The 34th Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People returns from 30 September to 31 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.

Alisha Weir in Matilda The Musical

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 Moominvalley series, 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.

Rosa and the Stone Troll

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.

Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Cinemagic CEO said “We are extremely proud to present the 34th Edition of Cinemagic Film Festival in Belfast. As an innovator in the field of youth film exhibition and engagement with world class talent from the screen industry, we are providing a unique window to the world and celebrating stories from all walks of life. With continued support from our funders Cinemagic can motivate young audiences, nurture skills, and develop tomorrow’s creative workforce. I really encourage festival supporters and new audiences to get involved this autumn and enjoy the wonder of cinema.”

Richard Williams, CEO at Northern Ireland Screen, said“Northern Ireland Screen is delighted to support another varied and diverse programme of film screenings, masterclasses and education events at the Cinemagic Belfast Festival. Through our continued core funding, supported by the Department for Communities, we acknowledge what a contribution the festival plays in film culture, education, and training for young people across Northern Ireland. We wish the festival well in the month-long event.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Ryan Murphy said “Cinemagic continues to shine the spotlight on youth, social and environmental issues through a high calibre programme that gives young people a chance to learn, create and develop new skills. It’s a wonderful way for young people to express themselves creatively, develop self-confidence and be heard. A celebration of our film and television industry and a truly inclusive showcase of local talent, Cinemagic inspires everyone involved, as well as entertaining audiences far and wide.

I know that me and my family are excited to see what the festival has in store for us this year – and I look forward to joining people from right across the city and beyond to enjoy the many activities on offer.”

Cinemagic is funded by Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, funded by Belfast City Council and funded by Film Hub NI through the BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund, awarding funds from National Lottery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *