Cinemagic Celebrates Creativity!

The talents of over 150 young filmmakers from Northern Ireland were celebrated at Cinemagic’s Celebrate Creativity Showcase in Odeon Cinemas, Belfast, on Wednesday 9th March, hosted by Pete Snodden. The award-wining youth film festival charity brought together the next generation of creative industries professionals to mark the achievement of producing eighteen films and behind the scenes documentaries in the last eighteen months. The showcase premiered a selection of the short films as well as a performance by young Cinemagic musical theatre participants who recently completed a training project with the charity. A host of the films produced by Cinemagic have gone on to be selected or awarded at Film Festivals around the world.

Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Cinemagic CEO said “Throughout the pandemic Cinemagic innovatively led the way delivering so many incredible projects and offering young people a creative outlet for their talents and skills development. It has been a challenging few years for everyone and despite this we have continued to provide new opportunities in the film industry. From Festivals, online workshops and screenings to the production of some amazing short films Cinemagic has continued to inspire, create and educate the young people of Northern Ireland.”

Projects showcased at the celebratory event were supported by a number of funders and partners including Northern Ireland Screen, Belfast City Council, Department for Communities, Department of Economies, Northern Ireland Executive Office, Belfast City Airport, Department of Education, Tourism NI, CCEA, Belfast Metropolitan College and North West Regional College.

Cinemagic’s current festival, ON THE PULSE, runs until 1ST April. On the Pulse’ celebrates the short film genre, and the festival programme is funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen. It presents a programme of unmissable films for children, families, schools, young adults and young filmmakers, as well as jury panels and a masterclass and q&a series for aspiring film, television and media creators. 

Ends:// Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press Officer,

 Notes to Editors:

For 32 years Cinemagic has led the way in using film exhibition and production as a vehicle to inspire and engage young people and it has provided a vital outlet for independent cinema promoting film programmes that offer a unique window to the world. The sustained quality and considered nature of the festival’s cultural programming and the calibre of industry events, guests and film showcases, marks Cinemagic out as a premier youth arts organisation which also fervently supports and nurtures young filmmaking talent.

Cinemagic Musical Theatre Project– This project brought together x 20 teenagers from all over Northern Ireland who are passionate about performing arts and their final showcase devised fourteen different songs. The project was spent developing new skills focusing on good relations, drama, acting, singing and dancing. The initiative was supported by The Executive Office: Together Building a United Community

Cinemagic Creative and Digital Technologies Academy– This ground-breaking project united 60 young filmmakers, aged 18-25, from across Northern Ireland, marking the inaugural Creative and Digital Technologies Academy, delivered by Cinemagic in partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College and North West Regional College, supported by Department for the Economy. This Cinemagic initiative united the creative industries with the Further Education sector, to address the impact of Covid-19 on young people, and to showcase how partnerships focused on creative industries and investment in young talent can create a strong pipeline to employment and local economy growth. Films produced include The Carer, Lose Your Way & Bitter Pill.

Cinemagic Short Film Academy: This project which culminated in the production of short film Go Binge or Go Home was developed through the 2021 Cinemagic Short Film Academy funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen. 20 x16-19yr olds gained access to online masterclasses with industry professionals during the making the short film. The participants completed a programme of practical training on set, and it provided the young filmmakers with an invaluable insight to all aspects of filmmaking and the essential skills required.

Impossible/Mix it Up: These productions brought together x 40 young people in an innovative project to offer skills development opportunities in a range of areas in the film production process. The films with strong social issue messages will be exhibited throughout schools with accompanying education resources to aid classroom-based learning and use film as a vehicle to stimulate debate and discussion.

Film Awards:


Award of Excellence Special Mention and an Award of Excellence for Leading Actress, Aislín McGuckin at The Best Shorts Competition. 

Selected for the Berlin Lift Off Film Festival.

Semi-Finalist in the Dumbo Film Festival.



Selected as a nominee for the Crystal Palace International Film Festival.



Selected for the Berlin Lift Off Film Festival.

Semi-Finalist in the Dumbo Film Festival.



Best Shorts Competition: 


Award of Merit: Actress: Leading (Savanna Burney Keatings as Ava).

Award of Merit: Children / Family Programming.

Award of Merit: Women Filmmakers.


Selected for the Toronto International Women’s Film Festival.

Finalist in the Children Short Film Awards in London for the Official Competition.



Selected for the 13TH Underground Cinema Film Awards Dublin.

Semi Finalist in the Gold Movie Awards London.





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