The Magic Returns- 33rd Cinemagic Film Festival Set to Illuminate Screens This Autumn

The 33rd Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People offers a programme of unmissable opportunities for families, schools, and young filmmakers this October/November with over 200 events in Ulster Museum, Queen’s Film Theatre, The Belfast Barge, Strand Arts Centre, Black Box, and Odeon Cinemas Belfast. Download Festival Programmme. The award-winning Festival will also visit regional towns across Northern Ireland with its Young Audiences Supporting Foodbanks film initiative in Lisburn, Bellaghy, Ballymena, Armagh, and Bangor.

Festival goers will have the chance to experience a thought-provoking world cinema programme that spotlights youth issues and social issues, an extensive education programme, talent lab industry masterclasses sponsored by Belfast Harbour, classic and brand-new family and teen films, the Cinemagic Young Filmmaker weekend, and Film Jury panels for young film critics.

The 2022 Cinemagic Festival line-up features film previews from all over the world including Opening Preview Mia and Me: The Hero of Centopia, live action/CGI musical comedy, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, based on the best-selling book series, and the adventure-filled world premiere of Future TX introduced by writers and directors, Tim Clague and Danny Stack.

Island of Lost Girls, a superb family film and intense nature thriller, shot on a remote Mexican island, will captivate audiences who will hear from directors Ann-Marie and Brian Schmidt and meet the cast of young actors.

Blue Peter Editor, Ellen Evans, will host a Q&A about her job looking after the longest running children’s tv show in the world, and Film Critic, presenter and author Ian Nathan will be ‘in conversation’ with Brian Henry Martin about Ian’s latest book, James Cameron: A Retrospective.

Silent film accompanist, composer and broadcaster, Neil Brand, presents a spectacular show on the immortal comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, and the UK’s leading film critic Mark Kermode will host his 18th Film Night at Cinemagic, with a Q&A and screening of Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman, described as one of the greatest films ever made for children of all ages. 

Creativity Corner will offer workshops in Writing for TV, Making News Programmes, Illustration, Puppetry, Presenting and Acting. BAFTA Winner, Tony Cooke, Head Writer/Executive Producer on the magical Lovely Little Farm for Apple TV+ will help young people develop their writing skills and content ideas, and presenter Joanna Adeyinka-Burford will take teens on an A-Z journey through the media industry.

Creative Talent from TV and Film productions Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Three Families, Derry Girls, Becoming Human, Bear Grylls: Survival School, Bridgerton, Normal People, will host the Cinemagic Belfast Harbour Talent Lab Masterclasses focusing on equipping new entrants to the film and television industry with insights on Directing, Producing, Acting and Cinematography.

The ever-popular Tales at Twilight brings storytelling and movies together with screenings of The Secret of Kells, Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast, Charlotte’s Web, The Iron Giant, and Song of the Sea.

The Young Audiences Supporting Foodbanks film programme showcases the very best eco-friendly themed family movies Bee Movie, Moana, The Lorax, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest and WALL-E where the admission ticket fee is replaced by donations of essential food items for South Belfast Foodbank.

Anniversary, Heritage, and Family Classic movies will appeal to all generations with a chance to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of both Annie, and The Last Unicorn, and a screening of Bedknobs & Broomsticks with special guest cast member Cindy O’Callaghan who played young Carrie Rawlins in the 1971 movie! A treat-filled Halloween film season brings lots of spooky favourites back to the silver screen including Arachnophobia, Little Shop of Horrors, Return to Oz and Hocus Pocus.

The festival is also looking for CineSeekers Juries, to become young film critics to review animation, drama, and documentary films, and over 150 young filmmakers from the UK and Ireland will be celebrated during the Young Filmmaker Showcase for rising talent. 

The Cinemagic Film Education programme offers opportunities for pre-school and primary to post-primary and third level students. Some of the highlights include a BAFTA Key Skills Workshop and Young Presenters Workshop with De-Graft Mensah from BBC Newsround. Download Festival Education Programme Here.

Acclaimed documentary film Young Plato will screen with an introduction Q&A from Director Neasa Ní Chianáin. Creative Director Christian Manz from Visual Effects giants Framestore will host a Q&A and careers discussion with a screening of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Show creator and writer Holly Phillips will host a Q&A explaining how she launched and created programmes such as Get Even and Rebel Cheer Squad, and writer Ian Nathan will be talking about his book alongside a screening of the Cameron classic The Abyss. In partnership with CCEA and the Foyle Film Festival, Cinemagic will host the 2022 Moving Image Arts Awards Showcase and classroom-based activity includes Podcasting for Beginners, BBFC Online Classification Workshops, SFX Make-Up Tutorials, and Short Film Juries.

Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Cinemagic CEO said “We are extremely excited to present this year’s Cinemagic Film Festival in Belfast- the 33rd Edition! After months of hard work amid a difficult landscape for everyone, we are proud to share an uplifting and inspiring programme filled with Talent Labs, Film Previews, Industry Talks, workshops and competitions. As an innovator in the field of youth film exhibition and engagement with the screen industry, we are providing a unique window to the world and celebrating stories from all walks of life. With continued support from our funders Cinemagic can motivate young audiences, nurture skills, and develop tomorrow’s creative workforce. I encourage festival supporters and new audiences to get involved this autumn.”

Deirdre Hargey MLA, Minister for Communities commented I am delighted to support Cinemagic’s 2022 programme, and to see in-person events return where audiences can experience the full impact of film on the big screen. As Minister for Communities, Cinemagic’s aims echo my own in breaking down barriers and making arts and culture accessible to everyone, regardless of background. Access to the arts improves wellbeing, mental health, and inclusion, and helps us understand the lived experiences of others. Cohesive communities are built on understanding and celebrating diversity within them. This year we have all felt the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. The Cinemagic Young Audiences Supporting Foodbanks initiative is working to help those most affected by collecting donations for Trussell Trust foodbanks in return for free cinema screenings. I am grateful to Cinemagic, its patrons, and Trussell Trust for the work they are doing to support those who need it most. I hope that this year’s programme inspires you all to experience something new, and to make a difference where you can.”

Richard Williams, CEO at Northern Ireland Screen, said“Northern Ireland Screen is delighted to be support another varied and diverse programme of film screenings, masterclasses and education events at the Cinemagic Belfast Festival. Through our continued core funding, supported by the Department for Communities, we acknowledge what a contribution the festival plays in film culture, education, and training for young people across Northern Ireland. We wish the festival well in the month-long event.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Christina Black said “Belfast City Council is delighted to continue its support for Cinemagic in this its 33rd edition. It’s encouraging to see audience confidence growing again after such a difficult period for our arts organisations. Festivals like Cinemagic are vital to our Belfast Agenda vision to imagine a culturally vibrant city.  Belfast is particularly proud of its film and television industry and this unique festival celebrates this genre and the fantastic talent of our young people as well as bringing people together from across the community and showcasing what we have to offer.”


Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press Officer 028 90 311 900 or 07793025910

Notes to Editors:

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