The annual Cinemagic Film and Television Festival programme returns for a jam-packed season from 6th October-8th November with over two hundred films and diverse creative opportunities to inspire young people. Click here to view public programme of events.

The Opening night of the Festival will be marked with a special preview of The LEGO NINJAGO® Movie, the new animated adventure in Warner Bros. Pictures’ LEGO® franchise, and 450 film fans are expected to attend the opening night celebrations at Odyssey Cinemas Belfast along with special guest speaker, Jay Roewe, HBO Senior Vice President.

Industry Guests: Guests visiting Cinemagic Belfast from the world of film and television include acclaimed actor, presenter and writer, Sir Tony Robinson; Golden Globe nominated music composer, Trevor Jones,(The Last of the Mohicans, In The Name of The Father); Academy Award and BAFTA nominated cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey (Atonement, Anna Karenina, Nocturnal Animals, Avengers Assemble); film critic supremo, Mark Kermode, who returns for his 13th visit to Cinemagic with his festival pick The Red Turtle; BAFTA and Academy Award winning Make-Up Designer, Christine Blundell (Topsy Turvy, Mr Turner); Art Director David Bowes (The Selfish Giant, Happy Valley,); BAFTA, Emmy and RTS award-winning costume designer, Annie Symons (Great Expectations, Worried About The Boy); BAFTA and IFTA award-winning director Aisling Walsh (A Poet in New York, Maudie) and CBBC TV Presenters Tim Warwood (Wild and Weird) and Naomi Wilkinson (Nightmares of Nature).

Films: The Festival Closing preview is Paddington 2, the much anticipated sequel to the worldwide hit family film and this year’s Student Film Night offering is cult movie Ghost World screening in the Black Box. Audiences can travel the world from their cinema seats and celebrate stories, peoples and cultures from around the globe with a diverse cultural film programme for all ages to enjoy. The Festival has recruited ‘CineSeekers’ and ‘CineFocus’ young film reviewers, to view and judge the in-competition films of the festival! Highlights of the children’s features include The Oddsockeaters, a heart-warming Czech-made comical story of a small Oddsockeater in a big world; Oskar’s America, a Norwegian adventure following a 10 year old and his eccentric neighbour who plan to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat and German drama Wendy, a story of friendship between a teenage girl and an untamed horse Dixie.

The World Cinema strand in Queen’s Film Theatre presents 12 fascinating and thought-provoking features including the delightfully chilling ghost story Room 213 from Swedish director Emelie Lindblom; The Lion Woman, an emotionally gripping story in the tradition of The Elephant Man and Mask; a tender-hearted coming-of-age drama from Finland Little Wing; and Lane 1974, based on the true story from Clane Hayward’s memoir The Hypocrisy of Disco, which follows a teenage girl growing up in a California commune who longs for a more stable life.

The Documentary Forum offering includes The Other Kids, (a partnership screening with New Notions Cinema and Film Hub NI), which follows young Mubiru Rigan who dreams of being the next Fernando Torres and scoring a goal that brings Uganda their first African Cup; Danish film The Wait, about a 14 year old girl and her family who fled Afghanistan and are now living in Denmark fearing deportation; For Ahkeem, a powerful story that illuminates the challenges that many black teenagers face in America today; and Born in Syria, a touching insight to the refugee experience, filmed in twelve countries following seven children as they escape Syria and arrive in the ‘promised land’ of Europe.

Fans of animation shouldn’t miss the Super Dark Tales thread of the film programme with screenings of Loving Vincent, the world’s first fully painted feature film about the mystery surrounding the death of famed painter Vincent van Gogh in 1890 France; Borley Rectory, chronicling what came to be known as ‘The most haunted house in England’ and this will feature a Q&A with director Ashley Thorpe; The Girl Without Hands, from acclaimed short filmmaker Sebastien Laudenbach, which presents a dreamlike take on the Brothers Grimm story; and Extraordinary Tales, where five of Edgar Allan Poe’s best-known stories are brought to vivid life in a heart-pounding anthology.

Masterclasses: Talent Labs offer 16-25 year olds an invaluable insight to working in film and television and highlights include Costume Design with Annie Symons, Make-Up Design with Christine Blundell, Directing with Aisling Walsh, Casting with Carla Stronge, Production with Leon McGeown Fee, Chris Martin, Jessica Malik and Gareth Ellis-Unwin, and Assistant Directing with Darren Fee.

The Career Crafts masterclasses offer opportunities for 12-21 year old. This year the festival presents Art Direction with David Bowes, whose credits include The Selfish Giant, Happy Valley, and The City and the City; Animation with Mark Mullery, from Oscar nominated studio Cartoon Saloon, Film Classification with Lucy Brett, BBFC; and Costume Design with Louise Stanton who worked recently on Michael Inside, winner of Best Irish Film at the 2017 Galway Film Fleadh.

Master Storytellers, Activity Screenings and History on Film: The Ulster Museum will host an eclectic series of films and special events for all the family to enjoy. A Master Storytellers focus on Dr.Seuss includes screenings of The Lorax with a recycled arts & craft workshop and Horton Hears a Who! Comic book fans will be flocking to The Peanuts Movie accompanied by a mini-comic making workshop with the Comic Book Guys and young people can enjoy some circus fun before a screening of the Disney classic Dumbo. The world of film music will come alive with a String-tastic showcase of music treats before the adventure-filled cinematic delight Robin Hood and kids can get ready for peaceful slumber at the annual Cinemagic Pyjama party, with storytelling, milk & cookies and a screening of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!

History fans can soak up facts and figures during the History on Film- World War 1 focus with an interactive demonstration from History Live and a screening of War Game, a beautiful animated story adapted from the award-winning book by Michael Forman; the USPCA will participate in a discussion about the important role that animals played in the war effort along with a screening of War Horse and the 1970 classic movie The Railway Children will bring young festival-goers on a drama-filled adventure!

Creativity Corner workshops feature Special Effects Make-Up for film with Robert King, Puppet Making with Black Paper Films and Aardman Animation model making where young creatives can make their very own Morph, Gromit or Shaun the Sheep character!

No Alibis Bookstore will host Shorts for Shorties, and Around the World in 60 minutes, collections of animations for tiny tots, Tales at Twilight, will showcase book to film adaptations introduced by local authors Jan Carson, Kelly McCaughrain and Pauline Burgess. Film titles include The Iron Giant, The BFG and Muppet Treasure Island. The festival is also proud to welcome award winning author and illustrator Niamh Sharkey for a special event. The former Irish Laureate for Children’s Literature will host a ‘monster doodle’ workshop before a reading and screening of a spooky Halloween episode from Henry Hugglemonster.

Education Programme: Teachers and educators can support learning through film and television with the comprehensive education programme featuring special events with BAFTA Kids, who are hosting a BAFTA 70 Birthday Bash in the Grand Opera House, film classification with BBFC, Inside ‘Britain’s Ancient Tracks’ with Sir Tony Robinson and Brian Henry Martin, the magical world of Minecraft with Adam Clarke, programme making with Paper Owl Films, and a Directing Q&A with Aisling Walsh along with a screening of recent highly acclaimed feature film Maudie.

Cinemagic Chief Executive, Joan Burney Keatings said “We are delighted to present the 2017 Cinemagic Belfast Festival, with over 200 films and a host of special events set to light up cinema screens in the city. With thanks to our funders, sponsors, supporting venues and partners, we have been able to present the very best cinema from around the world and design practical and inspiring workshop opportunities for audiences to gain an insight to the film and television industry.”

Richard Williams, CEO, Northern Ireland Screen said “Northern Ireland Screen is delighted to see the eclectic programme of screenings and educational events at the Cinemagic Belfast Festival this year. We‘ve been providing core funding to Cinemagic since its inception because of the part the Cinemagic Belfast Festival plays in making the potential of screen available to as many people in Northern Ireland as possible.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Nuala McAllister, said “Cinemagic provides hope, aspiration, training and skills for young people entering the workforce and Belfast City Council is pleased to fund this organisation which not only stimulates economic growth and creativity in young people, but also promotes Belfast globally through its internationally acclaimed film projects.  Cinemagic 2017 will be a highlight on the annual Belfast Festival events calendar for children and young people, and families – and this programme is an example of the impressive cultural offering provided by this city for all ages.”

-For further information/booking visit or telephone 028 90 311 900
-Online Box Office for public films and events
-Cinema tickets for corresponding main cinemas are also available from:

-Education Programme Booking, Tel 028 90 311 900 or email

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

Ends:// Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press & Marketing Officer,
028 90311 900

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