Cinemagic: A Festival For Young People

Cinemagic: A Festival For Young People

The 34th Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People returns from 30th September to 31st October 2023. The Festival programme funded by the Department of Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, offers unmissable film opportunities for young people, families, schools, and young filmmakers, with over 100 events in Ulster Museum, Queen’s Film Theatre, The Belfast Barge, Strand Arts Centre, Black Box, Accidental Theatre and Odeon Cinemas Belfast. 

Festival goers will have the chance to experience a thought-provoking world cinema programme that spotlights youth issues and social issues, an extensive education programme, talent lab industry masterclasses, classic and brand-new family and teen films, the Cinemagic Young Filmmaker Competition weekend, and Film Jury panels for young film critics.

The 2023 Cinemagic film line-up features over 150 films including 30 international previews and 3 special Gala Screenings including the Northern Ireland Premiere of heart-warming Danish animation Rosa and The Stone Troll, the Northern Ireland Premiere of The Inventor, which brings the world of Leonardo Da Vinci to life in a new stylised animated feature voiced by Stephen Fry, Daisy Ridley and Marion Cotillard, and the adventure-filled Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie.

Irish actress, Alisha Weir, star of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical visits for an In Conversation Q&A, before a screening of the hit film, and film critic Mark Kermode returns for his annual film night to discuss the movies of the year along with his festival movie pick for 2023 The Amazing Mr Blunden.

Visiting film professionals who will inspire young filmmakers in Career Crafts workshops and talks include Director, Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough, George Best: All by Himself),Director Cathy Brady (Wildfire),BAFTA and Academy Award winning film producer, David Parfitt (Shakespeare in Love, My Week With Marilyn),Screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh (Nowhere Boy, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool), currently working on Back to Black, the biography on the life and music of Amy Winehouse; and Northern Ireland’s Oscar, BAFTA and IFTA winning Director, Ross White, (An Irish Goodbye, The Golden West).

Talent Lab Masterclasses for aspiring TV, Film and Broadcast creatives, curated this year by Cinemagic patron of 20 years, Dermot O’Leary, who will also host a presenting masterclass, feature Radio Broadcasting with Radio 5 Live Presenter, Nihal Arthanayake, Cinematography and Directing with Mark Nutkins and Dee Koppang O’Leary, and Scriptwriting for Television with Ivor Baddiel.

The weekday Talking Media Programme will welcome Political news journalist Jon Sopel, who will host an in-conversation event on his career that has brought him from the steps of Downing Street to inside the White House press briefing room. The programme also features talks from the Oscar-winning Visual Effects company Framestore, and Mackinnon and Saunders, the internationally acclaimed company famous for bringing some of the world’s best-known animated characters to life – including the Academy Award-nominated Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and Netflix’s hit The House.

Fans of The Moomins, will be thrilled as Cinemagic welcomes Director Darren Robbie for three award-winning episodes from the acclaimed Moominvalleseries, based on Tove Jansson’s beloved works, and there is a wonderful magical and interactive puppet performance to enjoy, packed with Moomin mischief!

Another highlight of the jam-packed programme is a screening and Q&A with the creators of The Sound Collector (ITV), a beautiful stop motion animation series narrated by Keira Knightley, which explores the beauty of nature.

Audiences will be captivated by a compilation of family favourites from Aardman Animations, accompanied with model making workshops and young people have the chance to try a range of digital arts and gaming in partnership with WheelWorks Arts, and Animation in partnership with the Can Do Academy.

Pop-Up Cinema comes to The Belfast Barge with fun on screen from Piglet’s Big Movie to Lilo & Stitch, and Halloween film offerings can be found at The Black Box and The Ulster Museum. There is a dedicated Accessible film programme including relaxed, descriptive subtitled and audio described screenings. Young Audiences Supporting Foodbanks screenings of The BFG, Paper Planes and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey will support South Belfast Foodbank and build on the Cinemagic initiative that has to date has collected over 2.5 tonnes of donations and in turn provided over 6000 meals for people in need across Northern Ireland.

There is an extensive film education offering for schools and colleges with a focus on spotlighting careers in the screen industries. The Festival culminates with a celebration of rising talent in the Young Filmmaker Showcase weekend, screening the very best short films from 140 filmmakers across the UK and Ireland accompanied with masterclasses and talks to inspire and educate participants.

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