27 November 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
Filming underway on three new productions from Belfast-based youth charity Cinemagic
11 May 2021 : News Desk
Young filmmakers have called action on three new Cinemagic productions through Cinemagicís latest film initiative.

The films have been designed to inspire and celebrate the talents of 60 young filmmakers, aged 18-25, from across Northern Ireland, marking the culmination of the Creative and Digital Technologies Academy, delivered this year by Cinemagic in partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College and North West Regional College, supported by Department for the Economy.

The ground-breaking Cinemagic initiative brought the creative industries together with the Further Education sector, to address the impact of Covid-19 on young people, and to showcase how partnerships focused on creative industries skills development and investment in young talent can create a strong pipeline to employment and local economy growth.

The Creative and Digital Technologies Academy, which has been running weekly over the last 4 months, included practical online masterclasses hosted by film and television experts in areas such as Producing, Directing, Writing, Distribution, and IP Awareness. Participants on the programme also benefited from talks on mental health & wellbeing, and personal development, all of which will contribute to the young people achieving a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Production.

Cinemagic CEO, Joan Burney Keatings MBE said:  “We are extremely grateful to work with project partners Belfast Metropolitan College and North West Regional College, supported by the Department for the Economy, to help young people develop new skills, explore opportunities and give them the confidence to thrive in a career in the creative industries. 

“Over the last few weekends, we have been underway with filming the three productions, with a brilliant crew and it has been fantastic seeing the young people’s ideas come to life,” Keatings continued. “Cinemagic is so proud of the achievements of everyone involved, especially with their commitment to the project during recent challenging times with Covid-19. We look forward to premiering the films at festival events later this year.”

Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “I am very pleased to see the positive impact this Creative and Digital Technologies Academy, funded by my Department, has had on the young people who have participated in it.”

“Northern Ireland has a vibrant and growing film and television sector and this Academy is equipping young people with the skills and accredited qualifications they need to potentially start a career in this exciting field,”Dodds added. “As we seek to accelerate the economic recovery, the film and television industry will have a key role and I am heartened that through skills interventions like this Academy there will be a pipeline of local talent to help deliver on this.”

Young Filmmaker, Grace Hynds (18) from Portadown said: “Taking part in this academy has been one of the most insightful experiences I’ve had in years. I’ve been able to learn from a variety of experts in the media industry and had the opportunity to put my new skills to work on set. The best part, without a doubt, was getting to meet people just like me - not only are they crew mates, but they are friends and creative individuals that I will be in contact with for many years to come.”

Young Filmmaker, Charlotte Cunningham (23) from North Belfast added: “I think the course has helped in building my confidence and personal development as a professional and as an artist. I am someone who is striving to work in the film Industry in NI and abroad so meeting many professionals and hearing their stories has given me the motivation to know I can be successful too.”

Young Filmmaker, Tom Greer (20) from Carrickfergus said: “It has been incredible to have the opportunity to listen and learn from many industry professionals through the Cinemagic online masterclasses. I am incredibly grateful to be involved in an environment where I can meet and work with like-minded young filmmakers like myself and gaining practical experience on a short film production is truly an amazing opportunity to kickstart our careers in the film industry.”

Young Filmmaker, Ross Farrell (18) from Crossgar added: “The Creative & Digital Technologies Academy run by Cinemagic has helped me connect with so many talented people and make many new friends. I’ve also learned more about pre-production and how to work safely and effectively on set. I’ve been introduced to many new industry professionals and have learned a lot about how they have progressed in their careers and how I can do the same.”

Cinemagic International Film and Television for Young People offers projects, programmes, and festival events throughout the year to educate, motivate and inspire young people through the medium of film, and it fervently supports young filmmakers, showcasing their work and providing skills development opportunities to help them thrive in the exciting world of film and television. 

Click here for more information on the Cinemagic website or visit YouTube channel Cinemagic TV.

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