On The Pulse Short Film Festival Returns to Inspire Young Film-Goers!


‘On The Pulse’ short film festival presented by Cinemagic returns for a second edition from 29th February to 29th March 2020.

The initiative is funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen and over 30 events have been designed to motivate, educate and inspire young audiences with film screenings, education programmes, talks and hands-on workshops all focused on the short film genre.

Special guests include Director and Animator, Robin Shaw; Director and Writer, Ben Smith; Music Video Director, Lochlainn McKenna and representatives from BBC Writersroom.

Chris Shaw, Cinemagic Festival Programmer said “We have programmed a contemporary season of the very best international short films for young audiences as well as showcasing short films made by local young filmmakers. ‘On The Pulse’ will also illustrate the importance of short filmmaking in the development of practical skills and in the development of sustainable and long-term careers in the creative industries. Schools, student filmmakers, young people and families can look forward to a host of special events in venues across Belfast as well as Lisburn and Bellaghy.”

Bernard McCloskey, Head of Education at Northern Ireland Screen said: “Cinemagic’s On The Pulse short film festival is a fantastic opportunity for our local young talent to develop skills within the screen industries across Northern Ireland. Designed to help young people progress in their careers and understand the various roles within the industry, the festival is divided into a variety of workshops, screenings and programmes with industry professionals. This practical experience is essential to assisting participants in finding their way within the industry.”

Education Programme: The Roving ‘in-school’ programme is open to all schools and colleges with shorts programmes to choose from with opportunities for debate and discussion. Sure to delight audiences and screening for the first time in Northern Ireland is ‘Horrid Henry on The Big Screen’ (25th March Odeon Belfast); and film or art students interested in pursuing a career in animation and illustration will have the chance to participate in a screening and Q&A with Director Robin Shaw (The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Ethel And Ernest, Paddington 2) on 26th March (Odeon Belfast)

Public Film Screenings: The first event of the season will set sail on HMS Caroline (29th Feb) with classic cartoons Steamboat Willie and Looney Tunes shorts, and The Ulster Museum will play host to Wilde Stories (29th Feb), a triple bill of animated shorts based on Oscar Wilde’s children’s fiction. Other highlights include Mimi and The Mountain Dragon & The Bear (8 March), Magical Tales with Robots and Whales (8 March), The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh (14 March) and Marvellous Misadventures (14 March) featuring a time travel fantasy, a superhero adventure, a laugh-out-loud comedy and a coming of age thriller!

Tiny tot filmgoers will enjoy Shorts for Shorties movies, and a splash of nostalgia for all generations with Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon billed with the naughty adventures of Little Wolf’s Book of Badness (21 March). A celebration of the wonders of wildlife is presented on screen with Nature Nation (21 March) and a collection of 12 short captivating films, featuring multiple Academy Award nominees are not to be missed at Pixar Shorts (28 March).

 On the Pulse is teaming up with Seamus Heaney HomePlace for the Julia Donaldson adapted screen stories The Snail and The Whale & Zog (15 March) and The Gruffalo & The Gruffalo’s Child will come to Lisburn’s Island Arts Centre (21 March)

No Alibis Bookstore provides the backdrop for Family Matters -a shorts collection examining family dynamics, and Fantastic Sci-Fi Shorts (19 March) a selection of the best new indie sci-fi and fantasy tales and all roads lead to The Black Box for Are You Sitting Comfortably (26th March) for an evening of thrills and gore with a eerie collection of horrors.

Future Film: Practical experiences for young filmmakers include Short Form & Digital Screenwriting with BBC Writersroom (7 & 14 March Ramada by Wyndham Belfast), Music Video Directing with Lochlainn McKenna (8th March Ulster Museum) and Directing and Writing for Animation with Ben Smith (28 March Ulster Museum). Ben will also screen his films Return to the Lost World & Stardog and Turbocat at the Ulster Museum.

Film enthusiasts can become official CineSeekers (8-11yr olds) and CineFocus critics (12-14 and 15-18yr olds) and sit on the jury panel to review shorts in new packages created for On The Pulse.

The 48 Hour Film Challenge is looking for filmmakers to put their creative skills to the test (14-16 March) and a Short Film Surgery (21 March) has been designed to give feedback and practical advice to directors who want to take the next steps in developing their ideas.

Screenings to celebrate the work of young filmmakers in the Future Film strand feature A Stone’s Throw & Pushed (8 March), United Voices (12 March) and the 2019/20 BFI Film Academy Showcase developed from four programmes across Northern Ireland.

Booking Details

To book and view all events visit https://cinemagic.org.uk/festivals/belfast/ or https://cinemagic.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/On-The-Pulse-programme.pdf

Education Programme: Email schools@cinemagic.org.uk or Telephone Cinemagic 028 90 311 900


Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press Officer, 028 90 311 900 


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