Cinemagic Launches 2016 Festival

Film organisation for young people unveils packed programme of Hollywood premieres, international cinema and industry guests in Belfast next month

The annual Cinemagic Film and Television Festival programme returns for a feast of film from October 7 - 30, jam-packed with over two hundred films and diverse creative opportunities to inspire and motivate young people. The launch was marked with a preview screening of Kubo and The Two Strings, the latest fantasy action-adventure film from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA.

Audiences will flock to the opening night preview of much anticipated animated adventure Storks from Warner Bros Pictures on October 7 at Odyssey Cinemas. Closing the festival will be the inspirational documentary Life, Animated from Roger Ross Williams, winner of the Best Director Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

Guests from the world of film and television include directors, Bruce Goodison (Doctor Foster, Home Fires), William McGregor (Poldark), Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough), Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa (Good Vibrations, Cherrybomb); film critic supremo, Mark Kermode, who returns for his 12th visit to Cinemagic with his festival pick Forbidden Planet; Blue Peter presenter, Lindsey Russell, Swallows and Amazons art director, David Bowes and TV/online presenters, Maddie Moat (Earth Unplugged, Do You Know?), Ben Shires (Officially Amazing!) and Greg Foot (Blue Peter, Brit Lab).

As well as bringing young people new premieres and previews from the Hollywood studios, the diverse New World Cinema programme will celebrate stories, peoples and cultures from around the globe. Highlights include the adventure-filled Little Mountain Boy, animated/live action hybrid Monster Hunt, book-to-film adaptation Gamba, coming of age drama Little Bird, fantasy animation Kai and historical drama Fly Away Home, with an introduction and audience Q&A with director Mirjam Unger and actor Gerald Votava.

By providing film fans with an outlet for world cinema, Cinemagic aims to develop and nurture a broader understanding and love of film and to ultimately inspire the next generation of cinema audiences. The festival is on the lookout for enthusiastic ‘CineSeekers’ and ‘CineFocus’ young film reviewers, to view and judge these in-competition films.

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Cinemagic Chief Executive, Joan Burney Keatings said: 'We are thrilled to unveil the programme for the 2016 Cinemagic Belfast Festival, with over 200 films and a multitude of special events set to light up cinema screens in the city. In association with the Nido Collection and with our funders, sponsors and supporting venues we have been able to present the very best cinema from around the world and design innovative and exciting workshops and practical opportunities for all young people to get involved with this October.'

Talent Labs offer 16-25 year olds an invaluable insight to working in film and television and highlights include Directing, hosted by BAFTA winning and Oscar-nominated Northern Ireland filmmaker, Michael Lennox, Darren Fee, William McGregor, director of  BBC One’s current hit drama One of Us; Casting with Hubbard Casting, and Film Production with Jessica Malik, Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Leon McGeown Fee. 

Creativity Corner, for 12-21 year olds, features a Stunts workshop with Eimear O’Grady (Penny Dreadful, Ripper Street), Animation with Nuria Blanco (Cartoon Saloon) and Barry Purves (Mars Attacks, King Kong); and Directing with Bruce Goodison (Leave to Remain, Doctor Foster).

Junior Talent Labs, for 7-11 year olds, will shine a spotlight on the world of Model Making, Storyboarding, Programme Making and Scriptwriting to give budding creatives the chance to work with the people behind Shaun the Sheep, Corpse Bride, Zig and Zag, Horrid Henry, So Awkward and Bob The Builder.

Special events for the juniors will include a focus on master storyteller Hans Christian Andersen with film screenings of The Little Mermaid, and Thumbelina. The Ulster Museum will be home to a special Festival Pyjama Party and Teddy Bear Picnic events, and No Alibis Bookstore will host ‘Tales at Twilight’, a week long evening showcase of book to film adaptations introduced by local authors Jan Carson, Sheena Wilkinson and Kelly McCaughrain. These film titles include Matilda, Hugo, Where The Wild Things Are, Charlotte’s Web and Coraline. The festival will also be celebrating 60 years of Albert Lamorisse’s cinema classic The Red Balloon as well as screening other classics like Whistle Down The Wind and Cinema Paradiso.

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Animated fun for tiny tots includes the book-to-film adaptation Molly Monster and activity screenings include an Academy Award winning interpretation of Prokofiev’s classic tale, Peter and The Wolf, with a music demonstration about how the characters are represented by different instruments.

There are two evenings of short film showcases with animations, dramas, comedies and thrillers making up the best international short films currently on the festival circuit and Generation Next unveils films directed and produced by up and coming young filmmakers from around the world. The 'Young Filmmaker' programme this year celebrates the work of past Cinemagic competition winners returning to host four alumni events.

The Documentary Forum presents Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny and the School Ties section revisits the Bill Forsyth's 1981 favourite Gregory’s Girl, the John Hughes inspired teen rom-com, Pretty in Pink, and quirky Wes Anderson comedy, Rushmore.

Meanwhile teachers and educators can support learning through film and television with the annual education programme featuring world cinema and interactive discussions on cinematography, directing, production, film classification, protecting copyright, genre, women in film, special effects make-up, sports reporting, tv and radio presenting, documentary making, pitching and commissioning, storyboarding, music from the movies, early years drama, and app development. Workshop hosts include representatives from BBFC, BAFTA KIDS, Brown Bag Films, Doubleband Films and the Industry Trust.

For further information amd booking visit www.cinemagic.org.uk or phone 028 90 311 900.