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Liam Neeson Praises “Ground-Breaking” Work Of Cinemagic



Ahead of the launch of the Belfast Cinemagic International Film and Television Festivals for Young People and reflecting on the words of President Barack Obama, in Belfast last week, actor Liam Neeson has praised the work of the youth film charity, which aims to motivate, educate and inspire young people through film and moving image.
Liam Neeson, Cinemagic patron said: “It is amazing to see how Cinemagic’s ground-breaking work with young people, over the last 24 years, impacts on individuals and communities on so many levels- educationally, socially and vocationally. It was heartening to hear Barack Obama talk about working hard to build a shared future forNorthern Ireland and for so many young people to absorb his message of striving for better community relations.
“The work that Cinemagic does is carried out in an environment that promotes cultural understanding and the vision of a shared future. Cinemagic’s vast range of programming and activities including film camps, film education workshops, screenings, film discussion juries, and masterclasses serve to enrich community relations and build trust between young people from different communities in Northern Ireland, which brings benefits for all.”
Over the last three weeks, Cinemagic have engaged with over 200 young people, aged 11-13, from 20 schools across Northern Ireland as they embarked on making 6 short films in their communities, which were the culmination of the  2 year long Cinemagic ‘Reel Frontiers’ project supported by the International Fund for Ireland, Sharing in Education Programme. The young people participated in a series of film screenings, workshops and discussions in each others schools throughout the two years with a focus on peace and reconciliation.
Joan Burney Keatings, MBE, Cinemagic Chief Executive said:
”Cinemagic’s ethos to motivate, educate and inspire young people through film firmly underpins everything that we do. Our festivals in Belfast, Dublin, New York and Los Angeles provide opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to come together, to share a festival experience, and in many cases work together on a creative venture that helps develop in them an understanding of and respect for each other.
It is fantastic to see young people, from different backgrounds, come together through a shared interest in film, developing friendships and learning about the world around them. Through world cinema exhibition, film education and film-making projects Cinemagic gives young people an understanding of the values and benefits of a shared society.”
This week, Cinemagic teenagers from Northern Ireland welcomes young people from Dublin and Los Angeles to Belfast, to begin work on this year’s Cinemagic International Film Camp, at which 20 young people, who have never met as a group before, will produce a film in just 5 days. This initiative allows young people from diverse cultures to explore identity and develop relationships between different communities.
In July, Cinemagic will be hosting the annual summer young film consultants panel, where panel members watch, debate and discuss films from around the world which are in contention for screening at the annual film festivals in Belfast in the autumn.
The Cinemagic Belfast festival programmes are funded by Northern Ireland Screen supported by DCAL. They will be launched in September and take place from 4th-18th October (under 12yr olds) and 18th-28th November (12-25yr olds).
Cinemagic | 49 Botanic Avenue | Belfast BT7 1JL
Tel: 028 9031 1900 | Fax: 028 9031 9709 |

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