written by Ronan Blaney; THE RUNAWAYS starring Tara Fitzgerald (26th Oct); EXTRA ORDINARY from directing duo Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman on 27th Oct; Hugh O’Connor’s METAL HEART (27th Oct) and GWEN from Director and former Cinemagic Young Filmmaker William McGregor (27th Oct).

Downton Abbey Creator and Cinemagic patron Julian Fellowes commentedI am always struck with the commitment and passion of Northern Ireland’s young people and I encourage everyone to get behind the 30th Cinemagic Festival. This festival is in the business of building bridges in the community and crossing the natural divides of age, nationality, religion, you name it. In our increasingly fractured world, what could be more worthwhile than that?”.

Talent Lab workshops will give 16-25 yr olds a chance to learn from double Emmy award winning Northern Irish Casting Director Carla Stronge (9th Oct), double BAFTA winning Sound Editor, Eddy Joseph (25th Oct) and Academy Award and BAFTA nominated Cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey (26th Oct).

Film Education programme opportunities for pre-school and primary to post-primary and third level students; include drama to SFX make-up workshops and from short film critiquing & podcasting to director talks, props and costume workshops and film journalism. BAFTA Kids present a 30 Years of Animation retrospective with presenter Nigel Clarke and Cartoon Network. The BBFC present a fascinating workshop on how movies are classified and the CCEA Moving Image Arts Showcase will celebrate student filmmaking from schools throughout Northern Ireland.

Cinemagic CEO, Joan Burney Keatings MBE said “We are incredibly proud to have reached the milestone of the 30th Anniversary Cinemagic Festival. As a UK and Ireland leader in the field of youth film exhibition and engagement with the screen industry, we aim to present an innovative and rich programme of film opportunities providing a unique window to the world. The Festival events are designed to have a positive impact on those that get involved. With continued support from our funders and partners Cinemagic is able to inspire young audiences from all backgrounds, nurture skills and develop tomorrow’s creative workforce.”

Northern Ireland Screen CEO, Richard Williams says: “Northern Ireland Screen is delighted to see that Cinemagic’s flair and enthusiasm remains as vivid and intense as it did 30 years ago, with yet another superb and eclectic programme of screenings and educational events.  Through our continued core funding, supported by the Department for Communities, Northern Ireland Screen acknowledges Cinemagic as a key component in our efforts to achieve our goal of making a significant contribution to film culture, education and training. We send our sincerest good wishes to Joan and the whole team for another successful festival as they mark their 30th anniversary.”


Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor John Finucane added Belfast City Council is very proud to invest in Cinemagic’s excellent work. This organisation provides so many wonderful opportunities for young people to appreciate and experience the film industry – on both sides of the camera – and as Belfast’s reputation continues to grow as a creative industries capital, Cinemagic is set to occupy an even more important space – inspiring our young people and opening up pathways to employment. I wish them every success.”


Additional Festival Highlights are:


New Movies for Kids and New World Cinema:

Over 20 brand new European and world cinema movies for 8-12 yr olds with youth and adventure at the centre and New World Cinema titles for 12+, 15+ and 18+ yr olds focusing on the trials and tribulations of young adulthood from varying cultural and social perspectives.



Movies at the Museum programme and Accessible Screenings:

Autism Friendly THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, Audio-Transcribed ALADDIN, HOH Subtitled TOY STORY 4. Movies at the Museum programme features Cinemagic’s 30th Birthday Party with music from Tom Sweeney, screenings of A GRAND DAY OUT & A CLOSE SHAVE, PETE’S DRAGON, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, GRANDPA’S GREAT ESCAPE, and the annual Pyjama Party with IN THE NIGHT GARDEN.


Tales at Twilight:

Relaxed and cosy No Alibis Bookstore book to screen film adaptations introduced by authors and storytellers including THE WATER HORSE, THE SPIDERWICK CHRONCILES, THE PARENT TRAP, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA.


Meet the Film Crew

Writer Hugh O’Conor will introduce animation THE OVERCOAT (27th Oct) and Director Trevor Hardy will host a Q&A at STRIKE (12th Oct), a humorous and heart-warming stop-motion animation from the UK.


Classic Cinema and Retrospective

Classic Cinema offerings feature LORD OF THE FLIES, KES and WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND.  A 30 year Best of Fest Retrospective is the programmer’s pick of four outstanding world cinema titles celebrating stories, peoples and cultures from around the globe in BOY (New Zealand), KAUWBOY (Netherlands), CHRISTMAS STORY (Finland) and LESSONS OF A DREAM (Germany).


Documentary Forum & Animation Nation

The Documentary Forum presents EASY LESSONS (part of the One World Festival on 23rd Oct), MAKING WAVES: THE ART OF CINEMATIC SOUND plus Q&A with Sound Editor Eddy Joseph (25th Oct), DIVE: RITUALS IN WATER (30th Oct) and RECONSTRUCTING UTOYA (30th Oct).


Over 12th-21st October fans of animation will enjoy brand new inventive and thrilling offerings in Animation Nation featuring PRINCESS AYA, THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL, WHITE SNAKE, THE PRINCE’S VOYAGE and RUBEN BRANDT, COLLECTOR.


Suzie, Do You Copy

To celebrate Halloween, Cinemagic is delving into the long list of films that inspired the cultural phenomenon that is STRANGER THINGS and screening a double bill of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and THE FOG on 27th October in The Black Box.


Linen Hall Pop-Up Cinema



Creativity Corner and Career Crafts

Creativity Corner Workshops for children aged 5-12 will get the chance to learn about SFX Make-Up, Prop Making, Stop Motion Animation, Model Making, Sound Effects, Voice Acting and Performing with Puppets. Career Crafts workshops for 15+ yr olds will focus on Producing a Low Budget Feature Film, Film Classification and Film Journalism from founder and editor of Film Stories and Den of Geek, Simon Brew.


Young Filmmaker Weekend

Cinemagic’s Young Filmmaker weekend runs over 1st-3rd November with a treasure trove of cinematic delights including a 72 hour Film Bootcamp Challenge Showcase; a Short Film Surgery; Making Comedy for Social Media; with BBC Comedy Producer Mark Bignall (Short Stuff); Directing Animation with Marten Jonmark; Directing Documentary with Gerry Gregg; The Writersroom BBC NI and a panel event, I Have an Idea, focusing on opportunities for young filmmakers in areas such as funding, audience development, exhibition and commissioning. The young filmmaker workshops and panel events are supported by Film Hub Northern Ireland.



For further information/booking visit www.cinemagic.org.uk or telephone 028 90 311 900, or head to our box office at www.wegottickets.com/cinemagic.


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The Cinemagic Festival is funded by Northern Ireland Screen supported by the Department for Communities, funded by Belfast City Council and Tourism Northern Ireland.

Plan and Book your short break at discovernorthernireland.com

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