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Programme Revealed for 29th Cinemagic Film Festival
18 Sep 2018 :
The programme for the 2018 Cinemagic Film and Television Festival for Young People has been announced.


Returning to Belfast this October and November, the festival will celebrate its 29th year with a jam-packed programme that includes over 200 events and creative opportunities to inspire and motivate young people.

The award-winning Festival, which is the largest film and television festival designed for, and by, young people in the UK and Ireland, boasts an ambitious and exciting programme of film screenings, world cinema, masterclasses with film and television industry professionals, school workshops, Q&A’s, and young critics panels.

Opening on October 2nd, this year’s Festival will kick off with the world premiere of Cinemagic’s second feature film, ‘Grace and Goliath’, which includes a superb home grown cast and cameos from Ciarán Hinds, Suranne Jones, Sally Lindsay and Bronagh Waugh.

The opening weekend of the Cinemagic Festival will also be marked with a special preview of ‘Smallfoot’, the much-anticipated animated adventure from Warner Bros. Pictures (Oct 5th).

Speaking about this year’s programme, Cinemagic’s Chief Executive, Joan Burney Keatings MBE said:

“We are delighted to unveil such an ambitious and exciting programme of film and television events for children, families, teenagers, young filmmakers and school groups. With the support of our valued funders and partners, we are able to present an eclectic range of opportunities to educate, motivate and inspire young people under the age of 25, offering them an invaluable insight into the magic of film, television and digital technologies.”

Richard Williams, CEO, Northern Ireland Screen added: 

"Northern Ireland Screen is delighted to see the extensive programme of screenings and educational events at the Cinemagic Film Festival in Belfast this year. The Cinemagic Film Festival is a key component in helping young people in Northern Ireland connect with the joy of watching film and with the screen industry. We send our sincerest good wishes to Joan and her team for another successful festival.”

Programme Below:

Industry Guests:

Guests from the world of film and television include Nora Twomey and Paul Young - the creatives behind Oscar nominated animation studio, Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner); Oscar nominated music composer, George Fenton, (Groundhog Day, Gandhi, Cry Freedom, You’ve Got Mail); film critic supremo, Mark Kermode, returning for his 14th visit to Cinemagic with his festival pick The Breadwinner; Aardman Animations’ George Watson (Early Man); Emmy award-winning Casting Director, Carla Stronge (Game of Thrones, The Fall, The Secret, Derry Girls); Prosthetics Artist Jon Moore (Guardians of The Galaxy, The Huntsman, Captain America); SFX Producer, Kate Walshe (Doctor Who, The Wolfman, Ex-Machina); Directors David Caffrey (Divorcing Jack, Line of Duty, Love/Hate, Lucky Man); Frank Berry (Michael Inside), Gerry Gregg (Condemned to Remember),Toby Macdonald (Old Boys), Jamie Jones (Obey) and Kasper Jancis (Captain Morten and the Spider Queen); and award-winning Coronation Street actress Lucy Fallon.


Audiences can travel the world from their cinema seats and celebrate stories, peoples and cultures from around the globe with a diverse film programme for all ages to enjoy at Movie House Cinemas. As part of the Movies for Kids strand and New World Cinema strand Cinemagic is looking for enthusiastic ‘CineSeekers’ and ‘CineFocus’ film reviewers, to watch and judge the in-competition films of the festival! Highlights of the children’s features include Captain Morten and the Spider Queen, Next Door Spy, Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver, Harvie and the Magic Museum and Cats and Peachtopia.

New World Cinema presents twelve fascinating and thought-provoking features from countries such as Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Sweden. Highlights include the intelligently crafted Godless Youth; graphic novel adaptation, Virus Tropical; the gripping and tender Cross My Heart; and ZOOks, a contemporary fairytale about people and nature.

The Documentary Forum presents four superb films, Cyborgs Among Us, Complicit, The Carnivore’s Dilemma and Hobbyhorse Revolution. Fans of animation shouldn’t miss the Super Dark Tales thread of the programme with screenings of amusing and macabre, Zombellenium; The Last Fiction, based on the classic thousand-year-old Persian poem; Tito and the Birds, a thrilling adventure; and Hoffmaniada, a stunning stop motion fantasy from Russia based on three of E.T.A Hoffmann’s tales. CineFocus Film Reviewers are also being sought for the Documentary and Animation strands.

Working in partnership with QFT 50 Cinemagic will be celebrating the films of Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon in a special retrospective season that includes all three of their Oscar nominated features – The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea and The Breadwinner will all be screened as part of this exciting programme strand. The Festival is delighted to welcome Cartoon Saloon’s Paul Young (Co-Founder & CEO) and Nora Twomey (Co-Founder & Creative Director) to Belfast for the celebrations.


Talent Labs give 16-25 year olds an invaluable insight to working in film and television and the festival is offering masterclasses in Music Video Production with critically acclaimed DJ and producer, Corin Douieb; Acting with award-winning Coronation Street actress Lucy Fallon; Directing with Peaky Blinders director David Caffrey; Casting with double Emmy award winning Carla Stronge, Directing with multi-award winning film & television professional, Brian Kirk; and Production with Terry Bamber, whose career has taken him to the James Bond series of films including Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Career Crafts masterclasses are designed to introduce young people to the different roles and jobs in film, and this year feature sessions in Prosthetics and SFX Make-Up and Creature Effects.

Master Storytellers, Dinosaur Roars/Bites, Activity Screenings, Creativity Corner:

The Ulster Museum will host an eclectic series of films and special events for all the family. The Master Storytellers focus is on E.B. White and films based on the novels Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little are on offer accompanied with arts & crafts workshops! Celebrating the Dippy on Tour exhibition, dinosaur fans will have a roaring time at a programme of special themed events including movies Ice Age: Dawn of The Dinosaurs, The Land Before Time, Early Man and Music from the Movies, Dino Drama, Dino Comic Book Making and Dinosaur Lego Building! The annual Cinemagic Pyjama Party, with storytelling and a screening of Sleeping Beauty, Basil the Great Mouse Detective and Mr Hullaboloo’s Happy Halloween make up the activity screenings. Creativity Corner workshops offer practical opportunities with Aardman Model Making and Special Effects Make-Up with Sophie Knox.

Family Classics:

All generations can participate in the Cinemagic family classic films at Strand Arts Centre where movie showings of Doctor Dolittle and Bedknobs and Broomsticks feature as part of Belfast City Council’s Positive Ageing Month programme.

No Alibis Bookstore will host Shorts for Shorties and Ted Sieger’s Molly Monster, and the ever-popular Tales at Twilight returns with introductions to films from local authors Sheena Wilkinson, Kelly McCaughrain and Pauline Burgess who will introduce The Sword in the Stone, The NeverEnding Story and The Little Vampire respectively.

Young Filmmaker:

Young filmmaking talent will be celebrated at a weekend of short film showcases, Q&As and awards presentation for the culmination of the 2018 Cinemagic Young Filmmaker Competition.

Education Programme:

Teachers and educators from nursery to primary, post-primary and colleges can support learning through film & television with the comprehensive Cinemagic education programme featuring short film packages, BBFC Film Classification, BAFTA Kids TV Presenting, drama with Debutots, programme making with JAM Media, Book to Screen workshops, The Space Show with Simon Watt, screenings of Cinemagic’s feature film Grace and Goliath, developing a TV show with Paper Owl Films, Photojournalism with Belfast Photo Festival, TV Presenting with UTV, Politics and Journalism with Mark Devenport, Game Design with Blackstaff Games, Game Concept workshops with BAFTA Young Game Designers, Scripting & Producing for Radio, and Costume Making with Breege Fahy.

The Cinemagic Festival is funded by Northern Ireland Screen supported by the Department for Communities, Belfast City Council and Tourism Northern Ireland.

Click here to find out more about the Cinemagic Festival 2018 programme

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