Cinemagic to screen ground-breaking film ABIA in New York during UN’s International Women’s Day celebration

Cinemagic to screen ground-breaking short film ABIA in New York during UN’s International Women’s Day celebration and the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Thursday 9 March 2023. Abia is a film made by Cinemagic and Generations for Peace about gender-based violence in the Middle East to be shown at the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, New York. 

A short film created by Belfast-based arts charity Cinemagic and aspiring young filmmakers in Jordan will air on Thursday 9 March 2023 in New York, during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the UN’s observance of International Women’s Day 2023.

Cinemagic’s Abia production is an emotive 14-minute film that highlights the issue of gender-based violence in the Middle East, by documenting one 18-year-old woman’s experience of an arranged and abusive marriage after fleeing Syria.

Created and produced by Cinemagic’s industry professionals and mentors and young people from diverse backgrounds living in Jordan, Abia is Cinemagic’s first project in the Middle East, in partnership with Jordanian NGO Generations for Peace and supported by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Ireland in Jordan.

Ireland will screen the film in its Permanent Mission to the United Nations, coinciding with the UN Commission on the Status of Women and International Women’s Day. Speaking about the screening, Ambassador Fergal Mythen, Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said:

“Ireland is proud to host a screening of ‘Abia’ in our mission to the United Nations as we mark International Women’s Day and the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. We will bring together Ambassadors, human rights experts, and UN Youth Delegates from across the UN to see the Cinemagic-made film and more deeply understand its important message. Ireland will continue to champion youth and the fight against gender-based violence, both here at the UN and across the world.”

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is; ‘DigitALL; Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’, and for the Commission on the Status of Women is ‘Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.’

Cinemagic educates the next generation of filmmakers; from camera operatives, and sound engineers to actors and screenwriters with a particular focus on bringing opportunities to individuals from diverse backgrounds and those who may otherwise face barriers getting into the industry. Speaking about the decision by Ireland’s Permanent Mission to the UN to screen the film, Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Cinemagic Chief Executive said:

“It is an honour to have our Abia production featured by Ireland for representatives at the UN to mark what is a very important event in the global calendar. We are so proud of our partnership with Generations for Peace, the Embassy of Ireland in Jordan and all the young people we had the pleasure of working with on this special project. The goal was to work with the Jordanian and Syrian young people, aged 18-25, from concept to screen, to inspire them and develop new skills, which we hope will empower them both in practical filmmaking ability and in confidence.

“That ethos is part of Cinemagic’s DNA and it resonates heavily with the theme of the UN’s International Women’s Day, as well as the Commission on the Status of Women for its 67th Session, which aims (among other things) to increase opportunity within STEM industries for women who are currently a minority there. We look forward to showing Abia, provoking discussion and inspiring more and more young people, especially women to go on to achieve in all industries.”

 Generations For Peace, Chief Executive Officer, Mark Clark MBE, commented: “This wonderful collaboration between Generations For Peace and Cinemagic, made possible by the support of the Irish Embassy, has provided a unique opportunity for Jordanian and Syrian youth in the city of Amman, to work directly on every aspect of film production to give voice to a topic the youth themselves selected as their priority issue: gender-based violence. We are so grateful to Ireland’s Mission to the UN in New York, for showcasing the film during the Commission on the Status of Women.”


 For all media enquiries please contact: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press Officer, or call + 44 7793 025910.

Teaser for ABIA:

Abia is a short film about violence against women, created and produced in Jordan by Belfast-based Cinemagic, with young Jordanians and Syrian refugees, in partnership with Generations for Peace and supported by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. It won Best Foreign Language Film at the British Short Film Awards.

Cinemagic ( is an award-winning non-profit film organization, founded 34 years ago during the Northern Ireland conflict to teach young people about film making through film exhibition, workshops, masterclasses and film productions. It has produced hundreds of short films about issues of concern to young people, from bullying, mental health and discrimination to climate change and the environment. It has also produced feature films A Christmas Star and Grace and Goliath. Supported by industry leaders including Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Pierce Brosnan, Alan Silvestri and M. Night Shyamalan, Cinemagic reaches some 40,000 young people each year. It educates the next generation of filmmakers, from camera operators and sound engineers to actors writers and directors, with a particular focus on diversity and those who might face barriers against entering the industry. Cinemagic delivers programs and festivals in Belfast, Dublin, London, New York and Los Angeles. Abia is its first project in the Middle East.

About Generations For Peace ( Generations For Peace (GFP) is a Jordan-based global non-profit organisation founded and chaired by HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, dedicated to sustainable peacebuilding and conflict transformation through sport, arts, advocacy, dialogue, empowerment, and media. By providing unique training and continuous support and mentoring to volunteer leaders of youth, GFP empowers them to lead and cascade change in their communities, promoting active tolerance and responsible citizenship and working at the grassroots to address local issues of conflict and violence. Over the last sixteen years, GFP has trained and mentored more than more than 22,702 volunteer leaders of youth in 52 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. With our support, their ongoing programmes address local issues of conflict and violence and have positively impacted the lives of more than 1,450,877 children, youth and adults. GFP is currently ranked by TheDotGood  as “#25 in the Top 200 Social Good Organisations in the World”, the #3 Peacebuilding SGO in the World and the #1 SGO in the Arab World.

About the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations: Ireland’s Permanent Mission in New York promotes Irish foreign policy interests and values at the United Nations. In addition, Ireland has permanent missions to the UN in Geneva and in Vienna. Ireland has been a member of the United Nations since 1955. The principles and values enshrined in the UN Charter are those we have always striven to promote. Ireland has recently concluded a two-year term as an elected member of the UN Security Council and is currently seeking election to the Human Rights Council for a 2027-2029 term. From working on human rights to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, to development, peacekeeping and disarmament, at the UN Ireland strives to promote a better world for all.

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