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Opening of Cinemagic Festival with 150 events to inspire young people!

Posted on 09th October 2015 | Cinemagic News

The much anticipated Cinemagic Film and Television Festival programme opens this weekend for month long film feast, from 9th October- 4th November jam-packed with creative events to motivate, educate and inspire young people!

The festival Opening Night Preview is the magical fantasy adventure, Pan (9th October), directed by Joe Wright and starring Hugh Jackman, a live-action feature presenting a wholly original adventure about the beginnings of the beloved characters created by J.M. Barrie.

This year’s closing film preview is the World Premiere of Cinemagic’s own feature production A Christmas Star (4th November), featuring a host of film and television professionals and young actors from Northern Ireland and Ireland!

Festival Industry hosts from the world of film and television include the Oscar-nominated music composer, Alan Silvestri, (Forest Gump, Captain America and Back to The Future); animator and director, Christian De Vita (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Frankenweenie, Yellowbird) and film critic master, Mark Kermode, who returns for the 11th visit to Cinemagic with his festival pick The Others on Halloween night!

Joan Burney Keatings, Cinemagic Chief  Executive said “Cinemagic’s 2015 Festival is our most ambitious and action-packed Festival yet. We have over 150 events for young people aged 4-25 including new film previews from around the world, fascinating film education workshops, film and television masterclasses, young critics panels, competitions and we are thrilled to be previewing the magical fantasy movie PAN on our opening night this Friday and presenting the world premiere of A Christmas Star, Cinemagic’s very own feature film made by young people in Northern Ireland , which closes the festival in Odyssey Cinemas, Titanic Quarter, Belfast”.

Richard Williams, CEO, Northern Ireland Screen said “Northern Ireland Screen is delighted to see the eclectic programme of screenings and educational events at the Cinemagic Belfast Festival this year for the young people of Northern Ireland. Through our continued core funding, supported by DCAL, Northern Ireland Screen acknowledges the Cinemagic Belfast Festival as a key component in our efforts to achieve our goal of making a significant contribution to film culture, education and training. We send our sincerest good wishes to Joan and her team for a successful 25th anniversary festival.”

Councillor Deirdre Hargey, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, commented “The Council’s ongoing support for Cinemagic is a clear demonstration of our commitment to the arts and creative industries in our city.  Over the past 25 years, Cinemagic has opened the door to the arts for so many of our young people, and consistently done so in creative and innovative ways, as well as by involving at the very core of the Festival’s organisation.

“At a time when so many arts and cultural bodies are facing cuts to their funding, the Council is delighted to maintain our support, through our Multi-Annual Funding programme, which helps give organisations such as Cinemagic the financial security they need to continue their extremely worthwhile work.”

Masterclasses and Workshops

Talent Labs in Directing hosted by BAFTA winning and Oscar-nominated Northern Ireland filmmaker, Michael Lennox; Casting with Hubbard Casting, Acting with Bronagh Waugh and Film Production with Jessica Malik and Gareth Ellis-Unwin offer 16-25 year olds an invaluable insight to working in film and television.

Creativity Corner for12-14 year olds and 15-21 year olds feature an exclusive Film Music Composition day with Alan Silvestri, Prosthetics and Creature Effects with Millennium FX’s Kate Walshe, Screenwriting with BBC One and BBC Scotland drama writer, Chris Lindsay, and Production Design with Emmy award winning designer Tom Conroy

Junior Talent Lab  will bring the world of film and television alive through a spotlight on animation directing with Christian De Vita, writing for children’s TV, with CBBC’s So Awkward writer, Mark Oswin; TV Presenting hosted by BAFTA Kids and presenters Katie Thistleton and Ben Shires. Children will find out about the making of some of their favourite programmes with a BAFTA Kids: Behind the Scenes event showcasing a fun mix of live and filmed interviews highlighting talent behind the shows from actors to animators, designers to directors.

Cine-matic fun for mini film and TV fans on board The Belfast Barge with Lily’s Driftwood Bay episodes screenings plus a Q&A with the programme creator, Sixteen South and the voice of Lily and screenings of the delightful new movies Coconut the Little Dragon and The Hero of Colour City.

Film Programme
Animated films from around the world include Yellowbird, a fabulously vibrant and indulgent tale of adventure, introduced by the film’s director; T-Pang Rescue, a South Korean animated comedy mystery; Triple Trouble, a wacky, fast-paced, laugh out loud cartoon; The World of Goopi and Bagha, a magical Hindi version of a classic Indian children’s story; Asterix and Oblix: Mansion of the Gods, based on the Franco-Belgian comics; The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow, a fantastical anime; and Adama, a beautiful French-made poignant tale of love and sacrifice set against the backdrop of the First World War. A Best of Fest strand will showcase the short film selection of the festival with stories from Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Mexico and Spain!

Live action film dramas include How to Steal a Dog, an ideal movie for young mischief makers; Imba Means Sing, the powerful documentary about one little boy, a drummer from the African Children’s Choir, as he grows up in the slums of Kampala; Labyrinthus, a smart, visually inventive movie, which is a must for games fans; Ghosthunters, a perfect spooky tale for the autumn starring Milo Parker (Mr Holmes); Mara and the Firebringer, a time-travelling, mythological  adventure; and The Island of Secrets, an intriguing mystery following international treasure smugglers!

Classics, The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, will delight young audiences and the young at heart! Workshop screenings include Pinocchio, with puppet character design; The Little Mermaid with early years drama ‘under the ocean’; and 101 Dalmations with ‘make your own pup’ arts and crafts.

The over the top, fantasy adventure Masters of the Universe and much-loved The Goonies celebrates cinematic treasures; Young Sherlock Holmes, delivers an ‘old school’ special effects spectacle; Back to The Future returns for a 30th Anniversary screening with an Alan Silvestri Q&A, and the timeless Donnie Darko makes a big screen come-back!

The ‘Generation Hero’ and ‘Teenage Kicks’ film series features award-winning, enthralling stories about youth resilience and overcoming adversity including Above The Clouds, The Finishers, Kick-It and Birds of Passage. Coming of age dramas not to be missed are Beatles, based on the best-selling Norweigian novel written by Lars Saabye Christensen, and The Last Hammer Blow, winner of two awards at the 2014 Venice Film Festival.

A Disillusioned Youth strand showcases the powerful urban drama, Five Star; the visually stunning We are Young We are Strong, set in post-Berlin Wall, East Germany and About A Girl, a life affirming tale of adolescent angst from first-time director Mark Monheim.

The Documentary Forum presents Landfill Harmonic, a superb documentary following the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group that live next to one of South America’s largest landfills, and Brundibar Revisited, Official Selection Berlinale 2015, that follows members of a Berlin youth theatre who examine their country’s troubled past through an opera production.

Film Critics Panels
Cinemagic is looking for a panel of enthusiastic ‘CineSeekers’ and ‘CineFocus’ young film reviewers, to view and judge the in-competition films of the festival!

Schools Programme
Teachers will introduce learning through film and television with the education programme featuring films and interactive discussions from BBFC; programme making with JAM Media; BAFTA Kids TV Presenting; an introduction to world cinema; special preview screenings of ‘A Christmas Star’, screenwriting with Colin Carberry (Good Vibrations); F-Rating: Representing Women in Film, Commissioning and Pitch That Brief, Crime Mystery & Film Noir Genre study, a director Q&A with Mark Noonan and his Irish made film You’re Ugly Too, Youth & Identity in Contemporary French Cinema and Film Classification.  Film students will have the chance to hear from the Industry Trust for IP Awareness along with a Q&A from SnackBox Films about the making of documentary Older Than Ireland.

For further information/booking visit www.cinemagic.org.uk  or telephone 028 90 311 900
Online Box Office for public film programme/masterclasses www.wegottickets.com

Cinema tickets for corresponding cinemas are also available from

The Cinemagic Festival is funded by Northern Ireland Screen supported by DCAL; and funded by Belfast City Council.

Ends:// Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press & Marketing Officer,
028 90311 900 / 07793025910  claire@cinemagic.org.uk

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
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