1 teenagers from LA have embarked on a unique creative and cultural experience in Northern Ireland for ten days, taking up trainee film positions such as directing, production, make-up, costume, camera, locations, on a new feature film, Grace and Goliath, being produced by award-winning youth film charity Cinemagic. They joined 36 other young filmmakers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in this innovative, multi-cultural initiative.

Grace and Goliath follows the success of Cinemagic’s first feature film, A Christmas Star, made in 2014-15, which gave 40 young filmmakers an invaluable opportunity to learn from top industry professionals and earn their first credit on a feature production. A Christmas Star premiered in Belfast, New York and Los Angeles; it was screened in Ireland on UTV and BBC on Christmas Day and was distributed across numerous territories including platforms such as Netflix USA and Australia and BBC iPlayer.

The young people from Los Angeles, aged 15-18, were given the chance to work alongside film and television professionals led by director Tony Mitchell (The Bible, AD The Bible Continues, Primeval, Supervolcano and Flood). The feature film is being produced by Cinemagic Chief Executive, Joan Burney Keatings MBE and is written by Maire Campbell (Delicate Things, Chancer, A Christmas Star).

Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Cinemagic Chief Executive said ‘We were delighted to welcome the LA teenagers to Belfast as they joined Cinemagic’s second feature film production. We have a long-running partnership with the schools in Los Angeles that the young people attend- New Roads School, David Starr Jordan High School and Hamilton High School and this project will enhance our relationship further by offering a unique skills development program for the participating students. With support from the Ireland Funds, Belfast City Council, British Council and The Irish American Partnership we have been able to offer special training to the LA students to develop their talents and skills.’

Cinemagic engages with 40,000 people on an annual basis and it is supported by a host of film and television professionals, with patrons including Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan, who share the charity’s ethos to educate, motivate and inspire by offering creative industries opportunities for young people from ALL backgrounds. Cinemagic Los Angeles has being delivering festivals, workshops, masterclasses, film studio visits and industry Q&A’s since 2010.

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