Cinemagic LA Celebrates Youth Creativity at 2023 Gala Showcase sponsored by NI Connections

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 28: Cinemagic students attend Cinemagic Gala At Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Supported By George Best Belfast City Airport And NI Conn at Fairmont Miramar - Hotel & Bungalows on June 28, 2023 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Cinemagic/Jane Owen PR  )

Last night Cinemagic LA held its 2023 Gala Showcase sponsored by NI Connections. The Gala was the culmination of a week’s inspiring and motivational learning experiences for young people in film, television, broadcasting, musical theatre, and much more. 

Cinemagic LA brought together youth from 40 different Belfast and Los Angeles schools to celebrate creativity. The Gala Showcase was held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica to mark the growth of the programme and put young people in touch with top talent and executives in the film and television industry.

Guest speakers during the festival week included director and producer Andrew Molina (Bates Motel: The Check Out, Heaven on Earth), cinematographer Sarah Brandes (Ad Astra, The Morning Show), producers James Longman (The Late Late Show with James Corden) and Jill King (Rachael Ray), screenwriters Ryan Rowe (Charlie’s Angels) and Adam Lorenzo (Everybody Hates Chris, Everybody Loves Raymond), five time Academy Award nominated, Belfast-born sound mixer, Peter J. Devlin (Ant Man and the Wasp, Wakanda Forever), Sharon Carpenter, TV host & broadcast journalist, business leaders Ellis O’Connor, MD at BDT & MSD Partners, and Sam Jagger, General Manager, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Shelley Reid, Head of Business Affairs at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment TV Group, and Cynthia Yorkin, actress and producer (Blade Runner 2049).

Cinemagic CEO Joan Burney Keatings MBE said: “We are so thankful to our incredible sponsors and partners in supporting us in providing inspiring talks, tours, and masterclasses with top talent in film and television production in the heart of moviemaking in LA over the last week. Cinemagic is a global player in the creative industries and it’s fantastic to be celebrating Northern Ireland’s success stories internationally.

Celebrity guests that came to support Cinemagic’s evening included Jeri Ryan (Star Trek), Benjamin Onyango (God’s Not Dead), Amber Friendly (The Morning Show), amongst others including Maxwell Canfield (Grease 2) and wife Juliet Mills. 

Cinemagic partnered with IGNITE in Belfast and LA-based youth filmmaking non-profit Film2Future to give young creatives a one-of-a-kind experience. 

Sponsored by Fairmont Hotels, Northern Irish Connections, NI Bureau and Aer Lingus, the Cinemagic 2023 Showcase welcomed celebrities, politicians, film executives, to network with students and show them the possibilities if they continue to persevere in their creative endeavours. 

The head of Northern Ireland Connections, Moira Loughran, expressed similar hopes. Moira adds, “We are delighted to be partnering with Cinemagic as a sponsor of the Los Angeles Gala as we see it as a fantastic opportunity to be able to help and showcase the immense talent of our young people from Northern Ireland.”

Director of Corporate Services at George Best Belfast City Airport, Michelle Hatfield, explained “What an absolutely incredible week it has been for the students who have made the trip to LA. IGNITE, our youth leadership programme, is focused on inspiring the next generation to aim high and achieve greater and what could be more aspirational than this one-in-a-lifetime event in the city of dreams. It has truly been an honour to be part of it.

Deputy Director, Northern Ireland Bureau, Eamonn McConville added: “It’s such a pleasure to partner with Cinemagic on the LA programme, which is helping shape our future leaders; and providing them with the inspiration to be part of Northern Ireland’s flourishing Creative Industries.”


Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press Officer, 028 90311 900


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