Belfast Telegraph

East Belfast students make movie magic

by Natalie Irvine

Budding teenage movie-makers from south Belfast have helped create a short film for UTV — after taking part of an international film project with young people from New York Los Angeles, Dublin and Donegal.

Culture Minister Nelson McCausland dropped in to see the film ‘magic’ being created by Chloe McLaurin and Erin McClean, (both 15), at the Cinemagic Film Camp workshops, taking place at the Crescent Arts Centre, last week

Chloe said: “Taking part in the workshops over the course of the project was a great experience — the film crew who guided us were amazing. I really enjoyed filming with the camera, it was the first time I have ever done anything like that.

“I am doing Music and Drama as a GCSE subject at school and I found these workshops have allowed me to see what happens behind the scenes too — hopefully what I have learned will be of benefit to my studies.”

“It was great to work with other young people from New york and Los Angeles too. We will definitely be keeping in contact, we are already friends on Facebook.

“The first time we see the film we made in its entirety will be when it is shown on UTV. I can’t wait!”

The purpose of the Cinemagic’s Film Camp which ran for five days in the city last week, was to give local young filmmakers from different cultural backgrounds the opportunity to work shared goal and encourage interaction through the medium of film.

Speaking after the visit, Mr McCausland said: “This film camp is a unique opportunity for young people to share experiences and learn about each others cultures, whilst showcasing Belfast as a city of culture, arts and innovation.”

Chloe and Erin joined 18 other young film enthusiasts aged between 15 and 19, armed with the task of creating a short film in Belfast under the guidance of a director, writer and director of photography who worked intensively with the young people each day.

Joan Burney, Cinemagic chief executive, said “Cinemagic has engaged with various groups of young people at festival events in New York, Los Angeles and Dublin earlier this year and one of our aims was to offer young people from across Belfast the opportunity to work with others from different cultural backgrounds, to create channels of communication and interaction between them and to do this through the medium of film.

“The International Film Camp was both an entertaining and educational experience for those involved.

“It promotes Belfast as a creative city and it will help develop not only the young people’s filmmaking skills but also their inter-personal skills and the process will contribute to a deeper understanding of cultural difference.”

As well as being screened on UTV, the short film will be shown on the big screen during the 20th Anniversary Coca-Cola Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People in Belfast in November.

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