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Posted on 30th October 2018 | Cinemagic NewsIndustry Related NewsPress Releases


Cinemagic's new short film, SASHA OF THE SEA, an inspiring story of teenage bravery, love, growing up and friendship, has won the Best National/International Short at The Richard Harris International Film Festival.

SASHA OF THE SEA’s plot centers on how a young Irish girl’s fondness for the sea is tested when her father goes missing in a fishing accident - opening her eyes to the greater meanings of life and love.

The short film has been crafted by a Northern Ireland born team. It was written by Maire Campbell, directed by Sammy Nutt and produced by Cinemagic Chief Executive, Joan Burney Keatings MBE.

A host of Northern Ireland actors feature in the short film including Erin Galway Kendrick (from Newtownards); Richard Clements (from Bangor) and Karen Hassan (from Belfast).

Twenty-four local Cinemagic young film trainees were given the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals to bring the story to life on the screen.

Commenting on the news that SASHA OF THE SEA had won the award Joan Burney Keatings, chief executive, Cinemagic, said:

"We were extremely proud that SASHA OF THE SEA was selected to feature in this year’s Richard Harris International Film Festival programme and to have won the Best National/International Short award is such a brilliant achievement. It is particularly rewarding for the young filmmaking trainees who were involved in the whole creative production. Recognition like this further inspires and motivates young people, which is what we aim to achieve. Congratulations to everyone involved. The movie is screening in Chicago International Children's Festival next week and it also screened this year at Marina del Rey Film Festival in LA .”

Watch SASHA OF THE SEA short film trailerhttps://vimeo.com/262458767

In recent years Cinemagic trainees have gone on to secure work with various film and television companies including BBC, HBO, Disney, Sky Atlantic, RTE, and Bedlam Productions.

Cinemagic patrons include Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell, Paula Malcomson and Julian Fellowes, to name a few.


Media Enquiries: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press and Marketing Officer

Notes to Editors

A young Irish girls fondness for the sea is tested when her father goes missing in a fishing accident - opening her eyes to the greater meanings of life and love.

Growing up along the rugged coastline of Northern Ireland, all young Sasha wants is to spend her days on the water. However her fondness for the sea is tested when her father goes missing in a fishing accident and her world comes crashing down - opening her eyes to the greater meanings of life and love. And of course, how we all need a loyal friend like Roxy.

Main actors/characters in SASHA OF THE SEA:
Sasha: Erin Galway Kendrick (from Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland)
Gabe: Richard Clements (from Bangor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland)
Abbey: Karen Hassan (from Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Director  - Sammy Nutt
Sammy Nutt from Killaloo, just outside Derry/Londonderry, was the director of TRAINEE FILMMAKERS. The short film was produced by Joan Burney Keatings MBE, CEO of Cinemagic.

Sammy Nutt is one of Cinemagic’s greatest success stories. He is a former Cinemagic participant and took part in the organisation’s music directing talent lab workshop with the esteemed music/tv director Hamish Hamilton over 12 years ago.

Sammy was chosen as the most promising director out of his class and took part in Cinemagic's Young Filmmaker competition.  He subsequently went on to secure a work placement as one of the directorial assistants at The Brit Awards in 2006 and 2007.

Now based in London, Sammy works as a director in prime time broadcast television, music promos, short films and branded online content with broadcasters, companies and brands such as the BBC, ITV, MTV Networks, Universal Music, Sony Music, American Airlines, Budweiser and Cadbury. He is working with talent such as Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Russell Brand and Simon Cowell.

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