Cinemagic Launch Cast Away Competition

Film-makers under 25 challenged to create their own short film inspired by Titanic

100 years on, HMS Titanic is more famous for sinking than it was for being unsinkable. It's attraction to film-makers, however, remains as strong as ever.

To James Cameron, for instance, it provided the inspiration for an award-winning Hollywood blockbuster, while the SyFy Channel's Titanic II was a straight to DVD disaster movie.

Now Cinemagic Film Festival and Titanic Belfast – the world's largest Titanic visitor attraction, set to open on March 31, 2012 – are running an international podcast competition, Cast Away Short Film Challenge, to recognise the legacy of the Titanic during its centenary year.

Under 25s worldwide are being asked to submit a short video podcast, themed around the ill-fated White Star liner. The genre of the podcast can take any form, be it fact or fiction, contemporary or period drama, news programme or documentary.

Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey creator and Oscar-winning writer of the upcoming ITV drama Titanic, will lend his support to the competition as a judge.

'After writing the new four-part ITV drama about the Titanic, I know how absorbing this noble ship and its fatal voyage can be,' said Fellowes. 'There is no limit to the way the story can be investigated, examined and re-invented. I very much look forward to viewing the work of these talented young film-makers.'

Cinemagic is encouraging participants to use easily accessible recording devices to create their submissions: web-cams, mobile phones and camcorders, amongst other things. 'Anything they can get their hands on,' said Cinemagic chief executive, Joan Burney Keatings, 'to tell a story.'

Tim Husbands, Titanic Belfast’s CEO, added: 'This is a great opportunity for a new generation using new technology to be inspired by Titanic’s legend, and I’m looking forward to seeing how 21st century creativity compares with what’s gone before.'

Entries will be shortlisted in three age categories: 10 – 14, 15 – 17 and 18 – 25. Prizes will be awarded to the winning entries, including film and television set visits. New York Film Academy are sponsoring the prize for the 18 – 25 category, with the winner being offered a one week scholarship to any of its programmes worldwide.

The Cast Away Short Film Challenge is open to anyone under the age of 25, and to all nationalities. The deadline for submissions is Friday, January 27, 2012. For more information on how to enter and to download an entry form, visit Cinemagic or Titanic Belfast.