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Belfast Teens Set for Inspiring Cinemagic Los Angeles IGNITE Experience!

Date: 23 Jun 2023

Teenagers from Belfast have set off (today 23rd June) on a week-long trip of a lifetime as part of this year’s Cinemagic LA programme. The teenagers are participants of IGNITE, an innovative youth leadership initiative established and spearheaded by George Best Belfast City Airport, in partnership with Cinemagic which aims to provide young people from all backgrounds with life-changing opportunities.

The award-winning Belfast based Cinemagic Film and Television Festival for Young People will provide an inspiring and motivational week (June 23rd-28th) for the young people who will hear from a host of professionals in the field of film, tv, broadcasting, arts, entrepreneurship, musical theatre, stage combat and will be partnering with LA based youth filmmaking non-profit Film2Future for a joint international program where students will spend a day learning and making shorts together. As well as practical filmmaking opportunities, the young people will visit some of Hollywood’s top studios and movie locations including the Universal Studios Lot, Creative Visions, and 87 North.

Guest speakers during the festival week include director and producer Andrew Molina (Bates Motel: The Check Out, Heaven on Earth), cinematographer Sarah Brandes (Ad Astra, The Morning Show), producers James Longman (The Late Late Show with James Corden) and Jill King (Rachael Ray), screenwriters Ryan Rowe (Charlie’s Angels) and Adam Lorenzo (Everybody Hates Chris, Everybody Loves Raymond), five time Academy Award nominated, Belfast-born sound mixer, Peter J. Devlin (Ant Man and the Wasp, Wakanda Forever), Sharon Carpenter, TV host & broadcast journalist, business leaders Ellis O’Connor, MD at BDT & MSD Partners, and Sam Jagger, General Manager, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Shelley Reid, Head of Business Affairs at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment TV Group, and Cynthia Yorkin, actress and producer (Blade Runner 2049).
The culmination of the week is a Cinemagic Gala showcase hosted by presenters Jenn McGuirk and Darren Kennedy, to celebrate creativity sponsored by NI Connections, which will bring the week’s activity to a close on 28th June.

The talents of young people from 40 different schools in Belfast and Los Angeles will be on show to a VIP audience in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica. Each young person from Belfast will have graduated from the IGNITE programme, achieving both academic accolades and building significant personal growth that will help them fulfil their aspirations.

Cinemagic CEO, Joan Burney Keatings MBE said: “We are so thankful to our incredible sponsors and partners in supporting us to provide inspiring talks, tours, and masterclasses with top talent in film and television production in the heart of moviemaking in LA from 23rd to 28th June. We look forward to showcasing Cinemagic as a global player in the creative industries and celebrating Northern Ireland’s success stories internationally.
“Uniting young people from George Best Belfast City Airport’s IGNITE programme in Northern Ireland and students in Los Angeles to collaborate with the film industry sparks so much creativity and learning, and together with NI Connections and NI Bureau we can inspire and motivate the next generation of creatives.”

Head of NI Connections, Moira Loughran said: “Head of NI Connections, Moira Loughran said ‘We are delighted to be partnering with Cinemagic as sponsor of the Los Angeles Gala as we see it as a fantastic opportunity to be able to help and showcase the immense talent of our young people from Northern Ireland.”
“It is an opportunity to make and build industry connections in the USA and for us at NI Connections, that is what we are passionate about – making those connections and providing our diaspora with an opportunity to demonstrate the full potential of their talent and influence.”

Director of Corporate Services at George Best Belfast City Airport, Michelle Hatfield, said: “At Belfast City Airport, we are passionate about building the workforce of tomorrow and championing young people to become future leaders. Through our IGNITE programme, in partnership with Cinemagic, the young people on this trip have already achieved great things and shown incredible potential. The LA gala is the perfect opportunity to reward their hard work and dedication and celebrate their successes.”

Deputy Director, Northern Ireland Bureau, Eamonn McConville added: “It's such a pleasure to partner with Cinemagic on the LA programme, which is helping shape our future leaders; and providing them with the inspiration to be part of Northern Ireland's flourishing Creative Industries.”

The Cinemagic LA Gala sponsored by NI Connections will take place on 28th June at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Santa Monica, LA. Cinemagic LA is supported by George Best Belfast City Airport, NI Connections, NI Bureau, Aer Lingus, Creative Visions, Universal Studios Lot, 87 North.

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