The talents of over 250 young filmmakers were joyously celebrated at Cinemagic’s Celebrating Creativity Film Showcase on 24th May in Odeon Cinemas, Belfast. Hosted by Pete Snodden, the award-wining youth film festival charity brought together the next generation of creatives to mark their achievements and preview their work on the silver screen. Audiences were treated to an incredible performance from singer songwriter, Taylor Lally, who features in Cinemagic’s latest film So What If It Rains, produced to mark the 25th Anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement.
Over the last two years Cinemagic has produced 22 short films and behind the scenes documentaries and 7 of these were previewed at the event. The films Waste, The Silent People, Shaken, Play Your Own Game, Abia, Heaven on Earth and So What If It Rains were produced by Cinemagic and filmmakers from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, the Middle East, and Los Angeles.
The projects showcased were supported by funders and partners including Department for the Economy, Department of Education, Department of Foreign Affairs, Generations for Peace, British Consulate LA, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Belfast Metropolitan College and North West Regional College.
Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Cinemagic CEO said “I am extremely proud of the talented young people and industry professionals we have the absolute joy of working with. It was incredible to be able to present such a high calibre selection of films to a packed Belfast audience in Odeon Cinemas Belfast. Thank you to our funders and project partners in enabling the visions of the charity and allowing us to bring ideas to life.
As well as training participants in filmmaking, our films tackle important social issues and provide a platform for discussion, and this is vital in today’ society to give young people a voice and contribute to their self-belief. We are looking forward to the rest of 2023 with very exciting plans to continue growing Cinemagic and to positively impact the lives of young people.”
Ends:// Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press Officer
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Note to Editor
Cinemagic is an award-winning film charity established 34 years ago during the Northern Ireland conflict to unite young people from different communities and teach them about film through film exhibition, workshops, masterclasses and film productions. In addition to its highly successful annual film festival in Belfast, it has produced multiple short films on a range of issues including homelessness, mental health, discrimination, gender-based violence, climate change and the environment. It has also produced feature two feature films, A Christmas Star & Grace and Goliath, both of which trained aspiring young filmmakers.
Patrons include Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Pierce Brosnan, Dermot O’Leary, Julian Fellowes, Suranne Jones. Cinemagic reaches 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 inclusion and those who might face barriers entering the industry.
Cinemagic delivers programmes and festivals in Belfast, Dublin, London, New York, Los Angeles, and most recently the Middle East, where it produced ‘Abia,’ a short film in partnership with Jordanian NGO Generations for Peace, with Syrian and Jordanian young people, to profile the issue of gender-based violence. ‘Abia’ supported by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Ireland in Jordan won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2022 British Short Film Awards. It was screened in New York, during the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the UN’s observance of International Women’s Day 2023. Cinemagic was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the City of LA at a screening of Abia in the Consulate General of Mexico. The certificate commended the film charity for its talent and courage shown while producing the film and how it inspired a call-to-action around gender-based violence. Equally significant Cinemagic productions that spotlight social issues include climate change film ‘Heaven on Earth,’ made with the support of the British Consulate LA and the GREAT programme, and ‘So What If It Rains’ produced to mark the 25th Anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement.
Waste and The Silent People, films that highlight the environment and homelessness respectively were produced as part of the ground-breaking Creative and Digital Technologies Academy project that united 50 young filmmakers, aged 18-25, from across Northern Ireland, in partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College and North West Regional College, supported by Department for the Economy. This Cinemagic initiative brought the creative industries together with the Further Education sector and is an exemplary example of how partnerships focused on creative industries skills development and investment in young talent can create a strong pipeline to employment and local economy growth.
Shaken (funded by The Department of Education) and Play Your Own Game (funded by The Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund) are rooted in peace and reconciliation principles and they each brought young people from diverse backgrounds together to work on a common goal. Shaken features in the Official Selection at the 2023 Toronto Women in Film Festival.