connect 2018 • 37 Designed for and by young people, Cinemagic has established a worldwide reputation for excellence in children’s programming and in its creative and innovative approach to tackling social exclusion through the medium of film. The organization believes that film provides inclu- sive and accessible ways to promote learning, motivation, skills development and cross-community engagement among young people. Cinemagic has delivered highly successful initiatives in Northern Ireland with conflicting community groups over the last number of years with the aim to educate young people in filmmaking while developing positive attitudes to the importance of Good Relations and Improving Com- munities. Cinemagic have developed projects of this na- ture in Dublin, London, Los Angeles and New York and are regarded as a catalyst which brings young people together where they develop individually, socially and culturally. Cinemagic film projects bring young people from different and sometimes conflicting backgrounds together to edu- cate them but to also give them a common goal to work towards as a group. On completion our young people have a positive visual piece of work which represents their own achievement and development while also breaking down barriers of conflict resulting in dialogue between commu- nities and life-long friendships being created. Cinemagic engages with 40,000 people on an annual basis and support from The Ireland Funds enables the organization to develop and deepen its reach, changing lives and transforming young people’s outlook. Cinemagic is supported by a host of film and television professionals, with patrons including Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Saoirse Ronan, and Dermot O’Leary who share the charity’s ethos to educate, motivate and inspire by offering creative industries opportunities for young people from all backgrounds. THREE DECADES OF CULTURAL PROGRAMMING Over the last three decades the festival has progressed in relation to audience scope and reach, this is evident in the continuous yearly increase in audience numbers and participation. The geographical reach continues to extend outside of Belfast to meet the cultural demands of young people living in hard to reach and disadvantaged areas. Each year Cinemagic strives to provide the audience with a cultural program that demonstrates flair, quality and ambition. Today, the Cinemagic Film Festival is the leading youth film festival in the UK in relation to film choice, film heritage and practical film education activities. The annual festival promotes, strengthens and nurtures a strong film culture in Northern Ireland by providing greater audience choice for all young people. Each film activity program is devised to provide children and young people with opportunities to engage with film culture and film literacy within the school framework (school education program) and outside of formal education (public screening program, outreach film program, family events, young filmmaker, CineSeeker and CineFocus festival juries and industry master classes). In the last 10 years Cinemagic’s international growth has led to annual film education activities in Dublin, London, New York, Los Angeles and Castres (France) and Cinemagic film production projects have received international acclaim for their ambition and innovation. Cinemagic is a film festival for children and young people and an award-winning film charity. Established and headquartered in Belfast, delivering programs and activities locally, nationally and internationally, the organization is committed to maximizing the impact and reach of film to educate, motivate and inspire children and young people from all backgrounds. Cinemagic is widely-recognized for its global outreach activity which engages with young people from various communities, religions, abilities and ethnic backgrounds and encourages them to learn and work together within our innovative and educational projects. With help from The Ireland Funds, Cinemagic is educating, motivating and inspiring young people from all backgrounds to explore the joy of film.