Young Filmmakers Call Action on Three New Cinemagic Productions.

Filming is underway for three new productions from Belfast based youth charity Cinemagic Film Festival. The films have been designed to inspire and celebrate the talents of 60 young filmmakers, aged 18-25, from across Northern Ireland, marking the culmination of the Creative and Digital Technologies Academy, delivered this year by Cinemagic in partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College and North West Regional College, supported by Department for the Economy.

The ground-breaking Cinemagic initiative brought the creative industries together with the Further Education sector, to address the impact of Covid-19 on young people, and to showcase how partnerships focused on creative industries skills development and investment in young talent can create a strong pipeline to employment and local economy growth.

The Academy which has been running weekly over the last 4 months included practical online masterclasses hosted by film and television experts in areas such as Producing, Directing, Writing, Distribution, and IP Awareness. Participants on the programme also benefited from talks on mental health & wellbeing, and personal development, all of which will contribute to the young people achieving a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Production.

Cinemagic CEO, Joan Burney Keatings MBE commented “We are extremely grateful to work with project partners Belfast Metropolitan College and North West Regional College, supported by the Department for the Economy, to help young people develop new skills, explore opportunities and give them the confidence to thrive in a career in the creative industries. Over the last few weekends we have been underway with filming the three productions, with a brilliant crew and it has been fantastic seeing the young people’s ideas come to life. Cinemagic is so proud of the achievements of everyone involved, especially with their commitment to the project during recent challenging times with Covid-19. We look forward to premiering the films at festival events later this year.”

Economy Minister Diane Dodds said “I am very pleased to see the positive impact this Creative and Digital Technologies Academy, funded by my Department, has had on the young people who have participated in it. Northern Ireland has a vibrant and growing film and television sector and this Academy is equipping young people with the skills and accredited qualifications they need to potentially start a career in this exciting field. As we seek to accelerate the economic recovery, the film and television industry will have a key role and I am heartened that through skills interventions like this Academy there will be a pipeline of local talent to help deliver on this.”

Belfast Metropolitan College Principal and CEO, Louise Warde Hunter said “We are delighted to be working with our partners on this exciting programme. There is no doubt that young people have been greatly impacted by the pandemic and this Academy not only provides them with an amazing opportunity to gain industry relevant skills and experience through the wide range of masterclasses and film production but is also under-pinned by a qualification to enhance their chances of gaining employment in the creative sector.”

NWRC Head of Curriculum and Operations, Dr Catherine O’Mullan added “NWRC has been delighted to be part of this collaboration with BMC and Cinemagic. It has provided our students with excellent opportunities to gain knowledge, skills and experience of the realistic work environment as well as display their talents in this very creative field, ultimately enhancing their employability and career opportunities.  It has been the perfect combination of real world experience underpinned by skills development in a college setting, which is a feature of media at NWRC.”

Young Filmmaker, Grace Hynds (18) from Portadown said “‘Taking part in this academy has been one of the most insightful experiences I’ve had in years. I’ve been able to learn from a variety of experts in the media industry and had the opportunity to put my new skills to work on set. The best part, without a doubt, was getting to meet people just like me – not only are they crew mates, but they are friends and creative individuals that I will be in contact with for many years to come.”

Young Filmmaker, Charlotte Cunningham (23) from North Belfast added “I think the course has helped in building my confidence and personal development as a professional and as an artist. I am someone who is striving to work in the film Industry in NI and abroad so meeting many professionals and hearing their stories has given me the motivation to know I can be successful too.”

Young Filmmaker, Tom Greer (20) from Carrickfergus added “It has been incredible to have the opportunity to listen and learn from many industry professionals through the Cinemagic online masterclasses. I am incredibly grateful to be involved in an environment where I can meet and work with like-minded young filmmakers like myself and gaining practical experience on a short film production is truly an amazing opportunity to kickstart our careers in the film industry.”

Young Filmmaker, Ross Farrell (18) from Crossgar added “The Creative & Digital Technologies Academy run by Cinemagic has helped me connect with so many talented people and make many new friends. I’ve also learned more about pre-production and how to work safely and effectively on set. I’ve been introduced to many new industry professionals and have learned a lot about how they have progressed in their careers and how I can do the same.”

Cinemagic International Film and Television for Young People offers projects, programmes, and festival events throughout the year to educate, motivate and inspire young people through the medium of film, and it fervently supports young filmmakers, showcasing their work and providing skills development opportunities to help them thrive in the exciting world of film and television. For more information visit cinemagic.org.uk or visit YouTube channel Cinemagic TV 

Photo Caption: Pictured with Economy Minister Diane Dodds, in Belfast, on the set of Cinemagic film ‘The Carer’ are filmmaking trainees (Back row L-R) Tom Greer from Carrickfergus, Jac Grogan from West Belfast, Grace Hynds from Portadown,(Front row L-R) North West Regional College Head of Curriculum and Operations, Dr Catherine O’Mullan, Cinemagic CEO, Joan Burney Keatings and Belfast Metropolitan College Chief Executive, Louise Warde Hunter. The production is one of three short films marking the culmination of the Creative and Digital Technologies Academy, designed for 60 young people from Northern Ireland, aged 18-25, delivered by Cinemagic in partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College and North West Regional College, supported by Department for the Economy.

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Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press Officer, claire@cinemagic.org.uk