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Children’s Books Ireland ‘From Page to Screen’

March 2013

In partnership with Children’s Book’s Ireland supported by the North South Ministerial Council, Cinemagic delivered a project with young people to provide a valuable opportunity to promote reading and books among 12 -15 years, especially those who may be struggling to maintain reading motivation

Author, Sheena Wilkinson

I had a great time working with twelve girls from Ashfield Girls’ High School. We began with some general workshop exercises around story and character, then, using the story of Cinderella as a template, and with a strict deadline of one p.m. we storyboarded our outline. The girls were rightly proud that, in just three hours, by working together, we could go from nothing to having a whole story worked out. Our story is set in a girls’ school in East Belfast, and celebrates friendship and endeavour — our Ella really deserves her ‘fairy-tale’ ending. The girls worked brilliantly, and every single one contributed something valuable to the exercises and the finished story. Even in one morning, you could see them develop confidence in their own creativity. I am already looking forward to the film screening in the autumn!’

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Cinemagic and Children’s Books Ireland worked closely together to design, develop and deliver the project.  The intention was to connect books and reading with other art forms and initiatives to extend the reach of literature from the page into other aspects of cultural life. A group of 15 teenagers were involved in a 3 day film making project which included a story development session with award winning author, Sheena Wilkinson, and the young people were tasked with creating a story based on a literary text that would be developed into a short film. The filmmaking session led by Cinemagic enabled the young people to consider the various elements involved in taking an idea from script to screen and it gave a hands on opportunity to participants in areas of script development, casting, acting, producing and directing. The partnership allowed the participants, who had a range of abilities to develop key skills such as communication and teamwork and contributed to curriculum objectives around literacy and creative thinking. The film made over the course of the three days will be screened at the Cinemagic Festival in November.

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