Go Back to News & Press

Julian Fellowes Announces Cinemagic Christmas Feature Film.

Posted on 21st March 2014 | Cinemagic News

Lord Julian Fellowes, Oscar-winning screenwriter and creator of award winning ITV period drama, Downton Abbey, announced plans today for the production of a Northern Ireland Christmas feature film, the first of its kind, made by Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People.

Lord Fellowes was in Belfast for his annual visit to the young people’s film festival, where he participated in a Q&A for an audience of five hundred young people from schools, community groups and Cinemagic film projects at The Grand Opera House as part of Creativity Month.

The Cinemagic patron announced a host of film and television professionals who will lend their support to the ground-breaking film production that will be filmed in Belfast and will engage with hundreds of young people from across Northern Ireland, marking the beginning of a year of Cinemagic’s 25th Anniversary celebrations. The festival was established to motivate, educate, inspire and young people, and create opportunities through the medium of film and television.

Among those involved in the feature, ‘The Christmas Star’, are actors and Cinemagic patrons Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan, Oscar winning film producer, Gareth Ellis Unwin (The King’s Speech), award winning film composer, Patrick Doyle, (Brave, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Music Supervisor, Maggie Rodford, (The King’s Speech, Anna Karenina), actress, Paula Malcolmson, (Deadwood, Ray Donovan), casting director and Cinemagic patron, Ros Hubbard, (The Commitments, Dracula Untold), camera operator, Ian Fox, (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man), producer, Iain Smith, (Children of Men, Mad Max, Fury Road), and production manager, Terry Bamber (The Man from U.N.C.L.E, Skyfall).

The industry professionals will mentor young people throughout the film production process from script to screen, giving invaluable insights to the world of filmmaking and sharing their wealth of experience to help develop young people’s skills across various film disciplines ranging from directing, acting and production to script editing, film composition, and costume/makeup. BBC, UTV and Panavision will work in partnership with Cinemagic to help produce and premiere the film.

Julian Fellowes said “I am proud to be associated with the fantastic work that Cinemagic has been delivering for twenty five years. We are told on every side that it’s time to lower barriers and cross frontiers and this is exactly what Cinemagic is doing.

Young people, from every type of background and culture, are being encouraged to explore the world of film for themselves, first hand. We want them to break through the glass ceilings and walls that surround them, and see for themselves what it’s really like. Whether or not they continue to live or work in the Arts, there can surely be no better preparation for seeking and finding the right life.”

Cinemagic Chief Executive, Joan Burney Keatings, MBE said "Our Christmas feature film, a first for Northern Ireland, will bring young people from different cultural backgrounds together, and representatives from the worlds of film, television, music and sport will collaborate to celebrate creativity and highlight the importance of developing young people’s skills and offering young people unique film and television related opportunities”.

The call-out for young people to participate in the film production will be announced in May and filming will take place in October 2014. 

Cinemagic Patrons

  • Liam Neeson
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Dermot O‚ÄôLeary
  • Terry George
  • Brian Cox
  • Lisa Henson
  • Suranne Jones
  • Julian Fellowes
  • Christine Bleakley
  • Seamus McGarvey
  • Ciaran McMenamin
  • Colin Farrell
  • Patrick Bergin
  • Ros Hubbard
  • John Hubbard
  • Gary Knell
  • Rachel Kavanagh
  • Aidan Power
  • Mark Huffam
  • Saoirse Ronan
  • Craig Doyle
  • Robbie Sheehan
  • Bruce Reynolds
  • Marc Mallett
  • Bronagh Waugh