Our Story

Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People is an award-winning charity that has been educating, inspiring and motivating young people across the world for the last three decades.

Cinemagic is an organisation with international networks and a worldwide reputation for excellence in children’s programming. 

As the largest film and television festival designed for and by young people in the UK and Ireland around 40,000 young people (aged 4-25) participate in Cinemagic events in Belfast, Dublin, London, France (Castres), New York and Los Angeles each year. 

Since it was established Cinemagic has engaged with almost 1 million young  people, screened over 3,000 films, and hosted over 500 masterclasses, industry workshops, Q&As and special events. Our film production projects have received international acclaim for their ambition, quality and reach.

Cinemagic embraces the magic of film, television and digital technologies and offers young people the chance to develop real skills, explore opportunities, and reaffirm their belief in what they want to do and their own ability to achieve it.

Cinemagic has recently  produced two feature films, A CHRISTMAS STAR and GRACE AND GOLIATH; secured worldwide distribution for both films; developed award-winning “behind the scene” documentaries; produced over 100 short films; and supported hundreds of young trainees to secure work in the film and television industry.

Cinemagic has incredible patrons that share in its ethos such as, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell, Suranne Jones, Paula Malcomson and Julian Fellowes, to name but a few. Their support is vital and they are extremely generous with their time.

Partners and Funders

Film Jury

Every year Cinemagic recruits ‘CineSeekers’ jury panels made up of 5-11 year olds to watch and judge a series of international films during the Cinemagic Festival programmes. This is the perfect opportunity for young people who love movies and who love to review them. By providing young people with a unique, creative and fun-filled outlet for world cinema, the Festival’s is to develop and nurture a broader appreciation, understanding and love of film, as well as celebrating the stories, peoples and cultures from around the globe. Films are screened in their original language with English subtitles where necessary. The jury is open to all young people from Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

Every year Cinemagic recruits ‘CineFocus’ jury panels made up of 12-25 year olds to watch and judge a series of international films during the Cinemagic Festival programmes. It includes a specific animation and documentary strand as well as a regular live action strand to choose from. This is the perfect opportunity for young people who love movies and who love to review them. By providing young people with a unique, creative and fun-filled outlet for world cinema, the Festival’s is to develop and nurture a broader appreciation, understanding and love of film, as well as celebrating the stories, peoples and cultures from around the globe. Films are screened in their original language with English subtitles where necessary. The jury is open to all young people from Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

Programmes

Young Consultants/Programmers

Annually, Cinemagic recruits young film enthusiasts to take on the role of ‘film consultants’ in Belfast, to help programme a series of films for the annual Cinemagic Festival that takes place in the autumn. The participants in the Young Consultants/Programmers scheme work with the Cinemagic team to help steer the choice of films for the Festival, as they watch and critique films from around the globe! It is a fantastic opportunity to meet other likeminded young people and have fun deciding the content of the largest film festival for young people in the UK and Ireland. The scheme was the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland and it is one of the longest running initiatives of the Cinemagic Festival since its inception 30 years ago. The young film consultants have the opportunity to watch and review international films and there are lots of opportunities for discussion and debate around programming.

Education Programme

The Cinemagic Education Programme, for pre-schools, primary schools, post-primary schools and third level education institutions, is recognised for its innovation and ambition and its ability to use film to engage with young people to provide active and memorable learning, to stimulate discussion on social issues and to provide practical opportunities to learn new skills and learn about the creative industries. As a leader in film education , Cinemagic offers truly unique opportunities, with practical workshops, film exhibition, guest speakers, masterclasses and filmmaking initiatives.