Oscar-winner and ‘Titanic’ screenwriter Julian Fellowes sailed into Belfast yesterday to lend his support to the Cinemagic and Titanic Cast Away competition for young multi-media enthusiasts.
The competition called for anyone under the age of 25 to submit a short film or video podcast based on the theme Titanic.
The competition ran in conjunction with Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience, which officially launches tomorrow, March 31. Entries for the short film competition came from all over Ireland, the UK, USA, Mexico and Iceland.
As patron of Cinemagic, Fellowes hosted a Q&A session for aspiring filmmakers at which the competition winners were announced and the winning entries screened.
The most prestigious prize awarded was to Joel Somerville in the 18-25-year-old category for his short ‘But What If?’ Joel received a sponsored scholarship to the New York Film Academy’s filmmaking course.
Other prizes included passes to Cinemagic masterclasses, which have previously seen ‘The Tudors’ screenwriter Michael Hirst and Karen Koster from TV3’s ‘Xposé’ take to the stand, as well as film and television industry set visits.
Belfast is currently abuzz with Titanic fanatics as it prepares to open Titanic Belfast in the ship’s centenary year. Fellowes expressed his own interest in the infamous ship after basing his TV3 and UTV four-part drama on it: “I know how absorbing this noble ship and its fatal voyage can be. There is no limit to the way the story can be investigated, examined, re-invented.”
Cinemagic’s chief executive Joan Burney Keatings expressed her delight at Fellowes’ attendance, stating that Cinemagic’s aim was to “encourage [competition] participants to tell a story”.
The full list of winners all hailed from Northern Irish schools. They were: Limavady High School for ‘Titanic-The Children’s Story’ in the under 15 age category; St. Malachy’s College for ‘The Untold Story’ in the 15-17 age category, and Joel Somerville from Malone College Belfast in the 18-25 age category.
Titanic Belfast launches tomorrow, March 31, at 11.00am. Catch Fellowes’ ‘Titanic’ on TV3 on Sunday nights at 9.00pm.